We used to huddle in coffee shops, my new mum friends and I, corralled in by pushchairs, sipping coffee in a quiet corner, occasionally whipping out a boob or a bottle to feed our babies.We would share sympathetic looks over a latte when a little one cried or one of us had to carry that tiny bundle into the changing room for a nappy change. We were all tired, actually beyond tired, but those meeting every week or two kept us going. Part of that was the caffeine and part of that was the conversation and support. None of us knew what we were doing. We were all first time mums with various birth stories and none of them what our NCT class had prepared us for. A few of us knew that despite our hopes for a natural delivery with a lovely, caring midwife, we’d see the rest of our pregnancy journey as it had begun – under the care of a consultant. Others had hoped for plain sailing but still had a couple of spanners in the works. Whatever the story and ending, we had got there in the end and we were muddling our way through as best we knew. But we had taken something vital from that NCT ante-natal class and it wasn’t learning how to build a den with a sheet and two chairs while our partner’s rubbed our backs. That something was each other. We had all met when we were heavily pregnant and… View Post

I am sitting on a sofa across from one of my best friends. We are very similar in many ways, although very different in others, but our core values are broadly similar. We get each other in a way that many people don’t. She lives at the other end of the country from me so I don’t see her as often I used to. She is in the area, travelling for business, so calls in to see us for a quick brew on the way to her destination about an hour further on. It’s lovely to see her as I’ve not met up with her for about three months, all good intentions to go up for the day to see her and her daughter put to bed due to a run of illness in Small Boy and a bunch of other commitments on both our parts. Hubs is putting Small Boy to bed. I’ve already spent 20 minutes of walking and cajoling and false starts at getting him in. He used to be good at going to sleep (staying asleep was a different matter) but the past couple of months have been tough – illness, clocks changing and probably the onset of the terrible twos have all built up into the current horror of bed time. I long for the days when you could ” is it bed time” and he’d climb up the stairs, holding “Babbit”, and wait patiently by his cot. My friend is telling me that she knows… View Post

My mummy friends and I used to meet in coffee shops when our babies were born. We would meet come rain or shine and huddle in corners catching up on our latest developments, sharing tips or war stories, keeping ourselves sane with humour and caffeine. In hindsight, the toughest thing about those meet ups was fitting in all the pushchairs. By the time babies were three months old we had our list of meet up venues refined. There were easily half a dozen venues around town where we could park, were quiet enough for the most easily distressed little ones, were breast feeding friendly, did good coffee, had decent baby changing facilities and a choice of cakes and snacks. All of these things were supremely important because as new mums we only left the house laden down with changing bags, nappies, extra wipes, and an unnecessary number of clothes changes. We hadn’t got to the stage of slipping in a nappy and a pack of wipes into our handbag and nipping out to Asda. These were our glory days in many ways because we actually got to talk. We had yet to officially stray into “play date” territory. Those meetings were all about us. Of course, once babies started to sit up and become more mobile we moved into soft play phase. There was one particularly venue that worked for us because it had a lot of parking and was based in a Tesco so you could pop and get a… View Post