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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Mum friends

Being the first of my friends to have babies and moving back to SW London I needed to find other mummies in my hood to hang out with. I thought that this would be easy living in a London borough that is a huge magnet to young families. Though when only a few mothers were smiling back in the streets and I failed at conversing in the weigh-in clinic I felt a bit disgruntled and stuck to my child-less mates enjoying the attention and cups of tea. I suppose I never really thought about how to meet other mums in the beginning - I just got on with the job in hand and enjoyed seeing people I already knew.
When I realised I wanted to meet others in the same boat - and to while away the week instead of eating my parents' food and shopping, I tried the local Netmums meet a mum board and went on a few mum 'dates'. This was brilliant and I met so many different people - my fears of socialising solely with old mumsy types was diminished. (My health visitor told me that the average age of first-time mums in my area was 42 and I must admit I was worried)

[For those thinking why I didn't meet others whilst preggers : I hadn't signed up to NCT as it seemed expensive and I dreaded the thought of hanging out with the stereotypical local mumsy thirty-something banker wives. The local ante-natal classes were cancelled in my area (thanks NHS) and I had to go to the hospital's very basic sessions. There were only two and although lovely - I didn't keep in touch with the 2 couples I met there)

A few months on, and I'm happy to have found a cool group of mums, all different in ages and personality, but with babes in 0-2yr range. Not a real clique, but a regular set who I've met a few times and have now become my friends :)

I'd like to try and help others do the same to avoid missing out on some mummy action. Living in a parent-zone I though there would be some mother camadarie but was disappointed at the lack of community. I'm no social recluse, and can talk to people on the bus, weigh-in clinic, exercise class - but sometimes organised meetups are the way to go. Check out these links if you're in the need to meet some others in the same baby-boat. You need to register for most of them.

Netmums has been a god-send- for one-on-one and group meet-ups
For Sanity's Sake is an excellent new initiative already serving more than 300 members in the local borough of Richmond Upon Thames. Think Netmums, Mumsnet, Babycentre etc without the forum discussions, and with detailed local calendar listings and meetups.

Some people have found NCT really useful so find out where your local group is when pregnant just in case. The formal ante-natal are fee-paying, but most bumps and babies meetups are open to all. I enjoy going to a nearby weekly NCT meetup at a nearby pub for a Friday afternoon drink ;)

In Twickenham in particular there is so much potential for locally-led community initiatives. Everyone's concerned about physical changes to the town, but I'm hoping to see all the services and local businesses work together to support each other and the local people to behave like a community. E.g. Councils putting pressure on local landlords to allow the use of empty-shops to be run as short-term hubs for people to come together to work, play, chill. Or more permanently like Grassroots in West Ham or The Hub community centre in Hounslow. But that's another blog post altogether.

Until then, happy mum-meeting!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

On the search for easy recipes for mum and baby

I feel like I need to diversify the daytime meals a bit better and be savvy with the ingredients while preparing communal meals for all three of us. Since, my darling belles-soeurs gave me a Beaba Babycook steamer/blender as a gift, I've loved using it to make Leon's lunch and Dinners- and it was brilliant for the purée stage. Adding some meats, fish and loads of steamed veg he loves to feed himself. Usually with his hands, but today he managed to stick the spoon in the bowl then into his mouth! Though sometimes I find myself eat from his plate and realise, we should be having lunch together at the table, not me sitting in front of him eating his food... then rushing to make myself something decent at the same time. Though I do enjoy our 1 hour long lunches...

I feel confident in what I've been chucking in together has worked out well - though sometimes it's been gross - so I'm pleased to have found the recipe site for the Babycook machine that shows you how to cook gnocchi and beef stroganoff. mmm tasty...
the colour of all their stock is as yummy as the potential meals.
Image from
my, that post is so inspiring to make delicious food! 

Planning on taking it with me to Paris for the weekend as it's been so convenient ;)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

swimming baby

Finally taking my baby for a swim next week with some other mums. On holiday the water was too cold or it freaked him out but he wouldn't go into the Med. perhaps we should have persisted, but I think he's already discovering swimming at bath-time, though the pool will be great as it's much deeper and maybe he'll go for it more. I think he'd really enjoy being in the warm water and moving, splashing about.
Was pleased to have come across this comment on a webpage while looking for the pic of a swimming baby: "It's great for prewalkers that are really frustrated by not being able to move on their own."

Leonsito's 9 months, large, not completely crawling yet, but is slowly getting there. I think this will allow him to play more in the water as opposed to the bathtime where he's often just ready to go to bed (perhaps i should bathe him earlier...)

What does your baby wear to go swimming in a public pool - just a swimming nappy or a t-shirt, body as well?