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What The Hills?!

Transcript - What About Something for Mum?

May 7, 2022

We have a special Mother's Day guest for you this week.  I'm talking to Lisa Yates from the Mount Barker Mum's Group on Facebook. 

We talk about the very beginning of the group, how it's grown over the years, and what it offers to the parents of the Mount Barker district - and much further afield.  The group has had a big impact on its members, with support and information being offered on all sorts of topics from nappy rash to surviving the teenage years.  So much of an impact that it was recognised in the 2022 Australia Day Awards.

And I'd like to say Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums listening, including my own Mum.  Have a fantastic day.


Voicover: Welcome to what the Hills with a lifetime of living here. We are Adelaide Hills locals just like you. That's why What the Hills is your program for the Adelaide Hills. We focus on the stories from the place where you live. And now here's your host, Kimberley Franklin.

Kimberley: Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of What The Hills?! It's Mother's Day, so we have a special Mother's Day guest for you this week. I'm talking to Lisa Yates from the Mount Barker Mums Group. On Facebook. We talk about the very beginning of the group, how it's grown over the years, and what it offers to the parents of the Mount Barker district and much further afield, today, The group has had a big impact on its members, with support and information being offered on all sorts of topics, from nappy rash to surviving the teenage years. So much of an impact, in fact, that it was recognized in the 2022 Australia Day Awards. And I'd like to say happy Mother's Day to all the mums listening, including my own mum. Have a fantastic day.

Kimberley: Today on What The Hills, I'm talking to Lisa from the Mount Barker Mums Group. Hi, Lisa.

Lisa: Hello.

Kimberley: How are you going?

Lisa: Good, thank you.

Kimberley: Great. Before we get started, maybe you should tell us a little bit about yourself.

Lisa: I've just turned 42. I've been in the Hills for 40 years.

Kimberley: 40 years. Wow.

Lisa: I grew up locally, too. My husband grew up in Wistow. So we're very much ingrained in the Hills within the Hills in the community.

Kimberley: Okay. So very much locals.

Lisa: Yes.

Kimberley: And you like living here?

Lisa: Yes, we do. Yeah. This is home. It always has been. We left for about four years, but we came back.

Kimberley: I think everybody comes back.

Lisa: Well there's nowhere else to go for us.

Kimberley: That's right. Now we need to talk today about the Mount Barker Mums Group. What is the Mount Barker Mums Group? Apart from the obvious.

Lisa: Yeah. So basically we're on Facebook and we're on Instagram now, but only um on Instagram just for the purpose of advertising local businesses. We had a lot of people wanting to come through us to advertise, and we sort of thought a separate space for them would be better. But the Facebook group has been a long process, but it's turned into a beautiful little community support group. And now it's being recognized, which is brilliant. Lovely.

Kimberley: So it's a Facebook group.

Lisa: It is a Facebook group. Yeah.

Kimberley: For mums in Mount Barker for parents. Parents. Now, that was my next question. Who are the members?

Lisa: So we're mainly mums and the title is Mount Barker Mums Group. But we do have some dads that have infiltrated

Kimberley: well, they do some of the work sometimes


Lisa: They do. But the dads that we do have on there are brilliant. And they don't, I guess, inject themselves too much into conversation. They more sort of just watch those are difficult conversations. They sometimes put their words in. But we're mainly mums.

Kimberley: And is it just in the township of Mount Barker, or how far afield do you go?

Lisa: We've got people actually members from all over the world.

Kimberley: All over the world.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kimberley: How does that happen?

Lisa: I know. How does it happen? We actually have had members just move away and it's that simple. They've just moved interstate or overseas and they've just stayed a part of the community because they love it so much. When you apply to become a member, we have got just information saying that we're in Mount Barker in South Australia, because obviously there's a Mount Barker in WA as well. And are you from the general area? Because there are a lot of other mums groups that we sort of don't want to take away from either. Like there's a Strath mums group that is apparently a really good source for the Fleurieu. Oh, there's also a Nairne parenting page, which is really good for that area as well. So we sort of just say you're from the area where you're from, but all through the Hills. I think 80% of our members are through the Hills, and there's that 20% that are sort of in the city or overseas or moved away temporarily. Yeah, that's right.

