Our Amazing Coffee Groups!
Did you know that talking to other new mothers can almost halve womens’ risk of suffering from post-natal depression, a study shows (From The Telegraph website, 15 Jan 2009).*? That can only be a good thing, right?! I personally gained a lot of support, and confidence in my own parenting abilities from being part of a Mana Parents Centre coffee group, which was formed with the members of our Childbirth and Parenting Course. We are still going strong nearly 5 years after we first met – a few have moved away, or are in full time work, so don’t meet regularly, but still keep in touch on our Facebook group. We try to celebrate a combined childrens birthday and a Christmas party (usually just the Mums for that one, and a lot of wine!) each year with those that can attend.
Our group has evolved over time, so it’s not just about the babies anymore. A lot of long term friendships have sprung up, some with people I would have never expected to be such a great friend, or someone I would have been shy approaching in the past. We share a common bond, but we do so much more – walking, quiz nights, movie nights, classes (cake decorating etc), just going out for dinner and a drink or two. Yes we have a giggle about the funny ‘Dad’ moments, and have a moan about the kid(s), and still ask questions about their development and behaviour, but we are friends foremost now.
We asked some of our members and committee about their Coffee Group experiences, and here are some of the responses:
Best bit of advice you have got from another coffee group member?
General support and knowing we are all having similar issues. – Emma, Coffee group member for 1 year
To pull the ‘frilly’ bits out of Huggies Nappies! We used cloth nappies, so I didn’t know you had to do this (didn’t read the packet of course!) and had a few dodgy nappies before anyone told me when we stared using disposables 🙂 – Rachael, Coffee group member for 5 years
It’s all normal! – Morgan, Coffee group member for 1 year
Is your coffee group still meeting, and if so why do you think that is? Or why did yours stop meeting?
Yes we meet regularly (some of us weekly) and we have a yearly birthday party for all the babies. Most of us have had a second baby. – Hayley, Coffee group member for 3 years
Yes every week. Many of us are still off work and we get on really well. The way the group was set up after antenatal classes set us up really well. – Emma, Coffee group member for 1 year
We still meet once a fortnight. I think that happens because of the Facebook group. Easy to post and see who’s free. – Rosie, Coffee group member for 1 year
Funniest story from your coffee group?
All the poo explosions! (There were a few other replies along these lines…..!) – Lynaire, Coffee group member for 4 years
When one of the Dad’s put a onsie on upside down.. (arms in the leg holes, legs in the arm holes…. not sure how long it took him to realise it wasn’t right! – Rachael, Coffee group member for 5 years
What do you think keeps your group going strong?
The support on Facebook in the middle of the night (someone else is always up) and the knowledge that we can catch up and just talk babies, and nobody is going to get sick of hearing about it! – Laura, coffee group member for 1 year
We make a real effort to meet once a week which keeps us in regular contact. Even if some can’t make it there are always the usual people there and we also stay in touch during the week via our Facebook group and messaging each other. – Emma, coffee group member for 1 year
Communication, support, advice and non judgmental. – Lynaire, Coffee group member for 4 years
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