We all met at our local Child and Family Health Clinic in Charlestown where Wendy and Michelle would lead the Joey's groups for mums and babies from newborn to 3 months. These weekly sessions were a great place to learn and support each other but what none of us realised is how it was going to shape the next few years (and I'm sure into the future) of our lives.
We started with a group of nine mums and babies all within 6 weeks of the same age, for the first few months we would meet as often as possible, sometimes daily for chats and walks from Merewether Beach up to Strzelecki lookout and then exercises in the park on the way back to Swells for hot chocolates and coffee's. As our babies got older and we started returning back to work our catch-ups got less frequent but we still remained close getting out for dinner as often as possible. We shared our babies first swimming lessons, first crawl and steps together and now we share potty training advice and how to cope with a toddler and a newborn on a daily basis.
Now over two years on we have lost one treasured friend, her husband and her little girl back to the UK and our group now stands at eight. With four new babies and another 5 on the way (can you work the math out on that one?) we still try to get together weekly for dinner or a playdate at the park and it's wonderful to see the children playing together and when possible the partners getting together for a spot of cricket, poker and other manly pursuits.
Although life gets in the way sometimes and we can't always see everyone frequently we keep in touch with emails and facebook and I'll be the first to admit that these wonderful women keep me sane and feeling completely supported, I always know I can call on someone for last minute advice, babysitting and coffee's on those days where I just need to get out of the house.
The best advice I can give to a new mum is to get yourself along to your local Child and Family Health Clinic so that you too can have the same fabulous support as your baby grows.