They say it takes a village to raise a child. When I had my first baby (Willow), I felt like I had that. My husband (Tim) and I were living in the UK at the time. Lots of our close friends were settling down, getting married, having babies of their own, and our parents were only a couple of hours drive away. I had a lovely group of "Mummy friends". We guided each other through pregnancy, birth and becoming mothers, messaging at all hours of the day or while up feeding our babies at night. We met for coffee and cake. We went for walks. We confided in one another about our mum "fails" and celebrated our successes together.
Fast forward ten months and covid hit, we went into lockdown and Tim was made redundant… but shortly afterwards, he was headhunted for a job here in Jersey. After a trip to the island for his interview, we found out we were pregnant with our second child (Darcey). I was still feeling "seasick" four days after getting the ferry home, so we figured we should probably do a test!
I felt quite lost when we first moved to Jersey in October 2020, and I didn't have my "village" here. I had also resigned from the job I loved (as a radio journalist) to relocate and became a stay-at-home-mum, which was a huge adjustment.
We moved during the height of the pandemic, when group gatherings weren't allowed, making it difficult to meet anyone. Tim and I signed up for antenatal classes where we had hoped to connect with other parents, but they were all done online. It was incredibly challenging to build friendships when we didn't get a chance to chat to one another like you would in the same room. Thankfully, I have since become friends with some of that group and other mums I've met along the way.
But I've had a taste of how isolating it can be as a new mum. Those early days with two children under two were hard with no support network here. I really struggled with the lack of sleep from feeding Darcey all night and having to run around after Willow all day. When the covid restrictions eased, I signed up to as many toddler groups as possible to get us out of the house and meet some new people. I was at Forest Friends with both the girls when Darcey was just two weeks old! It paid off, but I really had to put myself out there.
That's what I love about The Mum Club. It's all about giving mums a safe space to meet other women who also have children. I went to a couple of events when it first launched last summer and loved everything. When I heard the franchise was up for sale, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. It was everything I had needed and been missing as a mum. In December, I took over running it with a friend who has since left the island, and I'm now running it alone (with my two girls in tow).
We typically get between 25 and 30 women and their babies/toddlers join us for each event. It's a really lovely atmosphere. For two hours, the mums can chat about anything and everything while enjoying some food, a hot drink… and the occasional prosecco. I can even hold their babies (if they would like me to) so they can eat. TMC brings women together to build one another up and support each other through this crazy journey of motherhood. No judgment. No cliques. It's an incredible community to be part of. I feel like me again, and hopefully, the women who come to our events do too.
If you would like to find out more about The Mum Club Jersey, you will find us on Instagram @themumclubjersey