We had a party recently, with some mums with kids born in the same month. Or rather, with EDDs (estimated due date) in the same month, since some of them ended up being born in the month before, or the month after.
We got acquainted online, more than 6 years ago, joining the forum group when we were expecting. From sharing about pregnancy worries and milestones, to birth stories and coping through the first few months.
Most of us were first time mums, and we learnt how to become mums together. We had similar worries, similar struggles, similar hopes and/or disappointments. Through the days and nights of chatting, and meet-ups during maternity leave and beyond, we grew to know one another quite well.
Since it can be quite isolating to be a new mum, we bonded quite a bit, especially in the first two years of our childrens’ lives. We took photos and made a collage of our kids (more than 20?) sitting in bumbos, met-up in massive groups at Swensen’s and the old Shokudou, shocking waitstaff and other patrons with 10-15 babies that were the same age.
Slowly, life took over. Some of us had more kids, some went back to work, and it became increasingly difficult to meet. We ‘kept in touch’ via FB mostly, and eventually moved from our online forum to a closed FB group.
So when our courageous head honcho suggested having a sixth birthday bash (we had combined 1 year old and 2 year old birthday celebrations, in addition to other meet-ups), many mummies agreed. It would be more for us to catch up for old times’ sake than anything. Any excuse to have a party!
It got me thinking – the best thing for a new mum, especially a first time mum, is to know that you are not alone.
Although not everyone enjoys online community, an online support group like this can be sanity-saving. Within the privacy of a closed group chat, it is amazing what personal struggles can be shared. And what very tangible, practical support can be offered. Those living nearby can organise playdates, giving mums an opportunity to connect with other adults in a day that can be very mind-numbing and physically exhausting.
I recall in my 14 months of being a SAHM, it was meeting some of these folks once or twice a fortnight that helped me keep me sane through early motherhood.
So now that we are further along in our journey, my advice to new mums is – get connected. You can never imagine how much of a blessing you can be to some of these fellow mums, and how blessed you can be, diverse as our backgrounds and current circumstances might be.