Plunket Coffee Group Creates Social Wellbeing

Giselle and Lucas 8Giselle and Lucas 3Georgia and Theo 2Georgia and Theo 4Teina and Cleo 2Teina and Cleo 4

We are swiftly approaching Wesley’s first birthday. ¬†Looking at this past year, I know I wouldn’t have felt so secure and sure of myself as a new mother without the weekly get togethers with our coffee group mums. ¬†There are 7 of us who regularly meet and enjoy watching our kids frolic, whilst we chat and catch up on what’s been happening in our little worlds.

This was all made possible by Plunket.  If you are a new mum looking to create a bit of social activities you should get in touch they are so helpful!

The early months, I’ll be honest, I was so nervous to go to these gatherings that I sometimes had to remind myself that Wesley needed social time too. ¬†Being exhausted and worrying about fitting in, made the first little while scary but ultimately I became very comfortable and looked forward to meeting the women each week. ¬†In fact I would attribute a huge change in my social skills to joining this group. ¬†Previous to having Wesley, I would sometimes bail on plans for the worry of not fitting in, or being nervous about talking to new people…feeling I had nothing important to say. ¬†This has totally changed since I’ve been getting together with the Plunket Coffee Group.

It was so good to laugh, enjoy the horror stories, ask questions and just see where our little kids were at and how they interacted with each other. ¬†Had it not been for this group, I wouldn’t have had much of a social life and it’s been the greatest thing we have done for our little family.

Wesley has become very social and loves to spend time with his friends and it’s truly wonderful watching him interact with other little people his age. ¬†These groups are structured so that your little one will be playing with other babies their age, between 0-12 months or 12-24 months.

Social wellbeing and support as a new mum is so important.  I am living in a new country far removed from my immediate family, and close friends back in Canada.  I found there was a void that needed filling as we settled into New Zealand just prior to Wesley being born.  That sense of connectedness was created quite quickly and helped me to maintain a good sense of self worth.  Simply being around other mums who were experiencing the same challenges and triumphs helped boost my mood and encouraged me through the harder days.  Our weekly meetings have been invaluable.

Yesterday I invited the ladies and their little ones to a photoshoot to capture some moments as a thank you of sorts. ¬†While I wrote a little bit about how grateful I am to them on Instagram – I wanted to elaborate here. ¬†I truly do love the sense of normalcy and ease that came about from us connecting to one another. ¬†These photos are a thank you to them…a gift in return for so many months of positive interactions and moral support. ¬†We all believe in each other and that’s one of the best gifts I think a new mum can receive. ¬†In the coming weeks we will all be celebrating some of our first Mother’s Days and I hope you all know how dear you are to us.

Maree & Blake

Giselle & Lucas

Teina & Cleo

Amber-Lee & Te Ahorangi

Georgia & Theo

Tyla & Dixie

Thank you all for being such amazing women and friends to Wesley, myself and Mike.

If you live in Palmerston North and are looking to connect with other new mums and are a bit unsure where to start, you should definitely give Plunket a call or check out their page on Facebook.

There is also a great free program hosted by the Palmerston North Public Library called “Baby Bop” which is at 10.00am each Thursday morning. ¬†Kids sing songs, dance and interact with their parents guidance and there is plenty for the kids to run and be silly.¬† You’ll be seeing us there!

Wait, do people still believe in bastard children?

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You bugs finding out the gender of your baby?

There have been a few judgements since we became prego. ¬†It’s bound to happen, humans have probably from the beginning of time passed judgment on new parents. ¬†We cannot help ourselves. ¬†I’m sure I’ve unknowingly done this to someone before as well.

What seem like simple, harmless questions, have us suddenly feeling conscious of some serious judgement being made, and a few times it’s been a bit weird.

“Will you find out if you’re having a boy or a girl?”

We’re “bucking the trend” and actually going to find out the sex of the baby.

Anyway, this question is usually asked in a casual way, and then it becomes very awkward when we say that we’re going to find out. ¬†Most often people say “Well we didn’t find out” or “Oh, it would be a nice surprise to wait”.

Which is totally cool… ¬†It’s just we’re both curious, and thanks to science and technology we’re super keen to get more connected with the little banana growing inside (it’s the size of a banana now). ¬†Also, I’d like to stop calling it “it”.

Recently an older person pressured us about not being married, it first came in the form of a joke. ¬†Mike was standing with me. ¬†We both looked at each other and chuckled…and thought nothing of it.

But then a few days later, I was alone and the same person came forward and pressured me again about marriage and joked that I should call the baby “Commitment”.

I found this astonishing, and really bizarre.  Is it true that in this day and age, people still believe in illegitimate children or (bastards) as I so bluntly titled this post?

Do you have an experience that was similar?

Are you a parent?  Have you ever had an extreme judgement placed on you?  

Interestingly enough there was an article written today on both of these issues (saying no to marriage and the decline of the concept of illegitimate children).  It features the perspectives of 4 different couples and the reasons they chose stay unmarried.  Curious?  You can read it here.

I’d love to hear any awkward stories you’ve encountered. ¬†Naturally the more awkward the better!