People have been asking why Glow Mama focuses a lot on new moms groups, and it’s really because they mean so much to me. They really saved my sanity during my first year of motherhood. People have also asked for my tips and thoughts, so here goes…
1. Invite babies of a similar age to your own.
This is really more for your sanity than any developmental reason. Firstly, having a toddler rip every precious ornament off your shelves while your baby is still lying on a blanket is both distracting and a scary reminder of your upcoming baby proofing work. Secondly, you need sympathetic ears right now. We all get a bit wiser and calmer as our babies grow into toddlers, so trying to discuss the scary intricacies of first food with a mom of a three year old won’t be that satisfying.
2. Invite mommies you like.
This might sound fairly obvious, but why not grab the last few months of you before life turns into being all about your lovely offspring. Organizing play dates with children that your child likes will come soon enough. This is your time.
3. Be flexible.
Not only do you have ever-changing nap times to contend with, but moms often go back to work or school, or go on vacation. Going to the baby signing/music/yoga/massage classes together or meeting up for a walk can also be a fun way to still get together and get the support while trying something new.
4. Set the boundaries early.
Whether its rotating around each others’ houses, the simplicity of the host’s nibbles, or the courtesy of rsvp-ing each week…whatever is important to you (all), better to get it out on the table early. One important issue to figure out early is toy sharing. Are you comfortable with your toys (and pacifiers and sippy cups) being in every other baby’s mouth or would you rather they brought their own?
5. Give the mommies some refreshments.
Whether still nursing or not, motherhood is hard work. If they’ve managed to get out of the house with the multitude of gear, accessories, clothes (and the baby), and arrived at your place relatively on time, they deserve a reward. Unless moms are trying to lose the pounds, chocolate cookies always work well. No one will expect homemade (at least they shouldn’t). Drinks are a must too, although glasses are a hazard around babies (for their and your carpet’s sake). A chilled bottle of Glow Mama for everyone is quick, easy, and nutritious.
6. Pre-tidy the house.
Unless you’re superwoman, or have help, you’ll have to tidy the house a bit before people arrive. Especially the floors as that’s where everyone’s attention is drawn to with babies. If you don’t have time to vacuum at least but down some blankets for the babies to roll, crawl and spit up onto.
7. Get a pedicure or some nice socks.
Speaking of floors and how that’s where everyone is constantly looking… don’t forget that shoes often come off around rolling and crawling babies and no one wants to see ugly toes.
8. Be open, frank and honest.
There really is nothing more intimate or gory than the birthing story, and yet we all love to tell our version in lengthy detail. After hearing about each other’s procedures, pain and plans, there really shouldn’t be anything you can’t discuss (behind closed doors). This is the place to get the real answers on nursing pain, sleep deprivation and rekindling things in the bedroom.
9. Try to cut out the competition.
Easier said than done, but really, Motherhood is not a competitive sport in the Olympics. These days a lot of moms are used to a world of climbing on each other and stabbing each other in the back to get ahead - and that’s hard to leave behind for a few months/years. Remember though, the point of a mommies group is to leave less isolated and exhausted than had you stayed at home. Babies really do sleep, eat and develop at their own rates.
10. Get out occasionally without the babies.
There’s nothing like a couple of hours out after dark in a cool new bar or restaurant to rekindle your spirit as a woman. And the beauty of meeting up with other new moms is that they’ll forgive you if you turn up late… with spit- up on your shoulder… leaking! Everyone appreciates the effort (physically and mentally) it’s taken to get out the door, so you’ll all enjoy yourselves so much more.