Many people love going to baby groups, you know the ones the health visitors recommend when you have a baby, I would imagine this is because they make friends who have young children too and can have an adult conversation and something to look forward to.
I was really keen on going to these when I had my first daughter, Tiffany when I was 20. Back then none of my friends had children and I was a little lonely, there is only so much baby talk you do. I also had postnatal depression and my relationship with her dad was not good at all.
So I turned up, being brave as I was and still am quite shy, and I started getting filthy looks from the other mums. Maybe this was because I did look young for my age, probably looked about 15. I felt so out of place and judged. I tried to talk to people but they all seemed to shun me and be in their little cliques. When I left I felt so deflated and even worse than I did before going.
When my second daughter Skye, was born, I didn’t have PND and had a good relationship, my health visitor recommended a baby group I had moved since my first daughter so it was a different one but I really didn’t want to go even though at this point I was 28. I was happy, I had a happy baby, I had a 9-year-old daughter and a baby. Therefore I didn’t need a baby group this time. I knew what I was doing with my children and I had friends with children. Therefore I didn’t go.
Then my son Zander came along when I was 38! So when I was recommended the baby group this time I said I didn’t want to, even though I could have done with other mums to talk to as I was struggling with having a c-section. Why did I refuse? Because I felt I would be judged again but this time because I was an older mum with a baby. You can’t win.
I was lucky to have such a supportive network of mums online with the last two pregnancies and births. They are separate Facebook groups obviously but I really like them, I have made great friends and it is nice seeing each other’s children growing up, chat about the daily grind and everything generally without feeling that you are being judged.