My Mothers Group is the epitome of the saying 'it's like putting on an old pair of shoes'.
Our first born's are the ripe old age of 6 now, and half way through a successful first year at school, so they no longer get to see their little pals every week. Yet the mummy's and siblings still meet up, even if it's a little less regular than years past. Now we find the need to do dinner, as well as a once a month park date.
I have an image of that first Mothers Group meeting that will never leave me: In the small stuffy clinic room, all of us nervous, sitting there willing the most amazing thing we've ever achieved, to not scream. Everyone introduced themselves, and first impressions were fairly correct - a bunch of honest, fun girls who would turn out to be a pretty amazing support group for each one of us.
Some breastfed, some co-slept with their babies, some started food before the clinic's allotted age. At the time they were huge issues for us all; we talked, we coached, we listened and provided a shoulder to cry on, or a funny story to lighten the atmosphere. Now that our babies have taken that first big step toward independence in going to school, the conversation is all about homework, how we survived their first day, and how amazing it is to watch them learn.
Second babies came along. Another time I won't forget is the day one mother announced her second pregnacy, and bit by bit much of the rest of the mothers group said they were pregnant too, all due around the same time. We had twins in the group, and learnt all about how two little beings grow in one space, and very recently what seems to be our last little baby has been born, much longed for and a true miracle - a great celebration for us all.
Having a baby is possibly the most miraculous thing an ordinary person will do. But longer lasting than those first fraught and joyful years, is the blessing of friends to share the experience and the memories with.