A group of Sutherland Shire mothers have found a new outlet to relieve the stress of motherhood- a monthly picnic. Fiona Morrison and Karla Davis are behind Babes+Picnics Sutherland Shire which hold monthly meetings at cafes and parks across the region.
Last week the group met for its first Mothers Day luncheon at Doltone House in Sylvania. All money raised went to Perinatal Anxiety And Depression Australia (PANDA) which provide support for mums, dads and family members.
Mrs Morrison is a PANDA community champion and spoke on her struggles after the birth of her son Jacob. ‘’I went into motherhood a bit blinded,’’ she said. ‘’I had heard stories about sleep deprivation and the constant crying but I didn’t think it really registered with me as a new mum. ‘’I wish I understood then what I know now.’’
She said the early days of her son’s life were a complete haze. ‘’My worry and stress began to increase at the start of each day but I figured it was just a combination of navigating motherhood and my natural predisposition to worry,’’ she said.
She began to stay home more, worried about her son's loud crying. For one month she almost never left the house while other days she drove around aimlessly before calling her husband in tears. She identified that she had post natal anxiety but it has eased after her son turned a corner. It was her struggles that led her to create the group.
Mrs Morrison said the group was also about giving back. At previous events they have collected nappies for families in need, donated household items for a women’s shelter and collected stationery for kids starting school. ‘’One of the biggest things for us is to give back,’’ she said. ‘’The generosity has been amazing.’’
Mrs Davis said the picnics were different from some other groups. ‘’A lot of our mothers were new to the area and found some groups quite cliquey,’’ she said. ‘’That’s not the concept of our group, for us its relaxed just like a picnic.’’
* This article appeared on The Leader >