Today we had the mums and babies from our NCT Group over to us for our regular weekly meet up and it really struck me how much we've all grown!
When we first found out we were expecting Lily we really had no idea what to expect! One of the things I was keen on from the start was attending some ante-natal classes to hopefully prepare us a little for what was to come. Various friends had recommended the NCT classes so we signed up and were booked on to some sessions during August 2010. I remember before the first class feeling quite nervous, partly because this made the impending birth seem rather more, well, impending, than it had. I was also quite nervous about being thrown into this group of people with whom we only had one thing in common - babies!
As it turns out, I needn't have worried. Ever since those classes almost a year ago, we have met almost every week and shared our many different experiences of early parenthood. As our babies have grown I think we've also grown from that group of acquaintances with only our big tummies in common to a group of friends with all sorts in common (particularly our love of tea and cakes!).
I have always been quite an independent soul, not really feeling the need to rely on others for support, but I have been amazed at the comfort we have offered each other. Just being able to meet up with mums at the same stage has been fantastically re-assuring, knowing that we are all going through similar issues, being able to share ideas and learn from each other. When joining this kind of group, you never know who you might end up with (!) but feel so lucky that we are all so supportive and non-judgemental of each other. We all have different parenting styles and different ideas but we all seem to get along fabulously well and respect each other's ways while offering each other gentle encouragement and guidance when things aren't going so well.
Other than the obvious, one of the things that's upset me most about my imminent return to work was the thought of losing touch with my NCT group. It is so easy when circumstances change to let contacts slip and before you know it a week, a month, a year has gone by and contact is lost. So I was really relieved today when we started talking about this and resolved to continue to make the effort to meet up, even if it's not all together every time and even if it's not every week. In these kind of situations it's easy to make hollow promises, but I have a good feeling that we will all make the effort to make it work. I truly hope so. Vicky, Vicky, Heidi, Katherine, Emma, Joe, Luke, Tom, Doug and William, you have all helped Lily and I far more than you could ever know over the last 8 months. Thank you xxx