With first pregnancies women can find they become the social novelty, receiving lots of extra attention! During childbirth women should be at the centre of everyone’s attention. In the early days of new motherhood women can be drowning in well-wisher attention. Then, within days or weeks … it can all dramatically change, as the drudgery of 24-7 menial domesticity begins to take its toll.
One of the huge sensations that strikes nearly all first time mothers sooner or later, is an overpowering, almost paralyzing, feeling of aloneness … but there is a simple cure: ALL mothers need the friendship of other mothers, particularly ones who are at the same parenting phase – in this case, other women with their first young baby.
Of course it can also be wonderful to have the wisdom of an experienced mother too, for sure – but what a first-time mother can really do with, is a big dose of seeing and hearing other first-time mothers talk cathartically. It is the best cure to the I’m-the-only-one-feeling-like-this syndrome.
Some women find it naturally easy to make friends; some women find it an unnerving struggle. But either way there are five New-Motherhood Golden Rules which can be useful to follow.
Find a great coffee group:
Know that some women we gel with straight away, and other women we will never gel with – that doesn’t matter – but it is normal for mothers to need other mothers … nature doesn’t intend us to be isolated parents. Maybe it could be the mothers from your ante-natal classes, maybe the mothers from a new-baby course, maybe joining the local Plunket or Parent Centre coffee groups … or maybe forming a coffee group of your own – you only need 3 or 4 ladies with babies around the same age to have a potentially wonderfully beneficial coffee group. And then meet every week if you can for coffee at someone’s house – perhaps too become the person who volunteers most often to have everyone at her place, for hospitality is friendship.
Humans may not always be directly responsible for what happens in their life, but they are responsible for their emotional responses (the exception of course being disorders such as Post Natal Depression). So let us all remember gratitude, and the Law of Attraction – like attracts like … smile at other people. Smiling starts conversations and starts friendships. Smiling eliminates sadness and eliminates loneliness.
In the corporate world the buzz-word is ‘network’, but for Mums mingling means getting out and about socializing with other women to meet others to ‘click’ with. When we get past any outside-comfort-zone feelings and allow life to unfold, motherhood can open up vast quantities of potential friendships. It’s sad to hear mothers say things like “Oh I’m not a La Leche sort of mother”, or “Play-Centre’s not my scene”, or “I’m not a coffee group person” – without ever giving it a go. So do try the baby-massage classes, try the library story-time, try the infant swimming, try the infant music-movement classes, try the baby-gym classes, visit the local crèche or community centre. Whatever is happening in your local area, give it a whirl.
Be a Great Conversationalist:
There are two simple rules to being a person people love talking with. 1: Two ears and one mouth means listening twice as much as talking. 2: Say “Uh-huh”, “Oh” and “Really!” a lot. These days conversation is also no longer limited to physically using vocal-chords, as we’ve got access to website chat-rooms and weblogs such as Littlies own Forums. These are wonderful ways for even the most geographically isolated mother to feel she isn’t alone in the trials and tribulations of motherhood.
Be a Great Girlfriend:
Help another mother whenever possible, without being asked. Such as folding a girlfriend’s pile of washing while she’s putting her baby down to sleep, or insisting on watching the baby so the girlfriend can shop without a pram. It’s the pay-it-forward ethic.
But most of all forget the past, ignore the future, and just enjoy the Now of whoever your good-naturedness can be pleasant to today – we are always repaid in kind!