11 strangers in a room. Different ages, different interests, completely different lives. Nothing in common but one thing: our babies were born in the same month. Mother’s group. New parents group. What ever you want to call it. It’s a bunch of women thrust together because their waters broke at the same time.
Worth it? If you’d asked me at the start, or even after the first 6 formal sessions I would have hesitated. But nearly a year on and it’s a resounding yes. These women have become a support network I didn’t even know I needed. A group of women who are in the thick of it with me, literally elbow deep in it sometimes. We laugh together. Cry together. Support each other through sleepless nights and offer advice when it’s needed. They are at the exact same developmental stage as Hunter. Something that no friend or family member can really understand. Sure they might have had kids but how quickly you forget what it was like. I don’t even know how to hold a new born anymore. I'm too absorbed in Hunter's current stage and to have a group friends who relate entirely is invaluable.
We have kept a weekly catchup going since the beginning, attending when we can. Sharing our highs and lows of parenthood. Celebrating the changes that each baby makes. Watching them grow and change together in amazement. We don’t compare. We don’t judge. We simply watch the relationship between our babies develop.
Would I have been friends with these women if not for mother’s group? Probably not. You won’t find me at the races, listening to classical music or eating at the Pancake Parlour. But we have something much stronger that binds us together than interests and food preferences. A shared understanding of motherhood and an appreciation for every nappy explosion, every sleeplessness night and every teething cry.
Perhaps we were lucky and landed in a good group, perhaps not all mother’s groups are like this one. Either way though, I’m glad our babies came when they did and I’m glad these women were the strangers sitting in that room with me at the beginning.