On Sunday I was honoured to attend the 1st birthday party of one of my yoga babies. It was wonderful to watch the group of mums who met at their first baby yoga class come together and support each other, months after their first class. They are a group of ladies from different walks of life that bonded over their babies and have continued with an amazing friendship.
Watching these lovely ladies got me thinking at how important community is to mums. Whether you have just had your first baby, second baby or even on to your fifth baby, having support from women who are at the same stage as yourself is incredibly important.
Taking that first step into socialisation with a baby can be incredibly daunting. Many women have not had to ‘make friends’ since they were at school/university, or it may have been a few years between their children, and they have found that their ‘original’ mummy friends have now moved onto a totally different stage in their lives.
A mum may enter a class and seem absolutely fine, but underneath she may be a bag of nerves. So many people hide their anxieties; and hide them very well. From mild anxiety of attending a first class and not knowing where to park, to full blown anxiety where a mum could have a panic attack at the thought of entering into a room full of people who she feels will judge her, or the mum who is suffering with postnatal depression and just getting out of bed and seeing to her baby’s needs is a struggle.
What helps these mums is support and a community where mums can relax, feel like they can talk and know that they will not be judged. To have a rally of women (2,3,4 or more) who you know has your back makes life a whole lot more bearable. When you can turn up to a class and know that you can say that you are having a rubbish day and there will be sympathetic and empathetic people who understand. My groups are also a safe place, where women can confide in me and with each other. Where time is always given to those who need to talk. The kettle is always on, and I am always here to listen. Supporting mums is something that is incredibly important to me.
I am so proud that through the channels of baby massage and baby yoga, mums get to bond with their baby. They learn to communicate with their baby. They increase their confidence in handling their baby but just as important they socialise and receive support, not just from me but from other mums too.
Being a mum is incredibly hard but with support from a community it becomes a little bit easier. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to raise a mother.