By Melissa Meehan
For many new mums, becoming a parent for the first time can be isolating.
They love their children and are doing their best, but whether it be because their friends don’t have kids themselves or a tyranny of distance, some feel very alone.
That is why the internet has become an important tool for new mums, making connections and asking for help in a non judgmental environment where other women are going through the same things and experiences.
Amalie Digby created the Bayside Mothers Group facebook group in 2018.
She knew it was going to be a big task to manage, but knew there was a need out there.
She was right.
The Heatherton mum launched the group at 7pm – and by midnight she already had 1500 members.
“When I started the group I wanted to do more about the postnatal space and anxiety,” she said.
“I had experienced anxiety myself and knew other mums had to have felt the same way too.”
Over the years the group has raised money for charity, held a Mothers Working Group at a local cafe and tried to connect in a number of many ways.
She says the groups first rule “don’t be an @$$” was a little bit tongue in cheek – but it’s members have always followed the rules.
“I’m very time poor, but I’ve found that I really don’t have to do a lot of admin work on it,” she said.
“We only let mums from the local area in the group and it’s been really good found less spam posts and lots of organic stuff which is nice to see.
“I’m really proud to have created a safe space that is totally local.”
She says a sense of community particularly grew during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
As many people were stuck at home without the help of family, they turned to the Bayside Mothers Group page and sought advice.
There were lots of other things that members joined in on too – some local businesses held wine nights or art nights during lockdown which many attended.
With 7000 members, there’s bound to be some that come and go as the page meets their needs or their kids grow up.
Amalie says she receives 200-300 requests to join every month. Some of them men.
“I understand that they may be local Dad’s, but we do try to keep this as a mum’s only space,” she said.
“Some of our members are talking about incontinence, and other things that men may not understand or need to know. And our members may not be comfortable to share if they knew men are part of the group.
“But we know that there are a lot of community groups in Bayside support dads and men – there’s even a Dads playgroup so I feel like that is what works for our page.”
To join search Bayside Mothers Group on facebook