An African mum living, learning, and documenting the process.

Marcy Madzikanda: On making connections. Part 2

In the first post (over a month ago, a little one and life, results in delays, but hopefully the first and last drawn out post) I started talking about how daunting motherhood can be for a first time mom.

I wanted to talk about how during this period there is a shift between the friends you had before ‘el bebe’ arrived and dynamics shifted. In as much as you make yourself available to your friends and in the first days visits and plans are made and kept but as time goes on it becomes obvious to both parties that there has been a shift in the lives you led before. Often times this is not discussed and a shift happens, with both parties believing they are being considerate of the others priorities.

Although attempts are made, and things have changed, fundamentally and despite saying and believing life will still go on as it once was with your social network, the reality is that this will not be case for a period of time as you adjust. It’s important not to hold resentment during this time but rather make an effort to reach out to new mums in your area who may also be feeling the same.

I was that Mum at baby group who couldn’t stand being there and believed it was for the benefit of my little one, (which it was, as she settled into nursery easily) but over time in addition to other activities I made new connections with other first time mums in my area and these have provided so much joy as we can talk about our kiddies without feeling bad about it, we often talk about life and our new normal and this has been very good for the soul. No other mum can appreciate having someone to talk to about things that worry us, like when a constipated little one gets relief, or figuring out if you have chosen the right nursery, or consoling in each other when the guilt attempts to creep in once you have decided to return to work and leaving ‘el bebe’ in nursery full time.

Sometimes its reaching out to another person where you wouldn’t normally do. On a bus ride a few weeks back, I started chatting to another mum, and for some reason she wasn’t aware of the baby group in our local area. I was able to point it out, tell her the range of sessions they had, and how beneficial it was for us and hopefully she will be able to attend at some point.

These connections are crucial not only for yourself but I sincerely believe for your wider social network and community. As you feel yourself evolving into this new role with confidence you are then better able to engage in and the networks you had before and be able to talk about the things that made you, the person you were before you became a mum.


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