Me and my partner don’t have our parents close to us here in Australia. All our family members live very far away, despite my niece who is currently aupairing here in Sydney. Other than that it’s just me, my partner and our baby boy. When I was preganant I did stress about the distance to our families quite a bit. I was first time mum to be, and conceerned there is no one to give a hand or provide advice except my partner who had even less clue about baby topics than I.
Now afterwords, I can say there actually is a lot of support provided by medicare system and different support groups around for a new mother in need. You can find breastfeeding support groups and Early Childhood Centres are there for you after your baby is born . However, what I have found especially useful support group for a new mum who don’t have her family around or strong network of friends was the Mothers Group. What is the Mothers Group? That was the question I asked from my friend who has a three year old girl and was in the same situation as I during her preganancy with regards of the family and closest friends locating overseas. She explained me that if you go to the Mum meetings run by your closest Early Childhood Centre they will place you to the Mothers Group there. I was still a bit confused what is this group and how does it function.
Early Childhood Centre’s in Sydney coordinate so called Mothers Groups, these groups are very casual and based on my understanding are formed time to time depending on the amount of new mums that join to the childhood centre’s weekly mum meetings. I thought it would be useful to join to this kind of group so I went to the mum meeting at North Bondi, which was run by the North Bondi Early Childhood Centre. However, that time there was no information about a potential Mothers Group and how to join, and I forgot to ask. Couple of weeks later I went to Bondi Junction Childhood Centre’s weekly mum meeting and there the nurse mentioned it would be a good chance to form a Mothers Group now because there was so many Mums with similar age of babies. One mum was chosen to coordinate the group meetings and anyone who was interested and “ready” was welcome to join. I believe the idea is, when you sign up to the mothers group you will move from the childhood centre weekly meetings to the casual meetings with the other mums and that way it’s less stress to the childhood centre system and more mum to mum support for the new mothers.
Now afterwords I’m glad that I joined to the Mothers Group that time, I have met great new friends in the group and got so many useful tips. In my mothers group most of the mothers are in the situation they don’t have families around and perhaps for that reason everyone have been really supportive in our group. The Mothers Group is also a great opportunity to have some social interaction weekly basis, after the meetings I always felt mentally energised because it’s nice to have an adult chat in the middle of the day. I have learned so much from the other Mothers, got so many tips to trial for my baby as well as learned some errors and things to avoid. Several Centennial Park dates later I can truly say it was worth it. The groups obviously will come less active when Mums will go back to work and the maternity leaves are over, however the friendships will stay forever.
Overall the Mums Group has been a great experience and exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend to any new mum to participate to a one. So if you are a new Mum, don’t hesitate to contact your closest Early Childhood Centre to find out how you can join to the Mothers Group. You won’t loose anything if you give it a go!