Wednesday, 26 October 2016

#MAMAMEETUK //: The Manchester edition.

Meeting new people can be daunting when you've just had a baby, and meeting new mums, can be even worse. There's so many parenting police around snubbing their noses that it can be quite off putting. So on Tuesday morning I headed into Manchester city center to attend a mamameetuk event. It's an online group on Facebook/Instagram where you can meet mums or mums to be, in your area with babies and toddlers. There is a general specific group on Facebook called mamameetuk and there's subdivisions for each area of the UK e.g. North West.

The group on Facebook currently is quite quiet as we all chat on in a private group. We post about meet ups happening in different areas and talk to other mummy's nearby. We talk about our general queries that we feel like we have no one else to turn to, or just for friendly chit chat. It's a super welcoming group that make you feel like you're not alone in this huge life change.

There is also a page on Instagram where you can chat to mums from all over the country. With posts asking different questions such as what are your plans for the weekend. It's a friendly vibe and every week you can vote for mama of the week, a mama that you think deserves to be recognised or needs a boost. It's been running for a couple of weeks now and each mama of the week wins a prize! And at the end of the year the mama with the most votes overall wins a bigger prize. 

It's all about celebrating mums and babes alike. 

I attended the mama meet Manchester to meet some mums I made friends with over Instagram before Imogen arrived. The meet was at the Marriott Victoria and Albert hotel. A couple of us decided that people from out of town who wouldn't know the area well, that a couple of us would meet in Picadilly train station and then head to the hotel together. 3 hours later in a Starbucks talking to different mums who were coming and going if they were meeting others or making their way, we finally made ours. We thought we met everyone who was supposed to arrive but it turns out we missed someone! Yikes.

Luckily as Louise and Libbi (the mamas who run the groups) were really behind on their trains they managed to meet up with the mama who got lost.

By the time we got to the hotel we were already drained from the babies and had a severe shower out in the rain (trust Manchester to show it's colours), plus, we were ready for another coffee. Jo and her husband who set up the venue were the best hosts, bringing out cakes, pastrys and tea and coffee.

It was a lovely day out meeting lots of new mamas and mamas that I had been talking to online for a while. Talking about labour stories, work and all things babies. I'm already so excited to meet some of the girls again in Leeds next month, and some more new mama's and babes! It was nice to be able to talk to some mums and it be normal because all of our lives are centered around our little ones. 

It was a strange experience especially as I'm not really one for talking to new people. I pushed myself to talk to as many as I could considering the sleepless night I had just before. I went in with all guns blazing figuratively speaking. There was so many women who were shy that just opened up  and there was some with anxiety's just as bad and worse than my own. 

It felt welcoming and when any of us spotted a mama that hadn't talked to anyone, we went over for a nosey at the little one and chatted nonsense whilst trying to juggle all of our babes who were easily distracted! I had it in my head the night before that I wouldn't go at all and I'm glad that my partner pushed me to go. I feel like I've made a couple of friends for life and now I can't wait for the next meet up! 

If you're interested in a mamameetup there are plenty going on all around the country. Head on over to @mamameetuk on instagram for more! 


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