I was about to have my son, first time mother in a foreign country, with husband but no immediate family to rely on or get help from. But I was determined I would not need them either. I had my friends, who already had a baby, there was lots of information available on internet I thought, and there are other mothers you will get to know when you start socializing with your baby.
So when baby arrived I felt content but somewhat empty and almost lonely. I was sharing the precious moments with my husband, and Skyped and face timed with my family overseas. But there was emptiness in my life as I found it difficult to start conversation with other mothers, and I am not known to be shy. What was holding me back? Was it my own insecurities of being mother or was I afraid that I would get judged on my methods or opinions as this was all so new? Change of surroundings, from coffee shop to the playground where you did not know the etiquette or the unwritten rules how you or your child should be behaving?
I joined the local mothers group arranged by the local midwifes. This was step towards meeting same minded mothers, I thought. However after few weeks I found sitting on the room full of mothers and babies almost overpowering, talking about why my baby is not latching on, what color of poo is a good color, why the baby is not sleeping through the night on 7 weeks. You get the picture? There was 20 of us sitting in circle and breastfeeding in unison. No need to say more.
I kept in contact with many of the mothers I met on those early days of my motherhood. My mothers group friends and I still see each other once a week, namely those of us who are left in Sydney and we even had baby no 2’s within months of each other. Talk about being close on age. My son’s best friend was born at the same day, in same hospital and I met his mother on the mothers group and we get on like house on fire.
So what other resources are there for new mothers? Playgroups are a great way to interact and spent time with your baby and meet mothers in same situation. There are lots of local Facebook groups online here in Australia and you can ask there what ever you want and there is always empathetic mother who can help and guide you. On this digital era its almost too easy to check things with Facebook app on a group rather than ask from a friend.
So what kind of a village did I build around myself to grow as a mother? Well I have made lots of new friends, friendships to last a life time. My social calendar is busy on catching up with old and new friends when I am out and about with my boys. I do check Dr Google and Baby Center for advise as well as read Facebook groups, but more than everything I ask from my mummy friends. As I know they will be truthful and honest in their answers and they understand me better at times than I understand myself. However there is another village out there as well. The digital village. We might not talk every day but I know that there are groups of women who have my back and I have theirs.They are my village.
Want to hear more about my village? Sign up to our newsletter and you get the tips and tricks on parenting and motherhood directly to your inbox.
Love, Susanna x