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Mothers Groups in real life


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#1 Magnolia

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:10 PM

Hi Everyone, just curious on some information/feedback on mothers groups in real life. I’m quite an outgoing and loud person…. with people I know. But when it comes to meeting new people, I can be quite introverted and shy. How does one even get involved in mothers groups? Is it sort of like, I have a baby, you have a baby, lets be in a club? Lol.

If anyone feels like answering some/all of my questions, I’d very much appreciate it.


1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group?

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group?

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently?

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality?

5. If you didn’t enjoy it, did you stick with it? Why? Why not?

When I’m given advice, often people say, don’t worry, you’ll learn all this at your mothers group. So I guess what I’m essentially asking is… is it mandatory?

6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go?

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization?

8. If you never went/had no interest in RL mothers groups, why?

#2 Cole29*

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:22 PM

1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group? Yes, I did.

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group? The ECHN gave me the details of the local one and you just attend whenever you are ready.

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently? I didn't go until Ben was 8 weeks old but could have started as soon as I was out of hospital if I had wanted. I went until he was 13 weeks so 5 weeks all up. We can only go until bub reaches 3 months of age.

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality? Some women I had nothing in common withm others I got along really well with.

5. If you didn’t enjoy it, did you stick with it? Why? Why not? I wouldn't say that I didn't enjoy it, but I have not really stayed in contact with the girls (apart from on FB). Our mother's groups here are run in a strange way so instead of having a set group of women who can get to know eahc other, the group constantly changes as new women come along with their new babies and women whose babies have reached 3 months leave. I think I met up for walks/lunch with some of the girls maybe 3 or so times after and then the group sort of split because there were just too many women and it also meant that the babies ages ranged from 3 or 4 weeks through to 4 or 5 months.

When I’m given advice, often people say, don’t worry, you’ll learn all this at your mothers group. So I guess what I’m essentially asking is… is it mandatory?

6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go? Absolutely not!!!!!!!! It is completely up to you whether you feel it is something you might be interested in, if it is not then that's perfectly fine. My opinion - give it a go, if you don't like it then don't return.

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization? Initially I don't think there are any benefits for baby, it is more for new mums so they can get out and meet other women going through the same thing and ask the ECHNs any questions etc etc. If you make friends in the group and continue to catch up for some time then obviously as the babies got older there would be the benefit of your child having some little friends it's own age.

8. If you never went/had no interest in RL mothers groups, why?


As I said, I don't catch up with the girls from my group anymore, and I return to work in 2 weeks so wouldn't be able to during the week anyway. But I have lots of friends who have children, some quite a few years older than Ben, but also some who are close in age so I don't feel like I am missing out. If I need to talk "babies" I can turn to many friends for support any time.

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#3 claire_p

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:26 PM

1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group? Yes, i did.

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group? The community health centre organised a group. It started when the babies were about 2-3 months old.

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently? The group organised by the centre was for 4 weeks on a Monday from 10am-12pm. We watched videos, answered questions, group discusion type thing, weighed the bubs had morning tea. There were about 20 mums in the group, and once it was finished one of the girls emailed a few girls local to her and we started are own little group with 6 of us. We started of meeting at a cafe/or someones house then once the kids were on the move we changed to the park. We still meet every monday at the park 3.5 years later biggrin.gif 2 of the Mums have returned to work on a Monday, but the kids still come along to MG with their grandparents so Keira still gets to see her little friends.

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality? With the little group we have now, we are all similar in age, some of us have different values, parenting styles but that doesnt affect us getting along or anything.

5. If you didn’t enjoy it, did you stick with it? Why? Why not?

When I’m given advice, often people say, don’t worry, you’ll learn all this at your mothers group. So I guess what I’m essentially asking is… is it mandatory?


The first 4 weeks through the health centre we learnt alot but after that it was mainly just catching up with the girls for chats, advice, stories etc. You dont have to go, but I wanted to to meet some other Mums so the kids had some friends because they have no cousins or anything to play with and none of my friends had kids yet.

6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go? No, but I would definatley give it a go. I was pretty shy, but the nurse actually made an effort to introduce me to someone else who lived close etc.

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization? As I said above I just wanted Keira to be able to socialise with other kids her age as we didnt know any other kids. I suppose if you didnt want to go to an actual mothers group you could go to a playgroup instead.
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#4 TK3

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:31 PM

1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group? I wasn't a first time mum when I went, it was with my second child.

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group? It was through my Child Health Nurse, I asked her if there were any groups available locally and she told me where to find them.

