Basking in an unusual case of warm sunshine yesterday in my garden with five mothers and their gorgeous babies, I felt so fortunate.
When I moved to Northern NSW from Melbourne nearly two years ago, I left behind an amazing group of friends (when I say left behind, it is purely in the physical sense; emotionally and cyberly we are still connected). Although I was so excited to move to beaches and warmer weather, my fear was making friends again. How do adults make friends? At uni and college it is so easy, but now with no job, and no college, how would I ever make any serious connections? Though everyone assured me that when I have a child I would have an instantaneous group of friends.
In fact, it happened before I had the child. I was planning to birth at the Natural Birth Centre outside Lismore – a beautiful place on a property, which supported a home-style birth in a safe environment under obstetrics care. We had ante natal classes there, and there were two other wonderful couples in that group – our first friends in the area. Soon, I met another couple, who gave birth a month before I did. We had so much in common, and they were just such warm, generous and fun people. Still very good friends. When Elka was born, I came back to the birth centre every Thursday for mums and bubs. Sometimes it was just me and another girl, and gradually the group expanded. Women came religiously. And to continue in a religious vein, it saved us. Women of all different ages, and from all over the north coast, whose only commonality was that we aspired to have a natural birth bonded beautifully. The birth centre has since, sadly, closed down, but we still continue to meet.
The group has since expanded…someone will meet a mum who doesn’t have a mums group, and we welcome her to ours. The destination changes, but the connections are still as vital.
So it was appropriate that yesterday we also launched our website, the International Mothers Project the very aim of which is to create a community for women through the sharing of personal stories. It was an unofficial launch, but poignant, given the sharing of experiences, both recent and long since past.
I sound hippy-dippy when I say it, but frankly I am blessed to have found the friends I have. It certainly appears that my fear of making new friends was completely unfounded.