Kimberley: So how did the group get started?

Lisa: I started it back in 2013.

Kimberley: That long ago.

Lisa: Yeah.

Kimberley: You're coming up to your 10th.

Lisa: I know. Yeah. So it was June, I think, 2013. My nine year old was four months old when I started it. And it was back when Facebook, buy, swap, sell groups were quite big in the Hills.

Kimberley: They were.

Lisa: Yeah, they were quite popular. So there was a baby and kids page, which I think is still going now. And I noticed that a lot of the mums were asking sort of just generalized questions like what nappies do people buy? And that sort of stuff. And I was sort of within that sort of bubble of motherhood as well. Just being at home with the baby and not really having much social life.

Kimberley: It can be limiting.

Lisa: Yeah. And I missed out on my CAFHS group because she was um my second, so I wasn't able to go to a CAFHS group. So I did miss that sort of village of being a mum. And with my first, I was a young mum. With my second, I wasn't. So I was a bit more confident. So I just asked a question on that page, does anyone want to hang out? Let's meet up for a coffee and actually have some FaceTime. And there was quite a large response on that page. So someone said, you should probably create a group, and that's exactly where it came from. So I just started a group and it pretty much grew overnight. We grew really quickly. I think within the first two months it was over 1000 members. Like, it grew really, really quickly. So I chucked it on secret for a little while because it just got too big and I couldn't find anyone to help me run it. There was a few mums that sort of put the hand up, but it was taking up a lot of time.

Kimberley: It does. The bigger it gets, the more admin power you need.

Lisa: So we actually run nine admin now.

Kimberley: Wow.

Lisa: For four and a half or almost actually 5000 members we've got now, it doesn't sound a lot compared to other local pages because I know they're almost around 20,000, but we also have I think it's about 48 we've got now, but four and a half um thousand of those members are interactive.

Kimberley: Okay.

Lisa: So they're all really present, whereas with other local groups they probably have run at about 60% active. So while they have the members, they don't have the interaction or the comments. I think I looked at January stats and in the space of um 28 days, we had something like 600 posts and almost 7000 comments. And we're just mums. This isn't our job. It's our volunteered hours. So we obviously can't monitor every single comment. That would just be ridiculous to expect us to monitor every single comment that comes through. So we do rely a lot on the mums to sort of regulate themselves or kind of flag things and go, hey, this isn't right. Look, over the years, it actually rarely happens. Now. I think we've sort of grown a culture that the mums kind of know what spaces they can sort of say things and what's a bit too far. We keep to the boundaries of this is our boundaries. We can't sort of go anywhere else.

Kimberley: No, that's fair enough, too. You've got enough to talk about. So the journey for the group must have been an interesting one for you. You started when your daughter was four months old. She's nine now.

Lisa: Yes.

Kimberley: How has it grown and how has it been part of your life as it's grown and changed?

Lisa: Yeah. So personally, I've met some just phenomenal women through our group, and they're people that I wouldn't have probably been friends with any other way but through the group. And that happened for me really early on. And I've actually still got some very close friends that we've helped raise each other's kids, and that was exactly what I wanted out of the group. But I also wanted that for other people as well. So very early on. and now I love it when people make posts and say, let's meet up or let's create our own little mother's group of 5, 10, 200, because it's those little groups that really do give you that village feel that you've got a group of friends that you can move about in. And that's really special. And at the core of it, I think that's all I really wanted for the group creating it was just to see those little friendship groups pop up. Amazing. That's why I put in hours and that's why I've put in my daughter's whole life. Just give me a second, Mommy's just got to check her messages, things like that. Mummy is just helping um another mummy because I do get um a lot of mums messaging, me saying, what do I do in this situation? Or what do I do in that situation or Help! This has just happened to me. Can I ask this question? There is a lot of contact with the mums and it does come with a sacrifice. I've had to put things off because of the group. I've had to miss out on things because of the group. And that's what you do.

