When you hear that you’re pregnant for the first time, a barrage of emotions hit you like a 22-wheeler truck without brakes. Hopefully for moms-to-be, extreme joy is the first and over-riding emotion. Thereafter, a little bit of nervousness does follow – after all, you’ll be embarking on a brand new journey that’ll change the course of your life forever.
After passing the first few crucial and critical weeks (which were difficult as I’m terrible at keeping secrets and after declining champagne a few times, all my friends were suspicious), I settled into the idea that a little one was on its way. By month 8, I went into panic mode, as I had not done any shopping and had left everything “last minute” by my friends’ standards. Enter (and cue dramatic orchestral music) the Mommy Network!
I was summoned to a Baby City shopping expedition with my friends – both new mom’s who had babies under 1 year old. I told them I’d be fine, that I had a list and that I’d do the essentials shopping myself. I hopped in my car (actually rolled would be more accurate– the baby bump had started entering a room way before me!) and walked into the shop – I was so overwhelmed by all the brands and baby paraphernalia that 5 minutes later I walked out empty-handed, teary and rescheduled the shopping expedition with my friends (Nats and Mari) as guides.
Essentials lists are available to download here and here.
This was my introduction to the Mommy Network – the legions of moms who have been such a support to me throughout the journey of motherhood. It is a daunting journey, but with so many fellow mothers at your side, the fear does dissipate. From my darling friend, Natalie, who organized the most incredible baby shower for me, to Leigh who arrived at my house with a huge quiche for dinner and actually washed the dishes and held my boy, while I took a shower. I have been blessed with incredible women who have been as available as possible to answer my questions about the right temperature of bath water and warmed breast milk, despite having their own little people ruling their lives 🙂
My mom has been the head of my Mommy Network – she has been holding my hand every step of the way – arriving at our house at 5:30 some mornings so I could have a bit of rest and a shower. She has cooked countless pots of food, looked after my boy while I indulged in a glass of champagne or 3 with my girlfriends and helped me maintain my sense of humour despite countless nights of broken sleep. I am able to be a sane mom because of other moms and that made me think of that beautiful Xhosa saying – “Umntu ngumtu ngabantu” – a person is a person through others. Motherhood is a journey best shared!