As a mum to four children, Ashleigh knows firsthand how important it is for mums to have support and community. But being a self-confessed introvert, it was challenging for her to find this.
This all changed when Ashleigh’s friend invited her to attend the Ryde Mums At The Table group in Sydney.
“I started going to Bubs & Books around May 2021 and I’ve been going ever since!” says Ashleigh.
In mid-2022, Leslie invited Ashleigh and her family to a children’s program that the Ryde Seventh-day Adventist church organised. The children enjoyed the program so much that they and Ashleigh now attend the church every Saturday as well.
"I've learned so much," Ashleigh says of her experience with Mums At The Table. "Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. It's more than friendship—it's more like a family."
“The people I have met [through Mums At The Table], I’m starting to see in my Rhyme Time group at the library or out shopping or doing other things. It’s nice for me to know other faces and people to chat to but also possibly for some of them as they’re fairly new to the area or have mentioned they didn’t know a lot of people. Also the group is gaining more awareness locally with my husband speaking to people at his workplace about Bairnsdale Mums At The Table and that we’re having some activities etc.”
Julie first discovered Mums At The Table through a link on the Sydney Adventist Hospital website. As a first-time mum, she was keen to learn about what to expect from her motherhood journey. At the time, she subscribed to the free magazines, read the articles on the website and joined the Facebook group. She still actively uses the website and Facebook group and she also receives the email newsletters.
“[Although I come from a Catholic background], I instantly felt so connected to the community,” she said. “It’s very approachable and not intimidating. I felt it aligned well with my values. I’ve learned more about emotional support for children and how to discipline.
“I’ve felt more educated and supported because of Mums At The Table. It’s such a nice community and the resources are great. I love that it’s not-for-profit as well. Every mum needs a village and I’m happy that Mums At The Table can be a village for so many.”
Forty community mums and their families attended the events held by the West Gippsland (Vic) and Ryde (NSW) Mums At The Table groups. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, mums participated in an online Mother's Day giveaway organised by the Invercargill Mums At The Table group.
The Mother’s Day events were a collaboration between local volunteer Mums At The Table moderators and their churches or schools.
Families attended special Mother's Day church services held at the Warragul Adventist Church (Vic) and 3am Ryde Adventist Church (NSW). At West Gippsland, the Warragul Pathfinders group helped with planning and serving food on the day. Southland Adventist Christian School provided the Invercargill group with the giveaway prizes.