Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The End of an Era

The very first time that I arrived at the Ellesmere Under One's Group, John was just three weeks old. He was a little limp thing that clung to my breast and I was a tearful and fearful new mother, wrecked with exhaustion and worry.

On that first Tuesday morning we'd both become tired of crying. The house felt suffocatingly small, the world outside it felt frighteningly unfamiliar and the loneliness of mothering pinched at my heart like a new pair of shoes.

And so in shaky desperation, and with nothing really to loose, I bundled my screaming baby into the car and drove, slower than I had ever driven in my life, down the road to the Under One's Group.

I walked through the door with fearful footsteps and a frantic heartbeat to see a group of ordinary mothers sitting on the floor with their babies strewn around them, and to be greeted with such warmth and welcome that I had to bite the inside of my cheek and stare fixedly at the floor to keep my tears at bay.

Every single Tuesday since then, I've busily navigated my way through our haphazard morning routine with an unusual sense of purpose and joined those mothers on the floor.

We've chatted, we've laughed, we've watched our little ones grow, we've seen mothers return to work and new ones join us with brand new babes in their arms, we've shared pieces of ourselves and snippets of our lives, we've formed friendships that have branched far beyond the boundaries of the group, we've fallen in love with one another's ever-changing babes, we've compared, counselled and comforted, we've giggled, relaxed and shared.

For a full year it's been the highlight of my week, and I'm going to miss it terribly.


  1. I cried when we left Toddler Group - not for the children, but for me. Ten years after I first went, I will still bump into a mother who looks familiar and recognize the common link. Who knew a draughty hall could become such an important place.

  2. I wasn't in a fit state physically or mentally to make it to the baby and toddler group in our village with my first. I did meet up with women I already knew from my childbirth classes, and those hours spent comparing notes helped me through.

    When she was older, I ventured to the NCT coffee group in the next village, and kept going all the way through toddlerhood and with my second newborn.The strength I gained from those women made me wish so hard that I'd been able to make it with my first.

    There are other groups, and you will find them.

  3. Sorry to hear about the end of a stage in your and John's life. I hope you find another group where you feel equally at home soon.

    Beautiful cakes! x

  4. Without wishing to be bossy - ok I'll be bossy - find another, even set up an under two's with your under one's chums asap. These groups are a lifeline - but then you know that :)