If you’re a mum in Logan, chances are you are a member of Mums N Bubs Logan, an enormously engaged, active social media group that this month hit a remarkable 20,000 members.
Set up by Nat Millar in 2009 when, as mum to a six-month-old, she wanted to arrange a park trip with some other mums, the group quickly took on a life of its own and grew to the strong, supportive, women-only community it is today.
Nat was then a mum of three (now a mum of four), but with a large gap between her second and third child, she had lost contact with her mum friends and was simply seeking connection.
“I wasn’t setting out to create a group or anything like that when it all started,” says Nat.
“I put my email on a parenting forum and suggested meeting other mums at a park and I got 35 responses – so I could see there was a need there.”
Nat moved the group to Facebook where she said it grew very quickly.
Discussions on the page vary from baby care, school recommendations and pregnancy advice, to relationship frustrations, health and fashion talk, discussion of pop culture, and rallying to help those members of the community who need it.
“A lot of these women haven’t met each other but they share a lot on the page and if someone needs help, people will turn up on their doorstep offering to lend a hand – I know I have cleared out my own pantry a number of times to help people who were going through a tough time,” said Nat.
While still arranging at least one meet a week in locations which vary from play centres to swimming pools, from aged care homes to the cinema, Nat is also the sole moderator and admin of the huge online forum.
“A lot of mums don’t come to the meets but are very active on the page, and that’s fine too – the growth of this community happened by itself. I am very proud of what it has become,” says Nat.
Nat, who currently works for Logan Together’s Backbone Team, said she monitored the page for up to 15 hours per day – but wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s my baby – I love it and I love the people in the group,” she said.
“I personally check the profiles of everyone who wishes to join the group, and read all posts before they are approved – anything that is inappropriate doesn’t go up, and inappropriate comments will get taken down.
“People in the group know me and there’s a trust there. They know that if they send a post to me which they want me to put up as anonymous, it will only be me reading it, they know I’ll help out. I can’t see it ever changing – if I’m 60 and still running the page, so be it!”
Dr Shannon Morton was one of the first two members of the group when she responded to Nat’s initial call to meet.
“To see how it has grown from grass roots level into this community offering support and advice, and even charity, to each other, is something amazing. Nat is a bit of a national treasure, it’s a beautiful thing,” she said.
“The group is a place where women can feel safe knowing they won’t be judged – and it’s also great for entertainment with some of the funnier posts on there, which really helps when you are spending days and nights with babies and want to feel that connection to other women.”
Jana Pu’e joined the group when she had her now-11-month-old baby girl Mila.
“It’s one of the first things I did,” she said.
“The page was recommended to me as a great place to find support, from things like product recommendations and also to ask questions you might not want to ask in person. As a new mum you can feel like you are doing everything wrong, so being able to talk to other women who might have been through the same thing is really good.
“I am a huge advocate for the group and I think mums in Logan are lucky to have someone like Nat who runs it so well, without ever asking for anything back.”
Check out our video about Nat and Mums n Bubs: