Before we have a baby we know our life is going to change. I don't think we always realise how much it is going to change or even what is going to change. These days our families don't always live close by and often our friends aren't having babies at the same time. They say it takes a village to raise a child but what if there isn't a village around you any more?
When I had my first child my Iife changed. There were many new experiences, some were good, some not so good and some were great. I met all these fantastic new women who also had young children. Having worked for many years it was freeing to be able to jump in the car and go for a coffee. To meet friends for a walk in the park or to spend hours chatting while our beautiful new babies slept in our arms, or gurgled happily.
OK as you know life with a young baby isn't always as idyllic as this but I found with my first baby that I had plenty of support and a great coffee group that were all going through the same things that I was.
And then I got pregnant with baby number two and everything was about to change all over again.
Having two young babies was quite isolating. I couldn't just jump in the car and pop down the road. I had a newborn and a toddler to juggle.
I had to try and synchronise naps, and bathtime. I had to keep an active toddler busy, while I fed the baby. All of a sudden I had two completely different little personalities and what worked the first time around didn't really work for the second.
I didn't know who to turn too or who to ask. My friends didn't have children the same age, and neither did my lovely coffee group. I was stuck at home and it was lonely.
There are no longer neighbours over the back fence to share a cup of tea with and our mothers are often still vibrant working women, not grannies knitting with time on their hands.
I needed somewhere to go, to talk to other mums. Somewhere to ask questions - all those simple things that I had forgotten in a very short space of time.
I found myself hanging out online. Spending my time checking out google. Scrolling the internet trying to find things that related to my situation. I was trying to find something and someone that I could relate too.
It is meant to take a village to raise a child but where was my village?
I realised if I was feeling this way then other mums must be too!!!!
There must be other mums out there who also needed someone to talk too. Somewhere they could go and get support, ask questions, chat with other mums who understood them.
If I couldn't find my village then I would create my own!
I would create my own virtual neighbourhood - and so, after I finally decided on a name, The Mother Hood was born.
The Mother Hood
The Mother Hood has developed over the last few years but at its essence, it is an online community that supports and empowers mums so that they can be themselves. Mums can open up to others and get support from each other.
As mothers, we are all different and we all parent differently. In The Mother Hood, there is a level of respect for each other that you don't always see online. I think one of the reasons for this is because mums can relate to each other. They can understand and empathise with what someone is going through - whether their baby is a similar age, or older because 9 times out of 10 they have been through it too.
I am always totally blown away by the thoughtful answers and understanding that the members of The Mother Hood give each other. The time that busy mums give to supporting other women that they don't even know. Many don't live in the same town or even live in the same country.
At the end of the day, we all just want what is best for our families. We want to feel supported and loved. We want to be surrounded by our loved ones. These days we don't always live close to our friends or family but technology makes it easier for us to come together.
We may not have the proverbial village anymore but we do have the global village. How we adapt things to suit our needs is important. We need to be creative.
I didn't have the village or the close neighbourhood to help me - so I created my own!
Join the Hood
Join our amazing private Facebook group The Hood - for Mums
Check out The Mother Hood at www.themotherhood.co.nz