parents

7 secrets nobody at Mothers Group confesses to.

Mother’s group really is a lifesaver.

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.

“My group seemed to have partners who were mostly completely unhelpful.

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

4. We formed a splinter group. 

I naturally got along better with some of the mums so we actually formed a sneaky splinter mother’s group. We met with our bigger group once a week but then secretly met for yum cha every week as well, just the four of us.

We are still really good friends and while we keep in touch with the others, we’re not as close. My splinter group are the ones I can be totally honest with and who I can text at 2am crying.

I’d be lost without them.

5. I had fertility problems. 

It took me years to get pregnant with my second child. Most of my mother’s group had their second children before I did. I didn’t want to talk about my fertility issues so kept it to myself but was asked quite often when I was having another one.

I think they eventually realised I might be struggling and stopped asking. But when I fell pregnant they were so incredibly happy and we all laughed and cried together. I used to fantasise about bringing my new baby to the group and the day I did was one of the best days of my life. I was so proud and they were proud of me. I love these women.

“We always talked about losing the baby weight while having coffee and cake.”

6. They were terrible diet buddies.

It always made me laugh that half the time we spent talking about our kids and their most recent achievements and the rest of the time we talked about our baby weight and how we planned to lose it – while eating cake and drinking coffee.

As our babies got older, some of us valiantly tried to be healthier. Like the time I announced I was on a cleanse and ordered peppermint tea while they ate banana bread and drank skim cappuccinos. What a horrible day that was. They almost pinched my nose and shoved banana bread down there but I swore I wasn’t dieting, and that I just wasn’t feeling well.

7. I was frustrated. 

My mother’s group was made up of mums of all different shapes and sizes and some of us recovered better than others. I was one of the only c-sections so I was having quite a hard time just standing and sitting. It eventually got better but I kept my discomfort to myself. They all seemed to be doing much better than I was.

I also kept my little leakage problem to myself. When would my pelvic floor start working again? I was padded up with light bladder leakage liners and little did they know every time I laughed or coughed I was reminded that I had a way to go before I was back to normal. Sadly that problem has continued to a degree and I still feel self-conscious buying the ‘old people’ products, but having  kids will sometimes do that to you. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one with that particular problem, but I wasn’t going to bring it up.

Now it’s your turn to spill… what secrets were you too afraid to share when you first became a mum?

Check out our gallery of the celebrity mums we’d most like to be in our mother’s group…

New Carefree Plus liners for Light Bladder Leakage absorb more fluid than period liners† but are still thin and discreet so you can stay comfy and dry all day, every day.

For a free sample, head to becarefree.com.au/plus

 ®Registered Trademark Johnson &Johnson †Compared to Carefree Original Liners

00:00 / ???