On motherhood, playgroups and making more effort

March 21, 2019

Today I received one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever gotten.
I was popping money into the pot of the play group we attend weekly. It was the end of the session and I’d gotten caught up with the two boys and hadn’t got round to putting my money in.

As I placed my money in the tin, the group leader said “oh don’t worry, you’re such an asset to the group, always inclusive and talk to everyone.”

And it made my day. No it made my week.

I always strive to be approachable, to include everyone, talk to as many people as I can.

And I know I fail a lot. I get comfortable with certain people and stick with what I know. Sometimes new groups, especially ones with established connections are overwhelming and daunting. I don’t like interrupting conversations and I think a part of me still suffers from my teenage bullying and struggling to make proper friends. I was usually the odd one out, and I often feel like that has stuck with me as I’ve grown up.

But I’ve been making a conscious effort in recent months to put myself out there more. To make the effort to interact with as many people as possible and create new relationships. To help make others feel less alone. I’ve been told some pretty negative things about myself which I won’t go into but needless to say, we always remember and focus on the negatives, far more than any positives we’re given. And I let those unkind words get to me. I second guessed everything about myself and racked my brain for examples, and where I let myself down. I’ve struggled but now I want to focus on being a better person. Maybe the negative assessments were accurate, maybe they were an incorrect interpretation, or maybe they were said just to hurt me. No matter, I’m moving on and letting go. I just want to be the best possible version of myself now.

I’m trying to do more within my playgroup. Interact with newcomers. Help them with their kids. Ask about their lives outside of being a mum. Socialise with some of the mum’s outside of the group.

Today we talked about:
Social media and phone use in kids.
The impact of phones on your body (did you know your posture can massively effect how much your head weighs on the rest of your body!)
Other playgroups.
Returning to work.
How it’s impossible to keep track of milestones.
Names our kids have given to their toys – personal fave was a 4 year old who named her bike “roasty carrot”

And it felt so so good!

Because one thing I’ve learnt from motherhood is how utterly lonely it can feel.
My playgroup is my one set thing we do and I really notice how much I miss it when we break for the school holidays. How much that little bit of socialising with other mums has an impact on my own mental health.

And it made me realise that what I want is to create an environment that enables mums and dad’s to feel included and not alone. So that’s what I’m going to be doing with my blog and social media.
Yes I’ll still be doing lots of travel bits, bit I want to talk more about motherhood and the little wins.

I’m also a huge advocate of the Happy Mama Project put together by Georgina and Nicola which focuses on being the best mum for yourself. Lots of self care and real life talk. It’s honestly one of the best groups I’ve been in.

I’m also going to be working on meeting more mum’s. I’m going to reach out and speak to other local mother’s, even if the fear of rejection is very real. Plan more play dates. And possibly creating some group get together’s, especially for those that love photography. Hopefully myself and my lovely tog mama Natasha will pull this off soon!! Watch this space!

So here’s to new beginnings and striving to be a better mother, friend and human being.

P.S photos of me and Dexter by the lovely Hanna!

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As a mother who loves to travel, I’d love to take Henry on a trip to Disneyland Paris someday. The trip won’t be cheap, but I’ve learned that I can buy or rent a Disney Vacation Club timeshare on the DVC Resale Market at a steeply discounted price.