Sometimes as a mama I think it is hard to get a real support network going, especially if you don’t really know many other mamas or are quite isolated.
I think while getting out and meeting other mamas is essential (and your local community centres can help with this through the classes they run) sometimes it is nice to have a group of like minded people who understand what you are talking about at the click of a button. I know a lot of people dismiss online forums or mummy groups, but I really think that these can be so helpful and so important for modern mamas.
More or less everyone nowadays has a Facebook account (it’s the age of social media after all) so I’ve put together my favourite Facebook groups for mamas, with a link to their Facebook group. For most of them you have to request access, which means that it is 100% anonymous from your friend list or relatives… so if you want to rant about a family member and be judgement free – go ahead. Everything from making online friends who you can email, to learning so much about parenting (good and bad) from other’s who are in your shoes.
Breastfeeding /Mama talk privately.
I love this group and it’s subsidiaries. There is everything from the uncensored groups that are for debating to the main group that is designed to help you with everything from breastfeeding to be a day to day mother. There are literally over 15,000 members so you are never short of someone to say, you know what, my day has been like that too, I hear ya! The advice in the group is fab and ranges from people asking for help with breastfeeding, to asking other mamas if they know of anything that can help their 3 year old sleep at night. It’s just a great group.
Natures way parenting
This group has taught me a lot. It is largely aimed at parents who want a more natural way of parenting, so might not be for everyone, but I find it to be so helpful when it comes to support from others and general advice. Though techniques like cry it out are frowned upon, along with spanking etc, the group is always willing to try and help if someone is struggling with sleep, without judgement and without tearing the person down. The other thing I find really helpful in this group is some of the members extensive knowledge about baby slings and carriers. This is the perfect place for an expectant parent to some and learn about how to carry, and how to parent in a more calm and soothing way.
The MUMbler groups.
At the moment I think these are fairly local to the UK, and possibly even just my area. I am a member of the York and Harrogate mumblers, because that is my region but it would be worth looking into an alternative area for yourself if this isn’t you. Either way, I couldn’t leave this off the list as I love the support, advice and tips that come from this group. One of the things local mummy groups like this are good at doing is helping you hear about events in your area or items for sale if you are looking for Xmas presents etc. It is definitely worth joining and, every now and again, the groups do meet ups so you can come face to face with new pals.
Rucking Marvellous Parenting
This group is such a vast combination of everything. Again it tends to focus more on the natural side of parenting, but the group is also geared towards helping pregnant, new mums and women with older children learn from each other and share things. There is a market day, but it’s exclusive to that day so you aren’t bombarded with things for sale, but there seems to be a really good focus on discussing topics for parenting, health, foods and everything in between. Again if you feel like you just need someone to moan to, or even to cry with, there are plenty of kind hearted parents that will take you by the virtual hand and let you know they have been there. Full of support for breastfeeders, baby wearing and co sleeping advice, this is a great group to be part of.
These are just some of my favourite groups, I would strongly urge you to join up to some, especially if you don’t think you have a big support network near you. You can find any of the groups by searching in your Facebook search bar using their names.