Thursday, 12 February 2015

I'll Be There For You...

I was really lucky when I was on maternity leave with my first as two of my closest friends were off with me. There was no need for us to join any baby groups, or associate with any other mothers that were off, as we had each other. We could drink tea and moan about our other halves together and we all went back to work at roughly the same time. It was ace. It didn't matter that a few of my single friends had vanished into thin air and that others weren't bothered about stories of potty training doom and weaning woes.

Second time round? I wasn't so lucky. I was off with two small children, which in itself is really bloomin hard, but also I was alone. My other half works quite long hours and I felt very isolated. It was at this point I decided to write the blog. I was reading a lot of them and watching a lot of YouTube videos to keep me company. I tentatively joined twitter and then? Something shifted. I started to feel a little less lonely. I tapped into community filled with thousands and thousands of other new Mums. 

My lonely Mummy lifeline!


AXA PPP healthcare and Netmums recently did some research and found that a lot of Mums felt like I did. Over a quarter of new Mums feel lonely after they give birth and just under a quarter don't have family nearby to help out. Luckily? My rents were around to help here and there but when you want to moan about your husband or talk about who you fancy in Made in Chelsea? Well my Dad wouldn't be too interested.

Almost a fifth of mothers found that social media helped them feel connected. Since joining associations with forums like Netmums and twitter I have found a whole new group of 'Mum' friends. Women who don't mind me banging on about being tired all the time. I have even, gasp, met up with some of them! And one in particular, the very lovely Sarah from Taming Twins, has become a really good close friend.

40% of young mothers aged 18-24 don't attend antenatal classes. With a fifth of mothers older than that also not attending. Whilst these classes weren't for me, they are incredibly important if you want to make new 'Mum' friends. I opted for reaching out and organising my own playdates and even the odd tipsy afternoon tea with some of the women I met on twitter. Whilst social media is fun? Meeting people in the actual real life flesh. Chances are if you click on-line you will click even more face to face.

I met her on Twitter and she was normal! Wahoo!!!

The research by AXA PPP healthcare and Netmums also discovered that a third of Mums find becoming a Mother difficult. With 28% of them saying they had not really made any friends they can talk to about being a parent. Whilst the figures are not good there is some solace to be took in them. If you have just had a baby. And are fed up of being alone, chances are that somebody else is in the same position?

So next time you are at the local baby club and see someone you think you could get along with (I base this on their shoes. Or if they have a nice bag. I am aware this is shallow) pop over and ask how they are? Who knows within the fortnight you could be tucking into cake together whilst your kids nap...and maybe confessing you actually quite fancy Spencer from Made in Chelsea.

This post was written in collaboration with AXA PPP healthcare.

18 comments:

  1. I can totally relate to this. I'm the first one of my friends to have a baby, but luckily my sister was due 6 weeks after me! I have found so many lovely mummy friends through my YouTube and blog, don't know what I'd do without them! Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here! I have found a whole new group and it has really helped me. Glad you have too x

      Delete
  2. Social networking actually keeps me sane, I moved to the South to be with my OH who I met at uni, all my friends and family are in the North and I worked in hotels so no time for a social life. Now I'm a rather lonely SAHM because my anxiety was through the roof when I had Oliver. I've already vowed to myself that things will be better next time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah I am sorry. It keeps me sane too. It is really hard. I must admit am not one for socialising in baby groups as I never really have much to say! Hope next time you find it a little easier x

      Delete
  3. Oh love! Such a sweet post and it has been so lovely to have found such a friend through my blog. Hurrah for the Internet and MiC, saving the sanity of Mums everywhere! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HURRAH FOR NEW FRIENDS! Love you lots x

      Delete
  4. I saw this information on This Morning and felt as though I can relate to this too. Winter with twins, can be so isolating. Thanks goodness I made friends easily and had a fab support network. Great post and I hope it reaches lots of people in the same situation. Jess x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh god I bet it can. I bet you were a little bit housebound no? How awful! I hope it reaches a lot of people too xxx

      Delete
  5. I actually thought it would be easier to make friends at post natal groups and other baby/toddler groups, but I admit I have struggled. I have made one close mummy friend. It is interesting to know that such a high percent of ladies do find becoming a mum difficult, because it certainly does have it challenges!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a high percentage. Sometimes I found the groups can be a bit clique but then if you have found one you think is ace hold onto them tightly! x

      Delete
  6. I agree with Odd Socks & Lollipops about the difficulty meeting mums at baby groups.It is hard to turn conversation based around the "so how old is your one.?..I love their baby grow. .." type comments into a friendship as sometimes you won't see/get to sit with that person again for another few weeks. Just a case of trying week in n out I guess and eventually you can pluck up courage to suggest a meet up outside of the group. I Was lucky enough to meet a strong group of mums in antenatal classes but we're it not for them I'd be going stir crazy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so hard. I LOVE my kids but sometimes I want to talk about more than just weaning and potty training. It is good to try and meet outside the group so you can chat about there stuff x

      Delete
  7. I was in the same situation as you - lovely and lots of friends first time and second time everyone was back at work and I was alone with a shift working husband and two screaming kids. Oh the joy. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh the many joys of having a good three way weep. URGH x

      Delete
  8. The blogging community is like a virtual club! I am lucky and have been able to start minis and more with two friends I met at antenatal class - like you, the classes weren't for us but we went to meet other new mums. Having baby number two is a shocker and they do have to fend for themselves a bit more as baby number one knows how to try and steal the limelight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Defo it is like a little club! We all go to meet other people in the vein hope we can escape and chat together! x

      Delete
  9. I'm only 26 weeks along as a FTM to be, so haven't had the chance to go along to events or classes to make friends :) I'm slowly meeting people online and getting involved in watching youtube channels & reading blogs, I agree it does make you feel so much less alone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does! Blogs and social media is good and then try and find some mates close to home that you can go out with. Good luck! x

      Delete

leave me a comment! they make me happy bab...