In 2008 Nat Millar was living in Logan, had just had her third child and was missing social contact. A chance discussion with another mum introduced her to the concept of groups where mums caught up with their kids to share stories and offer support.
“I thought to myself – I want that! I didn’t have any mum friends and my first two children were older so I was really noticing the isolation being at home with a 6 month old,” she said.
Nat quickly went about creating what she wanted – she used a popular internet forum to float the idea of a get together for Logan mums and had 35 responses almost immediately.
“I was overwhelmed by the response – that first gathering ended up just three or four of us in a park but from that the idea grew and grew,” she said.
Mums n’ Bubs Logan was born. Nat was soon organising fortnightly catch ups via an email database before moving the management of the project to a closed Facebook page. Today that page has more than 17,200 members with a waiting list for entry – Nat is definitely doing something right.
“I just tapped into a need in the community I guess – I never had any thought that the group would grow to the size that it is today.
“Privacy of members is of the utmost importance to me which is why it is a closed group that you have to apply to join – we have members from a range of personal situations and we are providing them a safe space to ask questions, share their ideas or concerns and seek support.”
Nat’s story highlights how the actions of an individual can make a huge difference that’s felt across a community. It’s the essence of community empowerment and an example of what can be achieved when a great idea meets community need.
Recently Nat hosted a Table Talk at The Logan Get Together where she shared the ‘Mums n’ Bubs Logan’ story and guests were lining up to learn from her experience.
Logan Together Project Officer Karen Dawson-Sinclair agrees the Mums n’ Bubs story is one of huge success.
“What Nat has been able to do by putting her idea out into the community is create a safe space for mums to share and support each other,” Karen said.
“It’s based on complete trust from everyone involved that whatever your issue or concern or fear you can share it with these people and they will support in any way they can”.
Membership of the group is not restricted to Logan – mums from as far away as New Zealand and even Ghana in Africa are part of the group.
Members can engage with the group at the level they feel comfortable – some only interact via the Facebook page while others attend the meet ups as well as the social events held for members. There are also family days held on weekends to allow partners or extended family to participate.
Nat says her focus of the group has always been the “meets” which provide mums and babies a chance to get out of the house and socialise.
“For some mums it’s such a hard thing to do either logistically or emotionally – in some cases I have driven and picked up mums who were too anxious and overwhelmed to leave the house with their baby.
“Just making that first step can be so hard but if we can get them there and they connect with other mums and start to feel comfortable, we can offer them a safe space to ask advice or share concerns and feel more supported,” Nat finished.
If you are a mum or an expectant mum and you would like to join Mums n’ Bubs Logan you can find them on Facebook. Remember the group has a waiting list, but start off by answering a few quick questions on the page and Nat will be in touch.