I wrote recently about The Happy Mumdays Club, a group I set up to help combat the loneliness and stresses of Motherhood and find others to share all the wonderful parts with.
I’m not overly confident around people I don’t know and I have to really force myself to be brave when it comes to being the face of the group and making others feel included and welcome. This is somewhat easier at the daytime meet ups where I always have at least one of my two children with me, acting as a buffer, a security blanket of sorts. But the nights out, aptly named (or so I think), FREE THE MUTHA, are different because the kids aren’t there to save me.
The build up to the nights out are a real source of dread and inadequacy for me. It plays to my greatest fears of being unseen, unimportant and unwanted. It is a real hang up of mine and the entire reason why I NEVER celebrate my birthday. I’d rather do nothing than plan a celebration and nobody come.
However, The Happy Mumdays Club, while being a safe haven for local Mum’s is also a kind of therapy for me. Pushing me totally out of my comfort zone, confronting my issues head on. It’s good for me.
Just this weekend, there was a FREE THE MUTHA night out – I was terrified. I’d booked a small function room at local bar, The Barking Dog, who offer up some of the best food in Urmston. I highly recommend their platters (all of them).
I purposefully booked a small space – The Snug – fearing that only 5/6 people would come and low turnout would be less obvious in a smaller function room.
I promoted the event as much as possible without becoming a pain. I brought decorations and I tried to pin down the numbers of attendees prior to the upcoming event, knowing full well that just because someone clicks ‘yes’ to an event online, does not mean they will attend. Especially when the event is made up of Mum’s who at the very last minute could have a poorly toddler on their hands or a baby which won’t settle. Things happen. It’s a story we all know well.
I turned up to the venue, stomach in knots, and with the help of a Mum friend from Bear’s school, we set the room up and commenced ‘the clammy-hand waiting’.
To my surprise, people started to trickle in, and on time too. Once we got passed 6 attendees I felt relieved and was pleasantly surprised that more gorgeous Mama’s kept arriving.
We ended up with approximately 25 Mum’s. Mostly local, with a few from further afield and several that came alone, having never been before – good on ya, girls!
I was beyond thrilled and very grateful to these women who embodied the spirit of what I’m trying to achieve with The Happy Mumdays Club – inclusivity and support. No more than ever we need to band together, at I right?
We had some nibbles and chatted over copious amounts of gin and fizz and everyone (seemed to have) had a great night, asking for details of the next one. It was needed. There’s a bit of light relief to be taken from a night out with friends and I felt like everyone got that.
All my worries and concerns were unjustified. People came. People smiled. People talked and shared. My own issues were partly diminished, gaining a little more confidence than I had at the start of the evening and for that I am grateful.
We all seem to lose a bit of confidence in some way or another when we become parents. It’s natural to lose yourself in some ways but we must not allow those naggling demons in our head to take over. We have to force ourselves to be brave and take ourselves out of our comfort zones every once in a while. It works. It really does.
We must also support each other where we can. Lifting somebody else up also renews you too. Don’t underestimate the power of knowing you’ve done someone a kindness, or the bond made over shared (and often trying) experiences.
So with my new sense of confidence (sort of), I’m planning and plotting and scheming. Hoping to build The Happy Mumdays Club and improve it so that I reach more Mum’s (and Dad’s, all are welcome) and expand upon the services offered as a little insular community.
So if you’re reading this, come and say hi. You’ll make my day and you might me some absolute babes too.