I’ve written about my experience of baby groups over on Standard Issue magazine. So many postnatal groups are wonderful – nurturing, helpful and a source of friends. I didn’t quite find that though. In the two groups I attended there was a peculiar atmosphere of oneupmumship. Pop over for a read here if you fancy it.
If you like my article it would be super lovely if you could click ‘recommend’ at the bottom. Thankyou
I’ll be back next week to announce the details of my crafty plan for Comic Relief 2015.
I hear you Emma, I went to one when Twiglet was very young, he looked very cute in a onesie. Mum sat next to me had an even smaller baby dressed in trousers, short sleeved shirt and tank top, she sniffed oh Henry only wears things like that in bed. The next hour seemed to be a forum for bragging about offsprings amazing abilities. I looked at Twiglet who seemed to give me a big smile, ( I will never forget that moment, it was like he sensed how uncomfortable I felt) and I thought what are we doing here, made my excuses, left, went to visit my inlaws who thought he looked delightful and never visited this group again. At a time when new Mums feel vulnerable, other Mums can be witches.
Just read your very interesting article. Brings back the same memories for me. I am now a granny but when I had my first, I went to a group(s) I tried and tried, by the time I had my third I never went to any group despite the health visitor saying they would be good for me. The Health visitors are a whole other story don't get me started!
Ps Emma, I eventually found my kindred spirit via a parenting forum. I knew we'd get on when we said we'd meet up to eat cake and let the babies play, we would recognise each other by sporting fake moustaches. This is my good pal C, who is coming over to mine in an hour to eat cake while the 9 year old babies are at school. Like love, good Mum frienships arrive eventually.
Brilliant article. I remember those times well, but I did make some fantastic friends – some of whom I still see regularly. In fact 17 and a bit years later, 2 of us have just been away for a few days. x
Mrs. Micawber says
Okay, all I can think is "Did you just have a BABY?!?!?" and "How did I miss this?"
Having just popped over to read your article, I'm guessing not.(But if you did, tremendous congratulations.) 🙂
I was never able to have children, but I did baby-sit for 12 years, and I'll never forget how chagrined I was when a friend's baby cut her first tooth months before "my" first baby did. And when "my" first baby started acting out imaginary conversations between her toys (at a pretty early age I may say), I told the aforementioned friend. Her response? "Oh, A's been doing that for months." Crushed again!
Competitiveness must be hard-wired into our DNA. We don't even have to be real mums to feel it.
Marigold Jam says
Wonderful – I actually found some friends amongst the baby group and we did help each other otherwise I might not be here to tell the tale. It seems to be taboo to admit that motherhood isn't your cup of tea after all and all you want is a few hours sleep and never mind the baby! I still to this day remember the health visitor or whatever she was who ran the group saying to me "If only you could be a bit mor relaxed like Brenda(whose baby was a book baby and who had all the sleep she needed from day one it seemed) then your baby would be more relaxed"!! I wanted to kill her and Brenda and had I been quick enough I would have said "If only I had Brenda's baby maybe I'd be more relaxed too"!! I think we should all be more honest about it all and then we'd probably discover that we are not alone in finding it hard and let those who have polished Agas and who actually get dressed sometime each day have their own baby groups. I still can feel the emotions even 33 years on! I could write a book about such things but only now that I am far enough distanced from it all though even now the sound of a new born crying makes my stomach clench and I feel that awful fear that yet again I will not cut the mustard!!
I just read your article and it pushed a lot of buttons on my memory, I hated all the bragging too.
I clicked the recommend button too.
Love it, I lived in the country, this is over 50 years ago, mother miles away, or even further away with a sister who had also had a baby around the same time, no idea what I was doing, thank heavens for a very understanding neighbor.
To be honest I think you come across as a bit touchy and oversensitive and see what other people say about their children just as conversation, as being one-upmanship. I never experienced anything like that. If someone had a baby crawling at 5 months then perhaps they were a nightmare to potty train. They are just stating what is happening to their child. What their experiences are. If you see it as a slight that someone mentions there baby is walking when yours isn't and that kind of thing, well the problem isn't with them. I found other mothers to be brilliant and yes, we were all in it together.
your article was a brilliant read, very witty, I've really enjoyed your articles so far 🙂 I pressed the button at the end too! I haven't ever had a baby but can imagine how tough it is and have a lot of admiration for those that have gone through it. It's my dream to one day have children, your a lucky so and so 🙂 Love Safxxx
Pink Milk says
I thoroughly enjoyed that! You made me laugh out loud! I gave all postnatal gatherings a swerve after both children and, if half of what you say is true, thank goodness I did because I know the teeming-with-hormones me would have either ended up a nervous wreck or been tempted to throw a few punches. I do hope you write a follow-up article about oneupmumship (genius word) in the school playground because my own children are now teens and, dear god, I still sigh with relief that that particular minefield is behind me. Heather xx
Loved the article (and pressed the recommend button as instructed!) – I think most of the time mums go in for the oneupmumship because they feel they need to convince themselves that they are doing a good job really… You know you've found kindred spirits when you can say "X cut his first tooth" and they congratulate you as if he had piloted the first space mission! I met my group of kindred spirits a little over 7 years ago at a breastfeeding support group – definitely a great place to find like minded people as we were all there because we were all struggling with breastfeeding. This Friday we're off to the Christmas markets for mulled wine whilst the kids are at school 🙂
Sarah Smith says
There are lot's of words to say but simple said nice one..
Jewellery & Gemstones
Sara@ the bottom of the garden says
Just catching up post christmas. Loved this article, am with you on all of it! When baby 2 arrived I ran of my life away from anything vaguely group related. Actually I felt the same all the way through and shyed away from the playground mums, the cub mums and any other wanna be parents who eyed me up as potential bait. Phew lucky escape I think!!!