Making friends with other mothersWhether it's a morning spent sobbing right along with your baby or a feeling of great accomplishment after finally squeezing in a five-minute shower, there are some experiences only another mom -- especially one with a child around your child's age -- will be able to relate to. And oftentimes, all it takes is an understanding nod to help you feel like everything is going to be okay.
"The two people I talk to most are my husband and my mom," says Keri. "But it's one thing to have one of them say, 'Oh, don't worry, you're just being paranoid,' and another to have a mom say, 'Oh, don't worry -- we went through that, too.' It makes you feel like you're not crazy."
And of course, new-mom friends are great for helping you make sense of all that unsolicited advice that comes with motherhood. "When you have your first baby, everyone gives comments and criticism," says Jenna. "And even though my mom and my grandmother are experienced moms and I rely on them for so much, their advice isn't always up-to-date. The moms in this group just get it. And their support has made everything seem more doable and helped give me confidence."
"Something else that's so wonderful about spending time with other moms and their babies is that it helps you realize there's no right way to parent," says Keri. "Although all of us share some of the same general concerns about sleeping and eating, each one of us is different and each of our babies is different, and everyone eventually finds their own way."
The group's consensus: Seek out other new moms as soon as you can -- even if it seems like it's too much of a production to get out of the house. "Harrison was six weeks old when I finally made it to our group for the first time -- I was terrified that he would start screaming in his car seat or would need to breastfeed while I was in public," says Melanie. "Now, when I see some moms come to our group with babies who are two weeks old, I feel a little silly for all of those fears. This group has been so wonderful from the start. It's a place where you can come as you are and share anything -- and it's helped me come into my own as a mom."