By LISA MITCHELL
Mother’s group really is a lifesaver during those first few years of parenting uncertainty.
I managed to keep the same mother’s group for both of my children and we soon became experts at ‘parking’ our prams at our favourite cafe. It was like a clever jigsaw puzzle. And we’d stay there for hours. Because there’s nothing that coffee, cake and conversation can’t cure.
But at the end of the day, mother’s group is still a group of women, and women by nature, are a little competitive. We can’t help ourselves.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I can look back and laugh at a lot of the things I did and said, now.
Here are seven things nobody at mother’s group confesses to, but we are all guilty of. Come on, you know you’ve done at least two of them.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this series of posts is sponsored by Carefree. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
1. My kid wasn’t sleeping through the night.
Those first few foggy days, weeks and months of mother’s group were just terrifying. I constantly felt like I was failing and I thought I was the only one feeling this way. Most of the other mums in my group seemed so much more confident and together. So when their babies started ‘sleeping through’, I said mine was as well, but he wasn’t.
My son woke up every two-and-a-half hours to feed for the first month and by three months was only sleeping for four hours at the most, and not every night. But everyone else in my group was telling me about the progress they were making with their baby’s sleeping routines, so I said my son was ‘sleeping through’. I felt like such a fraud.
I later found out that for a baby to be considered ‘sleeping through’ it just means they are sleeping for a five hour stretch, so I wasn’t too far off.
2. I didn’t know what I was doing.
At our weekly meeting I was happy to share my parenting failures, as long as they were funny, non-life-threatening ones like dropping their food or not putting their nappy on properly, causing their wee to go all over their clothes.
Ha ha, funny.
But I’d never share the really serious ones, like when my son rolled off the bed. I didn’t actually know he could roll yet. He landed on his face, on carpet thank goodness. That THUD still lives in my brain. Or the time I cut off a bit of the top of his finger while doing his nails.
Way too ashamed to fess up to these.
3. My husband was being really helpful.
My group seemed to have partners who were mostly completely unhelpful, so I kept the fact that my husband was quite helpful and supportive to myself. I’d nod sympathetically at their stories of how their partners never got up at night, not wanting to tell them that my husband and I took turns.
I didn’t want to make them feel bad, did I?
My husband wasn’t perfect, but he was doing way better than most of their partners who sounded like they needed a bit of a kick up the butt.