In an ideal world my mum would live next door and my best friend would be across the road. I would spend my maternity gossiping over lattes in Starbucks and have regular babysitters on hand so that I could still get to the gym, cinema, shopping , the list is endless.
Unfortunately ‘ideal’ is a far cry from my actual situation.
I live about 4 and a half hours from my home town so see my parents every few months. I have three highly ambitious sisters all perusing careers in different cities and my best friends live no where near me either! Of course I am hugely proud of all these wonderful women in my life, but it still sucks that at the time in my life where I get to take a breather from my own career, I can’t spend anywhere as much time as I would like with them.
I am very much a social butterfly, I love meeting new people and keeping busy. From my own experience I believe loneliness and isolation are strongly related to depression. As I had anticipated that I might struggle with this during my maternity leave, I decided to be proactive in trying to find a way to combat this.
I dived head first into the below.
I came across this on Instagram during the very beginning of my maternity leave. I was stuck on the couch with a very fussy newborn and looking at every mummy hashtag possible to pass the time.
MummyBuddy is a wonderful buddy-up programme that connects mums to be with mums. It gives the ‘mum to be’ a solid go-to for any questions about pregnancy, birth etc and gives the ‘mummy’ a chance to feel confident in their motherhood journey and pass on some wisdom. Of course, primarily, there is the benefit of a new friendship for both.
I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea, and it really appealed to me because I would have loved to have done something like this while I was pregnant, especially being so far from my mum, I had so many questions. I am fortunate enough to work in the nursery product industry so I had plenty of people to ask, but still felt like I was becoming a nuisance as every answer I received triggered another question for me.
I am thoroughly loving being involved in this and have actually had the perfect match by the programme coordinators. As the programme is still relatively new, I am really excited to see how it develops!
Initially I heard about this in the office, and admittedly I wasn’t convinced by the idea. Curiosity got the better of me and I have since been converted to a musher.
Aptly described as ‘tinder for mums’ the mush app allows you to create a personal profile and meet like minded mums in a close proximity to you. Similar to tinder you can select possible new connections based on other peoples profiles, if you both choose to connect , hey presto, you potentially have a new ‘mummy bestie’.
There is also a features ‘mush up’ aspect where you can organize local meetups.
Your day’s no longer have to be filled repeatedly with peppa pig and thoughts of gin! (disclaimer – this will still happen frequently )
Facebook Mummy Groups
2am. You are awake doing a night feed, and your significant other (with their useless nipples!! ) is snoring loudly beside you while you contemplate ways to get away with murder. There are thousands of other mums in the same position at the very same time. Pop onto a mummy’s Facebook group and exchange some murder ideas. I absolutely love 2am clubs and they make night feeds so much better.
I joined several of these Facebook groups while pregnant, to get advice and recommendations for baby products and they did not disappoint. It is actually how I found my travel system, which I love, but that’s a whole other blog!
There are groups for support and advice on almost anything from breastfeeding to baby wearing.
Even though I have not met many of these women in person, they have made me laugh, cry, and feel so confidant as a mother by sharing their experiences of motherhood with me.
Maternity leave has been made so much more fun, and less lonely by my mummy friends.