A few weeks ago, we started to attend baby groups. I don’t like calling them mother and baby groups as my husband comes too when he’s not at work.
Our first outing was Jo Jingles. Omg. I love it!!!! The babies love it. I’m trying to think of a grown up equivalent that I can start. You can’t help but feel energised and ready to take on the world after being there. Jane, who runs the class, is so full of energy it’s infectious. Babies are praised for smiling, laughing, sitting, crawling, screaming, and making lots of noise. It’s wonderful. Where else are you rewarded for simply being a baby and doing exactly what’s expected of you? Imagine going to work each day and starting it feeling happy and energised? Singing and dancing and laughing and smiling? No one judging you. Just loving life.
I then went to a class called BPD and me. It’s a low impact, toning workout where you wear your baby in a harness. And it’s great! My husband came along so we carried a baby each. You start with a warm up, then do ballet inspired moves, plies, that kind of thing. It’s bloody hard work!! After that, babies go down for a nap or play on the mat while the instructor takes you through some circuit training!!! I loved it even though I hadn’t exercised like that in a long time. Definitely recommend it. And the best thing is you can take older kids with you and everyone just plays while you work out.
With this newfound lease of energy and renewed enthusiasm for exercise, I promptly went along to Galavanters Mums on the Run. My friend told me that you didn’t really have to run. Well, she kind of lied. Peer pressure ensures you at least jog. We met at 10am on a beautiful frosty, sunny morning at the local park. You start with a warm up then head into the park for the first run. Up a hill!!!! It’s more of an incline but when you’re pushing a double pram I’m calling it a hill. We carried on doing variations of that then stopped for some circuits before the finale of running up steps Rocky style. Followed by my favourite bit, the cool down. Well actually, my favourite bit is plonking my arse on the couch later that day with coffee and chocolate feeling totally justified due to all the exercise I’ve done. A great group to join no matter how (un)fit you are.
Next we tried baby yoga. I’m lucky as Caroline, the instructor takes one of the babies for me which makes it easier! I’ve not got pre-class feeds sorted yet though. One of the babies spit up all the way through the first class while the other one slept through the second class. Although, I think he’s cottoned on and just pretends to sleep to get out of participating. I really miss doing yoga so I love the fact that we can all do it together. And oh my, do they sleep!! Both babies slept for nine hours overnight after yoga class.
We also started baby massage recently. In a nutshell, it’s wonderful. For baby and for mum.
The instructor, Hils, tells you the fascinating history of baby massage and the ways it can help baby, particularly with problems such as colic and reflux. Music to my ears. I was amazed how both babies took to it so easily, and boy, did they sleep!!! Hils then spoils us with coffee and cake while we get to chat as our babies are so chilled out.
I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive about joining these groups. Firstly, due to the logistics of it. Would I be able to get myself and two babies up, dressed and fed in time to make it to class? Secondly, the whole ‘mother and baby’ thing. Would I fit in? Will I be the oldest mum there? Crazy really because I am thoroughly enjoying it, and more importantly, so are the babies. They are starting to take notice of the other babies, responding to people more confidently, making more noise. Each week at Jo Jingles, Harry decides he can do something new. Leigh handed him a rattle and he promptly took it and rattled away. I’ve been trying to get him to do that at home for weeks – nothing!!! They are both benefiting from the socialising and so am I.
It’s great to be able to talk to other mums about the daily grind. How’s your baby sleeping/not sleeping? How much milk are they drinking? Are you weaning them? Do they get grumpy? To admit that some days, I just can’t be bothered to put them in super cute outfits, just for them to spit up on five minutes later. It’s easier to leave them in their sleep suits. Admitting that you don’t actually have a ‘routine’ – you’re just winging it as each day is magically different!!
What I have realised over the past few weeks is how much I’m loving it. Every day I see a change in my babies and now I understand why my husband feels like he’s missing out when he’s at work. They seem to grow bigger each night. When I take them out of their cots each morning, I’m given the biggest, gummiest smile ever and it’s wonderful. If that niggling feeling of self-doubt ever creeps in, I just look at them and remember how far they’ve come. How big they now are, and how happy they are. Then I pour us a well deserved glass of wine…..or two.