I had heard about it, but not experienced it. And until I had experienced it I had not properly understood just how powerful it could be: Mummy Power – the Super-Networker.
I had experienced business networking, and of course there’s the sort of social networking (in person) that you do at school, college, uni etc. But mummy-networking is different to both of them. You can meet individuals from totally different backgrounds with different interests, just as with business networking, but you can also have a very strong bond through shared experience. Of course everyone’s birth experience is different but the fact that you have one, and your own trials and highs, brings with it a shared bond as you look for mutual support, alternative perspectives and lots of reassurance.
Having not known many people at all in our local area finding and developing my own mummy network has been crucial and I can’t over-exaggerate just how much it has given me and my family, or how lucky I feel to have it. It has grown through ante-natal classes and one particular baby group where I was welcomed while pregnant and where I met other mums-to-be. This meant that by the time I had Tigger I already had a little support group and with little ones all due (and then arriving) within about 3 months of each other we gravitated towards each other and have since formed a really close group. I don’t think we’ve come across a subject yet that wasn’t for discussion (venue dependent of course) and along the way other mums have joined us via other groups that we’ve been part of. Some are first-timers and some are on number two acting as fountains of knowledge while we each offer sympathetic and understanding ears to sleep deprivation, the wonders of weaning and much more.
While the value of the support can’t be underestimated, it is the sense of being in a community, and being fully integrated into it, which has been really refreshing and something that I hadn’t realised I missed from my previous ‘life’.
But even more significantly for me, and what I could not have predicted, was how much motivation I have taken from being surrounded by such a group of people, their experiences and the experiences we all share. The range of knowledge within this social group is extraordinary, and how driven people have been and what testing times life has thrown at them and they have come through is inspiring.
Mummy-power doesn’t just help you find a plumber, give you reviews on new products or provide tea, biscuits and keep an eye over your baby when you feel knackered. It can give you confidence, motivation and, ironically, a whole lot of energy!