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently? I started attending when DD was 8months old and we still go today. We meet every Tuesday for 2 hours in the morning at each others house, I can't see us ending it because we are all pregnant or have given birth recently so our second/third lot of children will grow up together. It started out as a group of strangers but we have become really close.

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality? Yes, it's quite surprising how much we all parent alike. Some have bigger personalities than others but it's works for us.


When I’m given advice, often people say, don’t worry, you’ll learn all this at your mothers group. So I guess what I’m essentially asking is… is it mandatory?

[b]6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go?
No, I never went with my son was born. I did try a playgroup when he was 18months but because I was only 19, I felt judged because I was so young so I left.

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization? My daughter does enjoy going, she gets to play with the other kids and also loves playing with different toys laugh.gif We didn't have many friends with younger children so it was good to get her to socalise with other children her age.




#5 bluenomi

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:33 PM

1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group? I did

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group? ACT Health has New Parent groups which consist of 6 weekly session where you get all sorts of information about babies. After our offical classes finished most of us kept meeting every week for a catch up

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently? Ours are every week but now I'm back at work I've had to stop going sad.gif We are ging to have some weekend meets so us working mums can still see everyone

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality? Well the groups are set by area and date of birth so we all have babies around the same age and live near each other laugh.gif We are all first time mums so seem to have plenty to talk about even if we don't have huge amounts in common


6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go? No you won't be a bad mum smile.gif You should give it a try though, even if you are just quietly listening you can still pick up a lot of useful information and it really is nice to have people to vent to who also know about baby issues.

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization? I don't know how much newborns get out of it but as they get older they play together.

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#6 aChocLover

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:44 PM

You sound a little like me, with respect to your personality. I take time to 'warm' to people then there's no holding me back blush.gif laugh.gif

1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group? Yes, I did.

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group? Through the Child Health nurse/community centre - they proactively encouraged first time mothers to take a course and join a group.

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently? Initially, it was weekly through the course for a couple of hours (DD1 was about 2-4mo). Then when the course finished, we attempted to catchup weekly for coffees (pre 6mo)

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality? No, not really sad.gif We were all relatively 'local' to each other but there were a few mothers that were just at the opposite end of the scale to me with respect to values and personalities. Most were also very keen to be SAHMs whereas I knew I wanted to go back to work - I guess, for me, I always viewed Mother's Group as a short term thing and probably didn't embrace the opportunity to find new friends in a similar position.

5. If you didn’t enjoy it, did you stick with it? Why? Why not? I didn't stick with it. I just felt that I didn't 'gel' with the other women, so felt a bit on the outer. I also didn't like the competition between the mothers and I felt a little exposed I guess. Also, I probably wasn't open to the benefits that it could bring me. In hindsight, it could have probably saved me a bit of sanity!

6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go? Absolutely not!

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization? Honestly, early on I think there are more benefits for the mother, they get to chat about what's going on and use it as a great sounding board. And seriously, is there anyone that has "too many friends"? As the children get older, yes definitely good for socialisation, but is not the only thing available if this is your priority (playgroup, kindergym etc).

8. If you never went/had no interest in RL mothers groups, why? N/A

#7 em2007

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:01 PM

[quote name='Carolyn' date='Oct 6 2010, 01:10 PM' post='2834066'] Hi Everyone, just curious on some information/feedback on mothers groups in real life. I€™m quite an outgoing and loud person€. with people I know. But when it comes to meeting new people, I can be quite introverted and shy. How does one even get involved in mothers groups? Is it sort of like, I have a baby, you have a baby, lets be in a club? Lol. {/quote]

Well, you sound exactly like me!

1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group?
Me

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group? I attended the formal Mothers Group facilitated byt the local Maternal and Child Health Centre. They asked me when I went along to the firs visit if I was interested and put my name on the list.

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently?

The formal group was once a week for 6 weeks - then we swapped numbers and details and arranged to catch up in a local hall once a week. That lasted till about 8 month when there wasn't enough of interest in the hall for the babies and we started meeting at each others house.

By the time they were one most of us were back at work part time which worked well as you would only get a few to each catchup. SInce we all have small houses it was easier to have smaller groups once they were mobile.


4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality? Look, I was lucky and really overall we have similar values etc. We are all easygoing so no one minds if they do vary.

Personality wise - I have really clicked with a core group of 4 others and we catch up regularly.

5. If you didn€™t enjoy it, did you stick with it? Why? Why not?

I did enjoy it - but there were times early on where I wondered (like you do in any new group), if they liked me, and was shy about making the first move to invite people over etc. There were 5 of them who had been introduced prior to our formal class (since our group didn't start till our babies were over 3 months due to xmas). Because of that I felt left out at times - ironically, they are the ones I am now closest to.

