It was raining hard one afternoon and as a first time mom with a screaming infant at a retail park I was frazzled and frantically looking for shelter to breastfeed my 5 week old son, Buba. Locating a Costa coffee shop not my usual Starbucks but it would do, I ran for cover in this over packed out Costa. Opening the door to a mad house I jumped in line to order the coffee I knew I wouldn’t get to drink so I could sit and feed this poor baby who is screaming and drawing attention as the sweat pours down my face in anxiety. My stroller had no place to go but be in the way and people were starting to stare. This is how I felt. I rushed my order and panicked as I looked for an empty corner to hide in and feed. No luck.
I spotted a group of mommies happily chatting over coffee and looking a lot less stressed then I did. They would understand! There was one seat left at their table and I was praying that they weren’t saving it for another mommy friend. I went over and pleaded my case for the spare seat. At first I turn my chair around as I didn’t want to assume giving me the chair gave me rights to their luncheon. While feeding my son I started thinking how will I ever meet other mommies if I don’t buck up and introduce myself. Not wanting to impose on their lovely get together but as an American living so far from any friends or family I was desperate for adult conversation and to make some mommy friends. Like a typical American I stuck my nose in their conversation and introduced myself properly! Nervous how I would be received was written across my face as I, too often, was the over the top loud American in the presence of these reserved quiet Britons. The warm hearted welcome I felt that day changed everything, I no longer was this anxious first time mommy all alone in this country that I hadn’t become accustom to yet.
In the end I left with a circle of eight mommies with eight beautiful babies to help me understand that we are all frantic first time mommies! Some more than others but it was a support system that made being a mom so much more for me. A survival network! For a few weeks we all met up at a baby group called Bumps, babies, and beyond (more on this group later) and then decided to meet up in various households, coffee shops, and soft play areas for the past two years. The eight of us have become extremely close; sharing our experiences as moms, our emotional ups and downs, for some of us second babies, and now closest dear friends. I can never thank the rain enough or the hunger of my son on that particular day!