Tag: baby class

Building your confidence for baby classes/social events

I recently attended a “Mums meet up” hosted by Mama Society. I had an amazing time and when I posted about it, I couldn’t believe how many private messages I…


tips on boosting confidence for a baby classI recently attended a “Mums meet up” hosted by Mama Society. I had an amazing time and when I posted about it, I couldn’t believe how many private messages I had from other mums saying how much they would love to attend a social event, however, they felt too anxious and nervous. It saddened me because, I had such a great time. I would love other mums to feel confident enough to attend a baby class or a mums meet up event.

At the same time, I truly understand the challenges you can face with feeling nervous and anxious, to throw yourself into the deep end and go in a room full of people you have never even met before.

Just because you have anxiety- does not mean anxiety is all you are

A little background on myself. After suffering from social anxiety for years now I feel that I have started to turn a corner with myself and realise that just because I have attended therapy sessions and have had medication for anxiety, the label “anxiety” is not who I am and not my personality.

Confidence boosting tips for attending a baby class/social event

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite ways to help combat the feeling of being nervous or anxious before a baby class or a social event and hopefully I will at least help someone reading this.tips on boosting confidence for a baby class

  1. Plan. Plan everything either the night before or two days before. Even down to your outfit and your child’s outfit, what they will have for their breakfast, dinner or snacks and anything they might need there. Having a full plan will help you to feel like you have control over what you can control, resulting in confidence. If you wake up late, everything will all be planned for you to focus on straight away and get going. Or if you wake up feeling anxious, you have a plan to stick to, which will help your mind not wander off thinking the worst of everything which may result in you talking yourself out of going.
  2.  Arrive early. I love trying (I say trying because we all know how hard this is with a child) to arrive early for a class or event I am attending for the first time because, for me personally, journeys to new places are extremely stressful. It is like I get myself that worked up, parking my car in a space takes me 100 manoeuvres. Giving yourself time to chill out before you head in and beat the rush of all the other mums parking and fighting for a space will help you to feel more relaxed.
  3. Another reason to arrive early. If you are early or on time, you are more likely to be one of the first mums there. You will have more options on where you want to sit, get your child sorted incase they need a quick change before the starting time. But, most importantly, you are not going to be walking into a room full of people, with all eyes on you, feeling the judgement. (Even though no mum will actually be judging. Your anxiety will somehow convince yourself that they are). I personally find it easier to greet a mum walking in, than having to walk up to what looks like an established conversation between two people and have to stand their awkwardly smiling until you think of something interesting to say.tips on boosting confidence for a baby class
  4. Avoid Caffeine. Dare I say it, coffee is not your friend (in this case). Why? Caffeine is a stimulant. That is not going to help someone with anxiety. Caffeine’s effects on your body are similar to those of a frightening event. Caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response, and studies show that this can make anxiety worse and can even trigger an anxiety attack.
  5. Questions. Have an idea on what questions to ask the other mums. Take the opportunity to get to know them. Find out what their interests are and you will probably see how similar they are to you. Remember that not all mums want to attend a social event and talk about their babies and some mums all they want to do is talk about their babies. So if you feel that the conversation is awkward, just change the subject and don’t take the bad response personally.
  6. Try again. Once I attended a class at a local church, where I did not feel comfortable. AT ALL. It was one of the first classes I attended as a new mum, living in a new area. I left half way through as my anxiety got the better of me. I sat in my car and burst into tears – even took a selfie, to look back on as one of my lows and know that one day I would laugh and not take the experience personally.tips on boosting confidence for a baby classThe feeling of being anxious and having my expectations crushed on baby classes combined with the guilt of not being a good mum to Mole crushed me. I was super firm on myself to try a different class elsewhere, I did and LOVED it.  Fast forward a few months, I attended that class I originally felt so crappy at to give it a second chance. I hated it. The same thing happened again. I left half way and cried in my car. The point I am trying to make is, some classes/events will be for you and some won’t. It does not make you a bad mum if you need to leave and give yourself time. Remember, if you have made the big enough step to even make it out of the house, praise yourself.
  7. Wear your confident hat. A trick I learnt from drama classes. Pretend you are wearing an invisible confident hat. Sounds very silly doesn’t it? Believing you are confident, standing tall, smiling, making eye contact and asking open ended questions will make you look very approachable, friendly and most important make you feel like you actually are a confident person; even though you may have lived however many years of your life labelling yourself as shy.

