When I had H, there was a whole plethora of groups available to me. Baby massage, baby sensory, swimming, children’s centre groups, baby signing..the list goes on. Me and H were always out of the house, either doing one of these groups or meeting up with friends we’d made at these groups. We hardly ever had a day inside. I’m sure this helped him develop his social skills and he’s a very open and friendly toddler now.
Having a second baby has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Don’t get me wrong, being a mum is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and the good times definitely outweigh the bad but oh my God, it’s hard. And when A arrived, I didn’t know what had hit me. We started staying in for days at a time and when we did go out, we’d only go to the supermarket. It was very different to the early days of H’s life. I think I needed those groups and support from fellow mums more than ever.
So why is it, when mum’s have more than one baby, the groups available to you aren’t as plentiful? H isn’t welcome to 90% of the groups catered for A and the groups suitable for H, the group leaders want me to pay for A as well. I recently saw a group nearby, geared towards mums of new babies. It was a meet up group, where there would be different activities and some cake afterwards, with time to chat. I asked if I could bring H. I was told no, as they don’t have the space for him. He’s 2, he hardly takes up any room! I also remember enquiring about a sensory group for H when A was 3 weeks old, to be told I had to pay £3 to bring him as “he would benefit from the sensory activities”. He was 21 days old, he didn’t care for anything other than his milk! £3 doesn’t sound like a lot but that would have made it £9 a week for one group! I can’t take them swimming because of the safety rules of “one child per adult”. Family live an hour away so I can’t ask them to come with us every week.
It’s something I’ve noticed more and more over the past 5 months. And it’s starting to make me question our decision to home school the boys. If I can’t find any groups now for them both, how am I going to manage as they get older? Or should I send Henry to nursery/preschool now, so he’s doing different activities and interacting with different people?
Are new mums entitled to more help and support? Or should we all get the same, no matter how many children we have? Being a mum is difficult. End of. Each child and each stage come with different problems and dilemmas. If I’m honest, having 2 babies is so much harder than just one. Why isn’t there more support for second/third/fourth time mums?