6. Will I be a bad mum if I don€™t go? No.

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization? Exposure to different people, activities etc.

---

3 years down the track (nearly) I still catch up weekly with myy friends from MG. Our husbands have met, we have joint birthday parties and we are just about to setup a more formal playgroup in a local hall again.

I am so glad I went along. For me, it was important. I couldn't afford to do lots of acitvities so it was good socialisation and a chance to meet other mums. None of my friends have kids so we would have been pretty lonely without the group.

I have NEVER experienced rivalry, competition, bitchiness etc. We are all very supportive without being too "you must do that" about advice.

#8 scasey77

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:02 PM

1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group?

I did. I wanted to use it as a way to meet others that had a child my age because none of my friends with kids lived close.

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group?

In WA they are organised by the child health nurse. Wen she came to visit me at home after I had Cate she explained when te next groups would be starting - they start one a month. She explained that the first 6 weeks we would meet at the community health centre and she would go through various topics. At the 4th or 5th meeting she asked anyone that wanted to meet up once the group sessions finished to put their names and contact details on a sheet. She gave a copy to eac of us and we took it from there and oragnised our on meet ups.

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently?

As I said above the first 6 weeks were planned for us. After that we decided to keep meeting once a week as each others houses. We are still doing that now almost 3 years later.

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality?

I think I have been very lucky in that a majority of us get along. A few have dropped off along the way and I don't know why that was - whether they felt they didn't fit in or what. We have differences and different ways of parenting but none of us feel the need to comment on each other. Really it is just a get together for us as adults to have an outlet and discuss things that are on our minds. They have become some good friends.

5. If you didn’t enjoy it, did you stick with it? Why? Why not?

I love mine

When I’m given advice, often people say, don’t worry, you’ll learn all this at your mothers group. So I guess what I’m essentially asking is… is it mandatory?

6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go?


No - You can discuss any questions you have with your health nurse or other people you know. I did find the initial sessions helpful in gaining a bit of knowledge.

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization?

For me the main benefits are:

- having an outlet to discuss all things kids related. You will be surprised how much it helps to know others are going through te exact same tings as you are and that your child is no different to the norm most of the time.

- having kids around that are the same age as mine has been great, especially as they get older. Having kids to go to the park with and invite to birthday parties etc

- big support network, particularly as we don't have family close by

8. If you never went/had no interest in RL mothers groups, why?

N/A


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#9 RosiePosie

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:06 PM

I'm going to be lazy and just answer all in one tongue.gif

My son and I have been attending MG once a week since he was 4 weeks old - he's now 3.5 years old smile.gif We were also linked together at the local MCH centre and met there for the first 7 weeks, then moved onto taking turns to each host (lunch, bubbly and cake were a must!). During the early months, these sessions went all day nearly ph34r.gif Once the kids were on the move, we found a local playgroup centre that we 'hire' for the year in our timeslot - it's cheap and has more than enough to entertain our kids both inside and out, plus tea and coffee supplied for the mums biggrin.gif

I find we all have similar values but slightly different parenting styles. We all get along well and there's no cliqueyness (7 x mums, 7 x 3.5 y.o boys and numerous second children). I'm the only single parent in the group but mostly it doesn't matter - we all have things to whinge about! Also about half went back to work and half are SAHM's. Everyone is respectful of each other and understands the difficulties of both situations so again, no issues there.

It's definitely been a sanity saver for me. I'm not sure how well I would have coped with new-motherhood plus a marriage breakdown without the support of my MG.

My advice would be to definitely try it out and give it a chance - like you, other people might take time to 'warm up' so don't be put off if it feels a bit competitive or awkward in the beginning. Everyone just gets thrown together after all! It takes time to build friendships but the one's I've formed are life-long I'm sure smile.gif
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#10 Magnolia

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:18 PM

Wow. Thanks for all the replies everyone. I've read everything you've written. I guess I have nothing to lose, if I just give it a go.

So the general consensus seems to be that they are organised post birth almost like ante natal classes, am I right? and taken by midwife or nurse? Like baby 101? Then if you click, you continue to meet up informally?

I suppose what I was worried about is I can be a bit odd or quirky at times and tongue.gif was just a bit worried about fitting in. Also you hear all these horror stories about how competitive and b*tchy mothers can be, I just don't think it's something I would handle well.

