I am so excited to share my news with you all - my wonderful friend Cat and I are launching "Tea, Cake and Parenting", a new hub for parents, providing support, information and opportunity to meet others at the same stage and most importantly tea and cake! We are kicking off Friday this week with our first social morning, with many more planned (full dates and times can be found here).
But before I explain all that I really wanted to share the story behind Tea, Cake and Parenting.
Cat and I have been friends for over 12 years, we met while rowing for Son's of the Thames Rowing Club and became fast friends as we are both natural organisers! We hate faffing around wasting time and so would organise our other rowing friends and just ensure whatever needed to get done got done. Then over the years we've had children, and our friends have had children... and we've supported each other over and over again at different times. When I moved to Mortlake Cat immediately sent me a list of playgroups and local activities, and introduced me to almost every local person who had a similar aged son to mine! Through Sheen Slings I met many amazing people who support pregnant parents and new parents and I was able to pass these contacts onto Cat as and when she needed them. And likewise Cat, made contacts and passed on to me... And of course both of us found we are the ones our friends come to to ask if we know something or someone who can help with x because over the years we've both become "nexi" or "hubs" of information and contacts.
But the biggest thing Cat and I did for one another was simply to listen, to be there, to be present! Present with a understanding listening ear, a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Really this more than anything is the absolute key to thriving rather than just surviving parenthood!
This support - having somewhere to turn to if you have questions, somewhere you can be hear and simply be is so important as a new parent. Over and over again through the sling library I have met parents who have felt overwhelmed and just not sure where to turn, who've needed more support than can be offered in during a Sling session and under the umbrella of a Sling consultant. I've always wanted somewhere I can send them where they can ask ANY question, come with any problem and just be heard. And really this is what Tea, Cake and Parenting is all about.
This is our aim... to be a hub for new (and not so new second, third or more times around) parents. To fulfil this aim we will be running 2 types of session - social mornings and topic mornings. You can read more about both here, but in a nutshell the social mornings are informal fortnightly sessions we are running from our homes. Come with your worries and concerns or just come for some company of other like minded adults and enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake in an environment where you don't need to worry and apologize if your baby needs to feed, sleep, have a giant poo or just roll around throwing toys everywhere. The topic mornings will be slightly more formal focused sessions (although babies obviously welcome to come and do all of the above and be as informal as they like), where we delve into a key parenting topic in detail as a group, looking at the evidence and different strategies. They'll be guest speakers as the topic demands and plenty of information on how to find out more and get more in depth support if needed. We have literally tonnes of ideas for these and will be looking to start with one or two later this year before pushing on with a more full schedule early next year!
So do come along and find out how Tea, Cake and Parenting can support you!