With ‘courage’ as my #OneWord365 this year, I finally took Jonathan to our first Mum and Toddler group. Since he has been born I have wrestled with anxiety of taking him out places for any length of time. When he was really small, I was scared of him being inconsolable, not knowing how to respond to his cries and generally just wanting to be in my ‘safe haven’ of home. I still like home more than anywhere for both of us. It is home after all.
Nonetheless, the Mum and Toddler group was one of the things I wanted to go to at the start of 2018. It would be an opportunity to meet other mums and perhaps a chance to meet other Christians in the local area. It is run by the local church but is open to all mums and toddlers from all sorts of backgrounds. I wanted to give Jonathan a chance to be around more noises, explore different toys, meet new people and generally just get out of our natural habitat!
First impressions were ‘will I be sat at the back of the room for the whole time on my own as my son has decided to fall asleep?’ Going to new things like this is always a bit awkward – let’s face it. I don’t know anyone. They don’t know me. Who will take that bit of courage and start talking…? Oh, I know my word for the year is ‘courage’ but how easy it is to want to hide away in the corner! Thankfully the volunteers made me feel very welcome and Jonathan did wake up!
I met a couple of mums – one had a five and half month old girl. The other had a boy of 10 months and a girl who was four. It was nice to talk to mums, despite all my worry before venturing to this group wondering if I would ‘fit’ in. It’s just like a first day at school and you are the new kid on the block.
Speaking of new kids… there were several newborns there – one was only six days old! On day six of Jonathan’s life we were still in hospital! My hat goes off to that mum – I would want to retreat under a rock!
It’s really exciting to see all of the various activities set up in the community centre. Jonathan is too small at the moment to do a lot of it, but it will be fantastic as he grows. There is even a soft play area and he loved looking at his reflection in the soft toy block mirror, kicking his legs as if he was marching! The joy in his face makes my heart skip a beat – this little boy is my beautiful son. I am thankful for him.
I was blessed that the volunteers were happy to take him so I could have a cup of tea. Jonathan enjoyed the cuddles. At first I felt like I had no idea who these people are and should they hold him – but then was reminded that this is a community and perhaps Jonathan’s smile could bless them as they blessed me!
As Jonathan takes an afternoon sleep after a fun-filled morning, I get time to blog again. Nap times provide some much needed time to read, reflect, relax and write. Being a mum has been both hard and joyful so far, but as every day passes by I am reminded that my Heavenly Father is watching over me as I take my first steps into motherhood – and I like to think that He is smiling at me too.