Monday, 7 October 2013

Billy No Mates!

I"m the first of my friends to have a baby - to be honest until recently I didn't know anyone at all who had children except for a friend's older sister who had a baby last December. When organising a wedding lots of brides decide to have a "no children" policy and state this on their invites. We didn't need to do this because not one of our guests had children! I don't think 29 is particularly young to have your first baby but it's just worked out that my friends aren't quite there in their lives yet. 

Mr HNW and I chose to have a baby when we did for a few reasons. It was something we'd been thinking about for a little while and I wanted to do it when we were as young as possible (to get the pregnancy and childbirth out of the way!). Also, I wanted to stay at home with any children for a few years and financially, it made sense to do that before we had bought a house (we are currently renting) and had the pressure of paying a mortgage.

Because of this, I've really had to make an effort to get out there and meet some other mums. My friends are great but they all have a lot going on in their lives at the moment which means that I don't really see them that often. Being at home with a young baby means you really need to get out of the house as much as you can. On days that J is being difficult I often find just putting him in the car or buggy and getting out is the best solution. 

So, I've basically been whoring myself around South Dublin for the last few months! I felt like I was starting a new school or something and that I'd have to walk up to women with prams in the street and beg them to be my friend. Luckily, it didn't come to this but I really had to make a conscious effort to get myself out there and meet new people. The good thing is that a lot of women are in a similar situation so having a baby is actually a great way to meet new people and expand your circle. I've met some really lovely people who are now good friends.

I met other mums in a number of ways. I am a member on and started chatting online to a few mums that were due to have babies the same month that I had J. It was great sharing our pregnancies with each other and after we had had our babies, we set up a private facebook group and now chat almost every day. It's been invaluable to be able to talk to other mums whose babies are at the same stage as J and see how they are all coping. Sadly, we're dotted all over the country but we are planning on doing a meet-up coming up to Christmas to meet in person and catch up. 

I have also met up with some other mums who post on  and live in Dublin who have older children which again, has been invaluable. It's reassuring to know that they all struggled too at the beginning but have raised healthy, happy children who are now flying around the place! 

My local health centre has a breastfeeding support group that I go to most weeks. Not only can I get J weighed and chat with the PHN I also get to meet other mums with babies of a similar age, who are also breastfeeding. What's great about it is that the mums all live in my local area so it's been great for being able to meet to go for walks and also when I pop to the shops now I usually meet one of them pushing their prams around as well. It's really made me feel like I am part of a community and I was surprised how much that has helped.

I did a baby massage class with Maggie Burns in Mount Merrion ( While I was interested in baby massage for J, I mainly did these classes as a way to meet other mums. The format of the class is 1 hour of learning the baby massage techniques and one hour to have a coffee and chat. We had a great group and I've kept in touch with a number of the mums. We use whatsapp to keep in touch and we also meet up every week or so to go to the baby cinema in Dundrum or for lunch.

As I'm interested in cloth nappies I also went along to a ""napuccino" - a coffee meet up organised through the cloth nappies Ireland facebook page. It was a great opportunity to meet other mums who used cloth nappies and get some advice. It is a bit daunting walking up to a group of mums who you don't know but I've found everybody I've met so welcoming, I think because we understand what it's like to need some company and reassurance.

There's also a lot of other ways to meet people that I haven't tried yet like local parent and toddler meetings or further classes (you can do classes in baby yoga or cooking for weaning babies). There's a great choice out there.

On that note, I should really get to get to bed. Tomorrow is another day of being out and about, it's tiring being a socialite!


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