I remember when I was pregnant, I wasn't really told much about Baby Classes and I didn't really know what was on in the area either, but something about going made me feel really anxious. The what ifs flooded my head, but I knew I had to overcome this if I wanted to meet others.
What if Izzy screamed the whole time? What if I was judged for bottle feeding? What if it looks like I don't know what I'm doing?
Were all things that ran through my mind, but I remember connecting with a friend I used to work with who had seen a leaflet about. local group at the church starting and so we thought we would take a look, it was £1 - they offered a cup of tea and I knew at least one mum that was going, so we went and as predicted Izzy screamed, it was just me and my friend at the time but it really felt like I had overcome something.
That actually, all those what ifs were okay, Isabella is a baby, crying is her way of communicating, and so what if I can't drive my pram very well either, we all need to take a test to begin with right?
It was because of this, it made me realise how much these spaces were needed, quiet, nurturing, welcoming spaces. We went to Sensory classes and dressing up was of course the best part, but I never actually met any friends or get the chance to talk to other mums. They were good fun but when you're tired, mentally and physically exhausted, I just wanted to vent or be in a room with other mums and ask if it was just me?
And I have mums that absolutely LOVE high sensory classes which is amazing, I often recommend some groups to mums that are looking for that option, but I knew what I wanted to create and what I wanted mums to gain from my classes.
I was in a class this week and we were talking about C-Sections, I had one mum who said "Having a C-Section really made me feel like I had failed my first part in Motherhood, because I didn't have that magical first skin to skin touch people said I would have, but now I look at my baby and think I still love you no matter what, because you're here safe" to which another mum replied " I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear this, because I've felt the same and can't even admit to my partner that's how I felt"
It was at this moment I knew, I knew that I had created the safe spaces mums needed, to feel like they could share, be open and be honest and support each other. Parenthood is bloody tough, but, it doesn't have to be scary.
I've had pregnancy yoga clients stay in touch and now come to classes, go to coffee together and likewise with mums that have met in classes, it's really special to sit back and see it happen.
You're never alone and your "What Ifs" are never invalid, they are totally normal.