Mum tribe, mum squad, call it whatever you want. But you can't deny how important it is to have one at this stage in your life. Learn how you can find a parents support group here in Singapore and the benefits of having one here.
As they say, motherhood can be likened to an exclusive club. That until you become a member, you will never understand what it's like to be one.
Parent support groups in Singapore
Mums know how massive the changes are when one becomes a parent — all the new tasks, priorities, feelings of worry and insecurity a new parent go through.
Countless articles have been written about balancing work and childcare, pregnancy, caring for a newborn and simply being a parent in Singapore.
And to go through all that alone can be very detrimental to a person's well-being.
"Motherhood is a huge life transition. As with other major life transitions, it is important to find support," said Jamie Kreiter, a licenced clinical social worker and certified perinatal mental health clinician.
A new mum needs a support group to navigate the very taxing demands of early parenthood. And while having your partner and your family's support can be very helpful at this time, there's also another set of people that will be extremely valuable at this stage in your life — your own mum tribe.
Benefits of having a mum tribe
As a mum of three, I can definitely attest to the importance of having a mum support group. I've always been one of the boys, although I did also have a small group of girlfriends growing up. But now that I'm a mother, I have learned how important it is to have other women in your life to journey with as you go through motherhood.
I can go on and on about how having a mum squad absolutely helped me become a better parent, but let me just break it down to six reasons why having a parents' support group or a mum tribe can be beneficial:
You learn so much from other mums
No one wants to know more about parenting and child care than a new mum. And aside from talking to your child's paediatrician, the best place to get verified information and real-life experiences about parenting is from your other mum friends.
Being in a mum group opens you up to a lot of learning from other parents.
Worried about the rashes on your baby's face? A mum whose baby just had it a few months ago may be able to recommend something.
Wondering whether to get a new stroller for your little one? Another mum can vouch for it if it's really useful or if you're better off with a baby carrier.
You can talk about nipple cracks and postpartum stitches with these women and not worry that you're giving too much information.
Aside from getting valuable "tricks of the trade," you also learn from a mum's experiences on how to raise a child.
You get to share what you know that works, and you can also gain wisdom and grow as a parent and as a person from other people in your mums circle.
READ ALSO: 15 things you can do to help a mum with a newborn
They "get" you
Are you often frustrated how your partner or your work friend just can't get how upset you are about your child's attitude no matter how hard you try to explain it to them? You'll never have that with other mums. They know what you mean. Some of them have even been in that situation.
Also, they'll understand how busy you can get in the morning preparing everyone for school, and they get how important 30 minutes of alone time is for a mum.
You don't have to explain to them why you have to cancel girls' night because your child suddenly had an ear infection. They just get it.
And they won't judge you
What's great about having other mums as your support group is that they understand what you're going through, but they won't judge you for it.
You never have to feel like you're a bad mum when you're with your mum tribe.
You can show up at their house covered in your child's breakfast, hair looking like a mess, and your friend will understand.
Well, she might remind you to prioritise self-care (mums, we say this with love, really), but she won't judge you and will kindly hand you a brush for your hair and a cup of coffee for your nerves.
Your kids get instant friends too
As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. And by being in a parents' support group, imagine how big the village that you're opening your child to.
I grew up with my mum having a set of friends with kids, and I loved that I grew up with these kids, who are also parents now. And now that I'm a mum, I love that my children found their first friends with the kids of my friends.
These people are our default extended family and we love going to parks and family resorts with our "tribe."
Having a mum squad also means instant playmates for your children, which is great for building social skills. As an added bonus, they now have someone other than you to talk about Encantoor Roblox.
You have someone looking out for you and your child
Your mum tribe is there on the days you have the flu and your three-year-old needs a ride to her ballet rehearsal. No need to say anything else — your mum squad will also show up at your house with a box of pizza for dinner and make sure your children are entertained and attended to while you take a nap.
I remember the day I brought my daughter to school without a face mask on the day there was a really bad smog. I was already contemplating pulling her out of class that day. But thankfully, my friend, a co-parent in my daughter's grade level, had an extra one in her bag and gave it to my child without me having to say anything.
I love how my mum friends would treat my child like their own especially when I'm not around. Other mums know how important it is to be kind.
They support you
You and your mum friend may have different perspectives and different points of view about something. She may give you hard truths you need to hear at times. But at the end of the day, you can always count on her support.
They will be your (and your child's) cheerleaders, and will always be ready to give you a boost when you're feeling down.
These are just some of the ways that having a mum squad or a parents' support group can enhance your life. So if you're convinced that you need one, the next question will be, where can you find them?
READ ALSO: Returning to the office? How to prepare your clingy toddler
Where can you find your mum tribe?
I found my mum squad in my church group. I was lucky that I was put in a group where our kids were all about the same age. We pretty much bonded over breastfeeding woes and exchanging labour stories.
I'm also very fortunate that my high school friends got married and had kids about the same time I did and we graduated from partying and bar-hopping to brunches and playdates. I'm glad that I have friends who knew me way before I became a mum and see me as the mother that I am now.
As much as we love our partner and want to be inseparable from our kids, we also need other people in our lives. The truth is that it's not always easy to find your tribe.
You're not destined to be BFFs with every mum. But how will you know that unless you try and open yourself up to opportunities where you can find your "ride or die?"
Want to find your own mum support group? These are the first places and spaces to try:
- Your child's school: Hang out at the pickup area and try to smile at other mums there. You can also volunteer for a class activity and meet other parents, or set up a play date for your child and his favourite classmate.
- Mummy and me class: If you have a newborn, you can take advantage of these newborn classes to find someone who's in the same stage as you and know how important it is to have a mum friend. Some women even find lifetime pals from birthing classes.
- At the park: I know it's so tempting to stay glued to your phone while your child enjoys the slide. But instead, be that mum who smiles at other mums and makes time at the park more meaningful. Don't forget to keep an eye on your child as you chat with your new friend, of course.
- Parenting support group for a mum concern: It's been proven that shared struggles can help people bond. Are you having trouble breastfeeding? Try opening up in an online breastfeeding support group. You get answers and support for your concern, and you may also get new friends. Win-win!
- Parents support group in Singapore: There are also organisations like Families for Life that can help you connect with other Singaporean families in your area.
- Online parenting community
It can be daunting to put yourself out there and meet new people. But if your toddler can make a new friend, so can you, mum! With an open attitude and a smile, you can be on your way to finding the best group you need in this stage of your life.
This article was first published in theAsianparent.