Mother’s groups, we either love them or we dread them! I was a mum who forced herself along to the local mothers group, to which I was assigned based on when my baby was born. I went a few times and then it faded for me. Don’t get me wrong, the other mother’s I met were lovely and my daughter had the opportunity to be with other babies of a similar age which was great. So….what was the problem you ask?
It wasn’t MY mothers group. I didn’t know this at the time and wondered, ‘Everyone is nice and friendly, why do I not want to go?’ It wasn’t until a month or so later that we ran in to a neighbour in a nearby town and she invited us to have coffee with some other mums. I went along reluctantly and met some lovely women and some cool kids. I was compelled to go back the following week and the next one again. It was about the 4th time I went when suddenly I realised that I felt a deep sense of belonging with THESE mums and I felt like it was MY mothers group!
I have since spent time thinking about these feelings, here are the things I have come to understand about what makes a Mothers group, MY MAMAS GROUP.
- Similarities in parenting style – This may seem like an obvious one, but surround yourself with other mothers who do not judge or criticize your style. Surrounding yourself with those who will actively support your choices means you will have more confidence in those choices and be more likely to succeed.
- Differences in parenting style – confused yet!! So I know that we are playing opposites here BUT all parents are different, even if they follow similar styles. So while your core ideas may be similar it is great to have variety in the group so that you learn new skills for your ‘tool kit’ just by being there.
- Kids don’t need to be the same age – Being part of a group with kids of all ages means that once again I learn from the experience of others, they learn from me and my daughter interacts with all sorts of kids.
- Dad’s are welcome too – I love that in my group, dad’s come along too. Sometimes just with the kids or sometimes the whole family comes along for the ride. I love dads, dads are awesome!
Never underestimate the power of feeling that true sense of belonging in a group. If you were allocated a mothers group that doesn’t feel good for you, shop around or better yet, start your own. Trust me, your parenting will shine in the right company xx
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