I have never been one of life’s ‘joiners’, and for most of my years on this earth the thought of sitting in a circle with a room full of strangers- for any reason- would fill me dread.
On the day our antenatal classes started I patted my bulging tummy and said, “this one’s for you, kid.” I hoped that by embracing the dreaded circle we might secure some ready-made pals for our darling progeny, destined as she was to have been born a little late for most of her cousins and parents’ friends’ kids.
What I would come to understand- beyond the classes and into the newborn stage- was how important the resulting regular coffee group catch-ups would be to me, and to my confidence to keep calm and carry on.
Each session was not only a chance to get to know a group of new friends more intimately, but to share the trials and tribulations of a shared experience. Never again in a child’s life will a difference in age of mere weeks and months, not years- be so relevant to their growth and development. To have others to talk with who are experiencing their babies’ journeys virtually simultaneously is invaluable.
If you did not attend antenatal classes, there are plenty of other ways to network with other parents. Check out your local Plunket, community centre or church, or be really ‘new school’ and use social networking to create or join a group. You’ll be glad you did.
(And be sure to snap some pictures when you get together. You never know who your little one may end up remaining friends with for life, and how great to say they’ve known each other since well before they could walk.)
(Oh, and don’t be stuck on the name. As it happens I don’t even drink coffee. Tea-drinking, alternative liquids, or even total imbibing-abstinence is perfectly acceptable.)
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