Wow! Who knew babies have such a good social life? During my maternity leave I imagined that I would complete home projects, read novels, bake cakes and the house would be spotless because babies nap a lot right? DELUSIONAL!!! If I’m not spending time with family then Hayden is out living the baby high life. We’ve done everything from baby massage, play groups, baby yoga and my absolute favourite…baby sensory!!! Now although Hayden is having a great time (I think) these still fill me with a great sense of anxiety.
Although I’ve lived here for over 2 years now, I haven’t really made any friends in the area so unless I wanted to become a complete hermit – don’t get me wrong, some days being a hermit is all I want to do and is very much needed occasionally – I knew I had to ‘get myself out there’. I have no qualms admitting that I am possibly one of the most socially awkward people I know and I find it quite difficult to even talk to people I don’t know let alone make friends. I think this stems from school days and just never really, despite my best efforts, having a solid close group of friends. What can I say? Teenage girls are mean!!! Now don’t get me wrong, I do have friends from uni and work but no one ‘just down the road’ that I can call and say, “Hey! Fancy popping over?!” With none of my family super close by either what I really wanted (and needed) to do was make some mum friends. That was half the reason we joined an antenatal group and luckily they were all lovely and we’ve stayed in touch.
When you think of baby groups you paint this lovely crayola image in your head of your baby enjoying the activities while you just chat tiredly yet happily about how much sleep your little one is getting and poo (mums speak A LOT about poo – baby poo that is). Well babies have a mind of their own. For example babies have to be in the right mood for baby massage, I’m not sure we actually got much massage done lots of wriggling and rolling but not much massage. Meanwhile it seemed that looking around the room all the other mums were serenely massaging their calm babies whilst I was wrestling a slippery little human who just wanted to see how quickly he could move every limb all at the same time! Baby play group didn’t go so well either, after about 20 minutes of me waving stuff about in his face he got fed up, grumpy and then just fell asleep. OK, that one may have been a mistake as he’d probably enjoy that more when he’s crawling – we’ll try again. At first during these times I felt that I was being judged by other mums, was I doing something wrong? Why did I always seem to have the baby that cried and didn’t want to join in? But I persevered and kept going and soon I learnt that this wasn’t the case at all. Every mum and baby has a bad week and when someone looks at you, while you’re panically rocking your baby in a corner, they’re not giving you a judging glance, they’re looking at you with a knowing understanding of “don’t worry, I’ve been there too.” And I needn’t have been so anxious either. Most people that go to these groups are going for the same reason – to meet people and make friends. So if you’re a little more confident than me and if you notice someone looking a tad shy and awkward then say hello and talk to them, believe me they want you to!
Side note – baby sensory is literally my favourite thing and the highlight of my week. It’s a plus that Hayden seems to love it too. He’s been going since he was 6 weeks old and he is so engaged with all the activities now compared to when we first started going and he’d just sleep through pretty much the whole class! Apparently they can still learn when they’re asleep though you just feel a bit of a fool doing actions to a sleeping baby! New life agenda – just keep having babies so I can go to baby sensory forever!!!