Give it a go

Hopefully these tips come in use for you and you feel that you can attend a class/event. Attending will be worth your while. I have met some amazing people I can call my friends and I have been able to see my daughter enjoy herself too.

 

Images by https://www.truelightphotography.net/

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Baby Sensory Class: An honest review

I’m not the type of person that likes to stay in the house all day.  After  I gave birth to Mole, one of my goals was to be able to…

I’m not the type of person that likes to stay in the house all day.  After  I gave birth to Mole, one of my goals was to be able to leave the house as it helps to break the day up and I don’t go crazy. I soon got bored of going food shopping or pushing the pram up and down the street so I asked my Health Visitor about local baby classes.

Here was her list along with my thoughts:

  • Baby Massage. Mole lay on her back? Bad idea…Thanks reflux.
  • Baby Yoga. Not really in the relaxing yogary mood.
  • Messy Play. Had to be 3 months old and there was a waiting list.
  • Dancing Tots. Babies had to be crawling.
  • Little Athletes. Too young, babies had to be able to run,
  • Musical Babies. Mole is musical enough with her constant cry.
  • Baby Sensory. No idea what this is, no current thoughts persuading me not to go. Let’s give it a try.

It was the best decision I could have made.

When I became pregnant with Mole, I moved from Manchester to Stoke. Even though my family and friends are only 2 hours away, I felt like I had moved to Australia. I was mourning my life before I had a baby. I was so selfish: I would go to the gym when I wanted, shopping when I wanted, I would eat when I wanted and even lie down on the couch all day scoffing Jaffa Cakes, watching repeats of the Kardashians on E! when I had watched the same episodes a dozen times, probably even the day before. I felt like I could not do much with a newborn or more to the point, I was not sure what I was allowed to do with a newborn. The health visitor and midwife made it clear to me that even putting your baby in a pram can result in cot death.

How did the class help?

I was super hesitant in attending the class. As with every new thing in life I have to do. But it really did change my whole outlook on motherhood. Baby sensory strengthened mine and Moles bond. Watching her interact for the first time with toys, sounds and lights filled me with so much joy. I couldn’t believe how proud I was of her for doing the smallest thing like holding a rattle. To be honest, I have more fun there than she does sometimes!

As Mole was young, the class helped me to structure my day by making sure I was awake and out of the house for a certain time. I began to notice my days going to baby sensory were easier than days spent in the house all day. I developed a day time feeding routine and soon after, Mole’s naps linked in, preparing meals linked in, doing the washing linked in. Everything fell into place and I was the happiest mother out there.

What age can your baby attend?

Mole was 8 weeks when she first joined her class and I thought she had to be much older before she was allowed as she did not have all her injections done. Babies can attend Baby Sensory from any age! There was a baby, Oscar, attending at just 3 weeks. Props to his mummy!

What does the class involve?

The class itself stimulates babies with various objects for them to touch, shake and look at. We sing lot’s of songs that the babies love to hear. At Baby Sensory we repeat two songs every week at the start and end of the session so the babies really get use to listening to it and most babies recognise it now when it comes on.

As Mole was only 8 weeks when she first joined Baby Sensory, I was so surprised at how much she interacted with everyone and all of the sensory play toys. I was so use to her at home sleeping most of the day and sitting in her bouncer that I had no idea how even at a young age she could still interact. She must have been so bored 😮 !  I went straight to Mothercare after her first class and spoilt Mole with tonnes of sensory toys to play with and the Baby Sensory play-mat.

Every class each week is different and never repeated. We have done all sorts from Pirate Parties to a Royal Wedding themed party but Mole’s favourite had to be the Cowboy Party where she got to sit on Rody the inflatable bouncing horse. She let out the most biggest burps possible bouncing up and down on the horse.

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