Since becoming pregnant my social life has actually picked up enormously. This may sound surprising, but for the last four years I have pretty much done nothing but work in a full time office job, and spent my evenings and weekends either studying or doing housework. My husband and I are of the ‘lost’ generation of graduates who are now struggling with an impossibly huge mortgage, and a backlog of debt, leaving little room for holidays and social events.
When I fell pregnant I contacted the organizer of my local NCT (National Childbirth Trust) group, after hearing about the charity from a friend (http://www.nct.org.uk/). Amazingly, this lady lives in my home town and we have become good friends in a short space of time. We would have been friends without the children, but we never had the opportunity to meet. Similarly I have made friends with other people who joined the group, all of whom had babies at around the same time. We all agree that it is strange how it took us to have children before we actually ‘discovered’ each other.
As a way of easing the often stressful life of being a mother with young children, we meet up once a week for a scheduled coffee morning. We visit each other’s houses, and sometimes we take a ride out somewhere for a change of scenery. This week we visited Tatton Park in Knutsford, Cheshire (http://www.tattonpark.org.uk/). It is a place that I have been meaning to visit for many years, and never got round to. It is beautiful!
We parked at an entrance on the outskirts of Knutsford town centre, and walked for about an hour through the grounds, before arriving at the coffee shop. It was a fine, sunny day in early October, and the temperature was still fairly warm. Perfect weather for walking! Our children enjoyed watching the sheep, fellow visitors, and even the occasional deer as we walked along, and the mums had a lovely time deep in conversation.
At the coffee shop we all indulged in a little cake and coffee. I chose my current favourite, a mocha to drink, and a rocky road chocolate cake to eat. Delicious! I was surprised at how busy Tatton Park was on this midweek day. There were people using the grounds for cycling, running, and there were several other mums with pushchairs and young children as well. Along with the extensive grounds, Tatton Park boasts a stately home, gift and garden shops, the aforementioned coffee shop, and children’s playground.
After our refreshment we took the children into the playground. My daughter had a fantastic time on the swings, and I took some really cute photos to show her daddy when he returned home from work. It was a bonus when she had a long daytime nap as well, since this is something of a rarity with my baby. She played with her friends, enjoyed the fresh air, and was very happy indeed.
It was a lovely daytrip, and I am extremely thankful to have such a wonderful group of friends, and such a beautiful place to visit right on my doorstep. This life is so much better than the one I was living eighteen months ago, that’s for sure. And the NCT is a brilliant charity. It helps to stop us mums from getting too overwhelmed with parenthood, and there are plenty of activities and studies to get involved with if we feel the need.
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