Kimberley: I guess whether we do it on purpose or by accident, it sounds like you did a little bit. We all commit to a volunteer role somewhere and that means that, yes, we have committed to it. And there are things, like you said, that you need to put off or miss out on. And if that's the vacuuming, who cares?

Lisa: That's right. And also I've had plenty of opportunity to pass the group on as well, just to say I've had enough, you guys can look after it now. But also I haven't wanted to handle that burden to anybody else. I created this. So the good and the bad, I want to be responsible for that because there are more involved admin than other. And I don't want the more involved admin to have the burden of putting the hours in that I would have been doing. So I guess that's part of my motivation. And still running it and still putting it in as much as I do.

Kimberley: Sounds like it's a really social group where, as you said, people can say, we want to start a group or does anybody want to catch up for coffee or play dates for kids, that sort of thing. Have you found that's been one of the main things for the group?

Lisa: I think so, up until about two years ago. So when the pandemic started, there was quite regular meetups and it was good for mental health of our mums to have that face to face contact. And that was really one of our main motivations.

Kimberley: And the thing that gets you out of the house, actually, because otherwise if you don't have someone saying, we're having coffee at eleven, yeah, you could be stuck in the house.

Lisa: You and I know how important that is just to have that contact of somebody else, especially if your partner is away daily or even weekly like mine is. And you might not have um spoken to an adult in person for a couple of days.

Kimberley: It's not about the caffeine.

Lisa: That's right. No, it's not. It's really important. And then unfortunately, pandemic came here and we again became an important resource because we were just some contact. So there was a lot of, especially at the beginning and up until quite recently, actually, there's a lot of confusion everywhere about rules and regulations and things like that. So we've had to be very careful because we're not a health source. So as much as we do want to have posts up about certain things to do with covid and all that sort of stuff, we have to deny some and say, you have to actually ask the health authorities about this.

Kimberley: Refer to SA Health 100%.

Lisa: Because we can't have conspiracy theory.

Kimberley: No. They don't help at all.

Lisa: No. And we can't have people go, I think it's this, but I'm really not sure there are some situations where they do actually have to have proper information and it's dangerous for us to provide a platform for people to sort of give out um not very good advice.

Kimberley: So was that a really busy time? Well, has the last two years been a really busy time for the admin, keeping a handle on that?

Lisa: Yeah, absolutely. And it's been confusing for us as well because there are so many different rules and regulations to do with covid. So we even don't know a lot of the things. And we try and keep our finger on the pulse of it. And there are, like I said, there's nine of us. So we all sort of have um a bit of input with what's going on. We update each other. I think there was a Press conference today. I noticed that admin were chatting and saying, oh, they're saying this now. They're saying that now. And it's not because we're interested or we want to have this conversation. It's because if somebody wants to post to the group and say what's happening here or what's happening there, we can actually just message them and say, look, you need to contact this resource or we can't really have a discussion about this because it could get into dangerous territory, especially with people's health. That's something that you can't really play around with.

Kimberley: No.

Lisa: Which is quite dangerous on mums groups especially. We have to be careful with health advice, even with things like temperatures and any medical advice.

Kimberley: How much Panadol to give?

Lisa: That's right.

Kimberley: What brand, how high is the fever? What do we do about nappy rash?

Lisa: Yeah, that's right. And people can say what works for them, uh but what works for them and their family will not translate to working for other people and other people's family. So, yeah, we have to be really careful. So anything to do with health advice or medical advice, we do refer.

Kimberley: Okay.

