“We were never meant to parent our children in isolation, but instead to have nurturing, loving support at arms reach,” says JoJo Hogan, founder of the Slow Postpartum movement.
Before we have children, it doesn’t really matter that we don’t know our neighbours are, isn’t it less people to be annoying us? Well that’s what I thought — fast forward to me with a small baby in a very quiet rural housing estate and I just couldn’t believe that the whole day could pass without me seeing ANYONE!
My solution to this was to drive all over the place with Cara in the car, visiting everyone i knew. But soon the driving got too much and Cra didn’t really like the car. It wasn’t until another mam from my baby massage group told me about Cuidiu coffee mornings that i found another way to get out and have company and with mams who were just like me. I went along to a coffee morning in Midleton. It was great! There were lots of mams there with babies and toddlers of all ages, we got to chat about what stuff we were grappling with at that time and got a glimpse into what the next few months/years might hold.
Looking back it really helped me have a better handle on what was normal. When my baby started waking more at night at around nine months, I remembered another mam talking about her baby teething around that time. The best thing though was how looked-after I felt; to be handed a lovely hot cup of tea and a slice of cake and just sit and relax.
It’s really hard to raise a child without people around you, it simply not how it is supposed to be. So this is why finding your tribe, other mams who are raising their children in a similar way to you, is so great. You don’t have to worry about the “Would you not..” comments.
You can just be yourself and talk about how you are parenting. It’s okay to have different ideas about how you want to raise your children. It’s not ok to be around a lot of criticism and lack of acceptance of your parenting. It seriously erodes mothers’ confidence and can often lead to mothers doing things that go against their core values and beliefs.