Motherhood

Community

Having never really been the most sociable of creatures, I’ve never really felt like I’ve had to have lots of people around me. Some people have hundreds of friends and always have to be busy seeing people, but a lot of the time I’m happy in my own space (and mind) and happy with my small group of close friends.

Or so I used to be.

Since becoming a Mother, I’ve begun to realise why community is integral to our lives and how it can really enhance your parenting experience. This is especially true if you’re a Stay At Home Mama, or if you work part-time.

The town I live in has a lovely community. When we first moved here I was 8.5 months pregnant, and it snowed a lot that winter… We live on top of a hill and I felt totally stranded and alone.

Especially when Nick went back to work after his paternity leave.

The first 6 months (and probably up to a year) of Busby’s life were tough; I didn’t really know anyone and everyone seemed to know each other, so I always felt like the outsider – even when I was included. My pre-Busby best friend lost interest in me pretty swiftly after giving birth, so the community on Twitter and through Blogging kept me sane. I honestly don’t know how I could have got through those months without the support from social media (thank you guys).

In the last 6-8 months Busby and I have started making friends (in the flesh) in our town and surrounding areas. In a past life the majority of my friends were male, but I have come to realise now that female friends (especially fellow Mothers) are a necessity; who else can sympathise when you’ve been up all night with a teething toddler? Who else can you moan about postpartum periods with? Who else understands your gin requirements without deeming you an alcoholic?

There are lots of benefits to community; from play-dates to get you and the toddler out of the house, to Mama-dates where prosecco and a good chat are required (sans toddler), to babysitting circles so you and your partner can have that rare date night.

I now understand why a community is so important in many cultures.

Has community enhanced your parenting experience?
Hannah

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The Reading Residence

8 Comments

  1. Sophie Wearing

    19th June 2014 at 8:49 am

    Loved this post, Hannah! I find the online community has been vital since having Ophelia. Im not the kind of person to go to groups or net mums meets, I traditionally find women’s small talk uninteresting and so whilst apparently coming across as sociable and outgoing, I actually prefer a less full social life! This proves tricky when you actually have a decent circle of friends. You articulate that feeling perfectly for me in that first paragraph. I guess it’s about staying true to yourself whilst also having access to support xx

  2. you baby me mummy

    19th June 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I think mummy friends are really important for support. I am always amazed at how wonderfully supportive the blogging community is. I have so many friends that don’t bother with me since I became a mum xx

  3. Franki

    20th June 2014 at 6:48 am

    Totally agree with you. Community definitely helps keep you sane when you realise all mothers are going insane along with you. I was the same, I now have tons of female friends when they all used to be male and I actually rather like it. I could do with some that live a little closer but the ones I’ve got are pretty fabulous. Xx

  4. Cate, Me add three

    20th June 2014 at 9:01 am

    What a lovely post – first babies are so tough when everything in your life transitions on. So happy you’re finding an online and ‘real life’ community to support you x

  5. Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

    20th June 2014 at 11:14 am

    This is a lovely post and word. I lost my friend network when I left my job after having the twins. My friends were work colleagues and unfortunately when I left the job they went too. I think this is because when they’d have a get together it would be at night time going out for food and then drinking. Since having the twins and getting married this really does not appeal anymore. To be honest the children keep me busy. Have a lovely weekend xx

  6. The Reading Residence

    20th June 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Great word and you are so right. I always fee brighter when I’ve been more sociable, as it can make little parenting niggles less significant and I come away feeling calmer. It’s great for the kids of course, too. Glad you’ve built your own community up there x Thanks very much for sharing with #WotW x

  7. Kim Carberry

    20th June 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Fab post…I have a few really great mummy friends and would be lost without them!

  8. pixiedusk

    20th June 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I only have recently been interacting with people. It is my son’s fault actually. When he started preschool he started to have friends and the parents of those friends are now my friends. I am still adamant to let people in but I am slowly letting them. Slowly. I am trying hard to open up as this is for my son cuz like what you have said its important for kids development as well.

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