It's really great to hear that there are really positive mums groups out there. smile.gif

#11 beachgurl

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:24 PM



1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group? I did

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group? We all went to the local baby health centre and were given a list of everyone's names if we wanted to catch up. One of the more organised mums sent us all an email to arrange a catch-up

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently? about 3 months. once a week.

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality? Yes, most of them were a bit older and in a profession were very very comfortable in our job roles but NFI about parenting.

5. If you didn’t enjoy it, did you stick with it? Why? Why not? I didn't know anyone in the area so really wanted to make the effort to get out there. We had our catch-ups at the local beach which was quite awful in August/Sep with the windy weather. Eventually our group fizzled cos it was just too hard in a park . turns out there was an offshoot group that continued to meet at their houses but I wasn't invited. so the majority of the committed ones didn't need to brave the beach so stopped going.

When I’m given advice, often people say, don’t worry, you’ll learn all this at your mothers group. So I guess what I’m essentially asking is… is it mandatory? no. All of the other mums breastfed and a lot had bad sleepers so I found that was all they talked about. i didn't really learn from them. I really just wanted to get out of the house with other mums.

6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go? no. The kids are too young to care less about being with other babies. It is more just for you to have a place to hang with other mums with babies. if you already have a few circles of friends or relatives you can hang out with then I don't think the child will miss out on anything.

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization? None that I could see. My baby wasn't even crawling when our group fizzled. However if it is a group that sticks together for years it would be great for your child to be in that group. Even now at 15 months my little one doesn't play with other kids.

8. If you never went/had no interest in RL mothers groups, why?
[/quote]


#12 Magnolia

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE(claire_p @ Oct 6 2010, 12:56 PM) View Post



The first 4 weeks through the health centre we learnt alot but after that it was mainly just catching up with the girls for chats, advice, stories etc. You dont have to go, but I wanted to to meet some other Mums so the kids had some friends because they have no cousins or anything to play with and none of my friends had kids yet.



That's a good point. Only one couple we know has a child.

#13 lizabear

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:32 PM

You don't have to join a mothers group but honestly I can't recommend it enough. I have friends forever, my son has friends and it gives you something to do once a week.

My MG was and still is our rock for each other, we cry, we laugh, we listen and hug, we party!

We have even had a group holiday and after 3 years still rock solid and now into our third generation of kids.

I adore my mothers group, they are my best friends wub.gif
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#14 Magnolia

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:56 PM

QUOTE(scasey77 @ Oct 6 2010, 01:32 PM) View Post


- having an outlet to discuss all things kids related. You will be surprised how much it helps to know others are going through te exact same tings as you are and that your child is no different to the norm most of the time.




That's another good point. I guess there's only so much you can learn from books wink.gif .

How sweet Lizabear wub.gif . Onto your 3rd lot of kids! They must be some speical women!

#15 Avery

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 02:13 PM

1. How many of you as first time mums joined a mothers group? I did.

2. How did you meet/make contact with other women to form the mothers group? We formed our own with a few people from antenatal classes. This happened after we had the babies - I saw one of the other ladies down the street, she knew someone who knew someone etc - thats a small town for you laugh.gif

3. How long did you attend mothers group for? How frequently? Irregularly for about 6 months. Then I just stopped going. We usually just rotated going to each others homes

4. Did you find you had much in common with the other mothers? Values? parenting styles? even just personality? Honestly, I found the only thing I had in common was that we had babies of the same age, and that we lived in the same town.

5. If you didn’t enjoy it, did you stick with it? Why? Why not?
When I’m given advice, often people say, don’t worry, you’ll learn all this at your mothers group. So I guess what I’m essentially asking is… is it mandatory?

I didnt stick with it. I stuck it out for 6 months but found the other ladies too quick to compare and judge. I had a particularly rough time with DD and all their "motherhood is sunshine and roses" talk gave me the sh!ts. A few of the girls started to get quick clicky and I just didnt need the drama

6. Will I be a bad mum if I don’t go? No. Not all all. I started going because I wanted to do the best by DD, but the group wasnt right for me and only made me feel worse about myself.

7. What benefits are there for baby/child? Socialization? Thaid say socialisation. DD has no cousins and our friends have no children of her age. If she had cousins/friends I wouldnt have been so worried

BUT
Having said all that I have since found a beautiful playgroup with wonderful mummies and a great group of kids of all ages.
Mother groups arent the only option, and sometimes you need to try a few options out before you find something that works for you. Its scary (im quite shy too) but Ive found DD has just blossomed with her social skills since joining playgroup 2 months ago
"It's impossible" said pride.
"It's risky" said experience.
"It's pointless" said reason.
"Give it a try" whispered the heart...




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