Monthly Parenting Magazine

A love letter to new mums to supporting each other

A love letter to new mums to supporting each other

Carly Feature

With International Women’s Day coming up on March 8th, Absolutely Mama Editor Carly Glendinning recalls her first months with a newborn and how important the connection with other new mums was…

Scrolling through Instagram, we’re bombarded with so many perfect images of new motherhood, it can be easy to forget that sometimes it can be pretty tough. 

Before my daughter arrived, I imagined cradling her in my arms as she slept peacefully, long spring walks pushing the pram, and coffee dates with other mamas. The reality was that she didn’t sleep easily in those first few months, she hated being put down in the pram, and was too curious about everything going on around her to let me stay still long enough to drink a hot beverage.

If I’m honest, it took me until nearly her first birthday to really get into the groove of motherhood. It was around about this time that she stopped needing me to rock her to sleep several times a night, our breastfeeding journey became easier, and I started to really nail her routine. 

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Image Copy

‘It takes a village’ has become a popular phrase on Instagram, but I think it gets used so much that sometimes we forget how much support new mums really need. My ‘village’ has definitely been my husband (who now gets out to our daughter more than I do in the night, because he can get back off to sleep easier than I can), and my parents (who have been amazing with helping out with childcare once a week). 

My family don’t live around the corner though, and being in London, I’ve found it so important to connect with other mamas in my area. I’ve tried it all – antenatal groups, mum ‘dating’ apps, baby classes, WhatsApp groups, just-by-chance playground meetings, and chats at the nursery gates.

Pre-motherhood, I might not have found much common ground with some of the women I’ve met. But those mum-to-mum chats about grizzly teething babies, food refusal, and poonamis have saved my sanity, and definitely made becoming a mother all the sweeter. Even if they were done whilst I jiggled my baby, wistfully allowing my coffee to get cold.

I remember in those first days seeing other mamas pushing their toddlers around the park, whilst I struggled to soothe my pram-hating newborn. I would worry that other mums might shoot me ‘you’re doing it all wrong’ looks. What I got instead was smiles, that said ‘hang in there, you’re doing just fine’. 

Now I’m the one pushing the toddler, I always remember how important those fleeting (but all-knowing) smiles between mamas really are. 

Read more parenting advice here.