Friday, November 18, 2011

Making mummy friends

Back in September 2010 when Kien was 9 months old I decided it was time to meet other mums in my neighborhood. I had been cooped up inside feeling alone in my strange new world of eat-activity-sleep routine dramas, and I just needed some interaction with other mothers in a similar situation, having similar experiences, speaking similar sleep-depraved sentence structures. It just happened that the Plunket newsletter arrived in my letterbox on a day when I was feeling particularly lonely, so I called the person who organises coffee group placements for mothers, and she gave me an email address. So during Kien's afternoon catnap I wrote this gastly email that sounded like a business proposal.

From: lien
Date: 13 September 2010 4:10:23 PM
To: danielle
Subject: coffee group

Hi there,

I was given your details by Eva after contacting her regarding coffee groups in my area.  My child is a late Dec 2009 baby and Eva informed me the Dec group no longer meets. Is your group still meeting? If so I would love to join. 

I look forward to hearing from you.



Not long afterwards I received these friendly replies.

On Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM, Danielle wrote:
Hi girls,

Lien has just made contact with me (see below).  Could you please include her on email re next coffee group as I will be overseas still.

Hi Lien,

You're most welcome to join us.  We usually meet fortnightly on Tues morning.  This one is being postponed, so think the next is tomorrow fortnight.  I will be away but will look forward to meeting you the following one.


On 15/09/2010, at 13:43, Denise wrote:

Hi there,
I have added a friend of mine Frana to the list as well for coffee group.  Frana has a 10 month old so not too much older!
See you in a couple of weeks.


So then it occurred to me that I had no idea what the protocols were or how it all works, this "coffee group" thing.

On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 5:11 PM, Lien wrote:

Hi, I forgot to ask, do I need to bring a plate? 

On 23/09/2010, at 22:15, Denise wrote:

no just turn up!
see you then


So I trotted along to my first coffee group ever on a beautiful sunny Spring morning.

The children back then were merely crawling, or pulling themselves up and cruising around furniture slowly. Now, fourteen months later, they are running and jumping all over the place.

We still meet up, not as regularly since we are all back to our regular lives (as opposed to maternity leave lives). We still do meet up in parks over swings and slides, occassional kids dinners like this and this, birthday celebrations, and more recently we've done drinks at local restaurant/bars when the children are in bed and our men are on watch.

Our last excursion was Wednesday night. Not everyone was able to make it - 5 of the 8 of us were at Andiamo.

(Right to left) Denise, Frana, Nic, Nicola, Me.

Over antipasto assortments and Pinot Gris (and some variety of red I don't remember) we conversed beyond dirty nappies and kiddie meal topics.

We are multi faceted, but quite often when we are busy juggling babies with work/study/siblings/family life/oligations/committments etc etc it is difficult to have deep, thought provoking conversations lasting longer than a couple of minutes before a child has to be chased/pushed on a swing/provided with snacks/mediated/picked up from a fall/cleaned/answered etc etc.

How nice it is then to be un-rushed; sitting outside under an early evening sky with the sun sinking slowly into the horizon. There was laughter and fun stories, philosophical musings, and lots of wine.

We talked about work, and about life beyond work - our lives, our reality.

Frana is heading off to Singapore in a couple of weeks, and she will call that her home for a while. We will try to meet up once again before she leaves.

Summer is here, and that means kids dinners are a lot easier to manage. Hopefully we will squeeze one in before the silly season.


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