My NCT Friends

echo chambers

I was seven months pregnant with 4yo when we moved to this area, and only had one friend who lived closeby. Hubby and I started NCT classes shortly after the move, thinking it might be a way of making new friends who were all in the same boat as us. It worked out great and the five other families quickly became a huge part of our lives. Our children were all born within four weeks of each other, and to this day have a very special bond.

Two of us had baby #2 within the same fortnight, and one of them is now a few weeks behind my third pregnancy with her second. In the early days the mums and babes would all meet every week, then as people started going back to work we decided on fortnightly meets. Over the last year it’s often only ended up being two or three of us, and the meets have been a tad thin on the ground since the kids started school in September. Last Wednesday was a date we’d had in the diary for weeks – being half term it seemed a shame for those of us not at work to not make the effort. Three of us were going to another’s house for lunch and a playdate, and we were all really looking forward to seeing each other.

Hubby and I don’t drive – we’ve toyed with the idea a few times and always come up with the same conclusions. Neither of us want to, we Iive just outside London and both work in the city, so don’t need to. And right now we couldn’t afford a car or the running costs even if we did. Usually not driving doesn’t stand in my way of doing things – we have fantastic public transport in our area, and appropriate outdoor clothing if the weather is bad. Sleep deprivation and pregnancy can alter your opinion of such things though, and Tuesday night was bad, even for our standards.

I just couldn’t face the thought of the travelling (2 buses and 10 min walk each way), the potential meltdowns, and what the end of the day would bring. I texted the host and explained that we weren’t going to make it and why, and she replied saying that she was sorry to hear that and would miss us. Then about 5 mins later she texted back offering to come over and pick up the kids to give me a break. Then another one of the group texted to say that she would come and collect us and take us home, even though her and the host live only a 10 min walk away. I was touched, and rather emotional if I’m honest. So that’s what we did, and we all had a lovely day. Then once we got home I had a text from the host saying that we had left 21mo’s comfort blanket (bubba) at her house, and half an hour later she was at my door with it.

Yesterday has made me realise how incredibly fortunate I am to have these wonderful ladies. From what I hear about how hit and miss it can be, it certainly feels like we lucked out with our little group. Over the last four and a half years we have seen each other through all sorts – death, miscarriage, twins, moving away, redundancy – often turning to each other in an hour of need. Although I wouldn’t have necessarily picked these people out of a line up, they have become genuine friends. My family and I are very blessed to have them in our lives.

33 thoughts on “My NCT Friends

  1. It’s such a rarity for people not to drive I guess, but having lived in or just outside London since leaving home I’ve never really questioned it. I’m sure I’ll succumb one day 😉

  2. Oh my what a wonderful support network you have Judith. I can’t even imagine how helpful that was in your early days. Sometimes the kindness of others can reduce me to being a blubbering wreck! Baby is due in Feb – I’ll be six months next week, and cannot believe it. The first few months were long and dragged (like most pregnancies do) but now I feel like I need to press the pause button. Of course the silly season will be upon us in the blink of an eye, then it’ll be show time before I know it. All good though, and we’re all very excited about meeting our little man 🙂

  3. Totally agree with you, and quite like the term dating agency for parents to be 😉 we didn’t really find the classes hugely helpful, but the network we made has been invaluable.

  4. Totally! In those earliest days I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to be able to properly relate unless they are going through the exact same thing. Friends who are mums can offer advice, but i found tremendous comfort in having people who were just a few weeks ahead or behind my baby. I’ve got these days to look forward to again soon 😉

  5. Sorry to hear that, it’s a story I’ve heard a lot which is why I know we were so lucky. Really glad you found some ally’s to help you through the early days 🙂

  6. it really can be hit and miss. We never managed to find a place on NTC group – in fact never found a parents craft class at all – but luckily met some local mums at the Children’s Centre. Now that we’re all back to work we don’t keep in touch that much still they really are the only people I know where we live.

  7. I missed out on antenatal classes as I was abroad when I was pregnant/delivered my little one so when I moved back to the UK, it was really important for me to attend the postnatal/baby playgroups in order to meet women in similar (by similar I mean “OH GOD I ACTUALLY HAVE A BABY AND HAVEN’T EATEN/SLEPT/BEEN TO THE TOILET LIKE A NORMAL PERSON IN *insert level of deprivation here*!”) situations. I can really relate to what you have said here as the women I have met so far have in different ways provided an essential lifeline to me that when I am feeling low I know I can call upon and vice versa. x

  8. What a great network of friends to have. And that you deserve too. I’m glad you have found a little community and you have been able to share times together.

  9. Lovely to have such a good group. Most of our group still meet up 6.5 years on. H’s best friend is one of the group and they go to school together which is lovely.

  10. That’s lovely, sounds like a few #magicmoments in there. Like you, I find my NCT friends an invaluable source of support, we all bonded really quickly over our shared journey into parenting. It sounds like you have a lovely group of ladies, and how nice to all be looking out for one another.

  11. What lovely friends.

    We joined the NCT and did their antenatal classes, I didn’t find the classes gave me any more information about labour but the ladies I met have been a life line.

    We meet every week for lunch currently while we are all on maternity leave. After my c-section and a difficult few weeks I missed a lot of the meet ups. Every time I let them know I couldn’t make it I received messages of support and encouragement. This support has continued through breatfeeding worries, sleep issues and now weaning!

    Some say the NCT is a glorified dating agency for parents to be. But I would certainly reccomended the classes.

  12. It’s so nice when friendships just work isn’t it. I swerved NCT, wasn’t keen as I’d heard it could go either way, but the friendships I’ve made with other parents since we had our daughter are fantastic, never thought I’d ‘need’ more friends on top of the wonderful friends I already had, but there’s something about shared experiences that bonds so well, which sounds like what’s so special about your group of friends too. #MagicMoments

  13. This made me a bit teary – it is so important to have supportive friends around you when you have babies. I go to a wonderfully warm and supportive church, and I remember thinking when I had my first that I just didn’t know how people had children without a (church) family around them. They organised a rota to cook us meals every night for two weeks, but people brought so much food that we ate left overs from the freezer for another two weeks after that. Friends would text to ask if we needed anything from the shops if they were there, night owl friends would keep me company on Facebook during night feeds, one of my best friends (who has 4 kids) was by birth partner and came round in the early days to help with The Boy’s first bath and was also available for help and advice on the phone all the time. Also, one friend passed on all the baby clothes we could ever need, including blankets, coats, bedding etc from birth up to 1 year. We didn’t need to buy a single thing for our son, everything was passed on by kind friends.

    Anyway, here’s to wonderful friends who go out of their way to help in our hour of need! When is your third baby due, btw? Time is rushing ahead and you are probably a lot more pregnant now than I think you are!

  14. awww this is fantastic, i so wish i had gone to classes like this when i was pregnant it would be lovely to have such a tight knit group of friends.

    thank you for sharing and linking up with #MagicMoments

  15. It’s amazing what a special bond you form with the NCT parents. I have moved away from both of our groups and 7 years later am still in contact with most of them. #magicmoments

  16. They sound like such a special group of women and an amazing support network. My jaw nearly hit the floor when I read you don’t have car. Then I saw where you live. Completely sensible 🙂

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