Mum groups – ‘like going on a date and feeling out of your comfort zone’

I won’t lie some days I think it’s probably easier to stay in but then the guilt kicks in and know I’m not giving them an enriching experience of life and they have to get use to the world outside.

I feel odd going to baby groups but I’m purposely making a point of going because it’s good to talk to other mum’s and good for the children to experience other children. But walking in is still very intimidating, especially when you’re going to a group with parents with one child. Why do I feel odd? It’s a bit like going on a date except with lots of different people to choose who you talk to, making small talk, feeling out of your comfort zone, wishing that someone will talk to you or you making the first move and hoping they’ll want to converse back.

As for the one child thing, having twins is very different to having just one child I’ve learnt. It’s hard to explain but when talking about two children I feel sometimes can make the conversation a little unbalanced, you’re trying to relate to their situation but you’re comparing it with two children so I feel like I end up talking a lot more than what I intend to and who likes someone who talks about themselves to much?

So I’ve been to a few local breastfeeding groups in the last two weeks. The first session went well as the girls were behaving. The centre doesn’t allow for prams – a logistical nightmare. I managed to get the receptionist to hold a baby whilst I took apart the carrycots and carried them in whilst I park the vehicle outside. I knew if I was to go again I would need to think of an alternative because putting my children back on to the frame was difficult.

The second session was terrible. I was really late, both girls wanted food and there was no couch space so I gave up trying to breastfeed and went for a bottle at a breastfeeding clinic 🤦 Both of them were crying and I was trying to have this conversation with a Mum just made impossible by my upset children. I felt like the worst mum. One of the ladies who runs the clinic ended up helping out and had to rearrange the order of who they were talking to because I couldn’t cope. Eventually when I did talk to the Mum, I offered to go for walks of meet up anytime for chats etc and felt I was probably sounding desperate when she reeled off all the things she did which were keeping her busy. I felt like a failure.

The socialising is really tricky. I find small talk hard. You want to ask questions to them but without being to invasive. You want to discuss issues or debate parenting methods but you might clash ideas. I think it’s similar to dating as you feel vulnerable because you’re in a new situation, you’re trying to get to know the person but you don’t want to overstep those boundaries, will you end up meeting up again? Possibly?

Before I gave birth I was so big I didn’t leave my house for about three months, I couldn’t drive and was miserable. For three months I haven’t really been able to go out with twin’s, its very difficult, I thought they’re a bit young still and they had health issues. When they reached three months I knew I needed to get out for my sanity and as I have given up my job it’s important I make some new friends.

I recently downloaded Mummy Social an app for mums to meet each other for cuppas or group meet ups. Making the profile reminded me of setting up an online dating profile. I felt really intimidated at first, how much information should I put out there? What if no one wants to be my friend? What if no one likes me? It was bloody horrible as if I was back at school desperate for someone to like me.

I’ve never really been any good at friendships, I have my best friends but they all live far away. I don’t really socialise anymore, I haven’t in a long time, only really with work colleagues. So I knew making Mum friends was going to be difficult but I was willing to try. I scoured the app looking for Mums with a daughter of a similar age. I messaged one and never heard from them, it was disheartening.

One day I received a message:

We ended up arranging to meet for a cuppa. I can’t tell you how nervous I was. Honestly it felt like I was going on a blind first date. I’m so glad I did it as she is lovely and so like minded. We talked about how difficult it is, how we both love Harry Potter, what dummies we prefer or creams we use, and our plans for the future.

I finally felt that I was getting somewhere. Maybe I can do this. Maybe I am capable of making mummy friends.

Tomorrow I’m going to my first twin social group with my sister and her twins. I can’t lie and say that I’m not nervous because I am. Why? Because I haven’t got that ‘excuse’ card for having twins, they’re all going to have twins! What if the mums have clique already and I’m not welcome? What if I end up acting desperate and the other mum’s hate me? It’s like I’m back in the dating game again but I’m ready to put myself out there.

Have you ever been intimidated by mum groups? Do you think it’s a bit like dating? How did you get over the fear? Share with us your experiences by writing a comment below. Thanks for reading.

Love B


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