Lisa: Um or we allow and just kind of have a bit of a warning. Just be careful not to offer too much medical advice or call this number if you have any questions or things like that. Because another thing that we do like, is when people do ask questions, feel a bit funny about it. So we kind of just want, I guess everybody to know that whatever you're going through, whether it's mental health, medical, family situations, anything like um that, there's almost 5000 mums out there.

Kimberley: We've all done that.

Lisa: Chances are that someone's either been there, done that, or they're going through it right now and they're thanking their lucky stars that somebody have the guts to post on a community page or parenting forum so they can actually go, okay, I need to go here or that's really good advice, or that makes me feel better because somebody else is going.

Kimberley: So you're not the only one reading the answers to your question. There's other parents out there who are saying, oh, thank goodness they asked that, because I really wanted to know.

Lisa: And we actually have a reach thing. So each question asked, we have a little number off to the side. And generally each question that's asked on the page gets a couple of thousand reaches, which means that a couple of thousand people have seen your posts. So that's not even interactions. it's how many people have read it, have stopped, have clicked into it or read it. So each post does get quite a lot of reaches. And that doesn't mean that people are ignoring you. It just means people are interested to see what the answer. Yes, that's right.

Kimberley: Along with the social, there's all the support that parents get, like you said, from knowing that someone else has gone through this before or someone else is going through it right now, is that something that you find happens a lot in the group?

Lisa: It does. And about three or four years ago, we um actually had quite a few local professionals realize that we were there and whether or not they were wanting to use us as a resource as well. But I do notice that there's quite a few local professionals, like counselors or real estate agents or lawyers or whatever it is. They either put their information on a post or they'll just say, that doesn't sound right, let's have a chat. Or in the case of a lawyer, someone will say, no, this isn't correct. And here's another resource for you to go to. So we do actually have quite a lot of support within our membership. It's not so much admin anymore. It's more than members, supporting members, which is that's fantastic.

Kimberley: Yeah. Really good to see. And good to see people who, like you said, lawyers, real estate agents, counselors, that sort of thing, who can pick up on a question and say, well, actually, I actually do know something about that. And I'll message you.

Speaker UNK: Yes.

Kimberley: And make sure that things are going okay for you.

Lisa: Yeah, that's right. We're really actually quite lucky that I guess there's this stigma around mother's groups in particular and parenting groups. And I do understand why a couple of years ago, I joined probably ten or 15 worldwide and Australia wide parenting groups and mothers groups in particular. And some of them are like the Wild West, honestly. They shoot each other down. And I learned a lot from these groups. What not to do 100%, but what to do as well what works for those groups. I've also implemented into the mum's group with our twist on it as well. I think having that stigma around mum's groups can kind of harm us as well, because there is a bit of like, oh, they're so judgmental. I've never been a part of mums groups, blah, blah, blah. And I know there are quite a few mums in the Hills that do have that feeling because I have had negative experiences in these other groups. And I'm not going to say we're different, but we have some, I guess, more control over. What we always say to our members is that the Hills is a small community. As big as it's got, it is still a small community. And if you're rude to this member on our Facebook group, chances are you're going to see them down at Coles doing the shopping or you're going to see them at the next parenting group or you're going to see them at school pick up. Because as much as the population has grown, people still know people who know people.

Kimberley: We do.

Lisa: And I guess that kind of brings down that whole anomaly of Facebook in particular. People feel like they can sort of comment whatever. They can comment behind their screen. They kind of can't do that in our group.

Kimberley: They can't hide.

Lisa: They can't hide from their opinions. So you better make sure that your opinion is a nice one or at least supportive and true, at least supportive. Yeah. And that's really what we ask for as admin. Even if you disagree with them, just say, Look, I don't agree, but we're still friends. You don't have to be rude if you don't agree with what somebody is saying. And that's being an adult and we're all adults on the page, there's no kids on there. So, yeah, that's pretty much what we've tried to sort of encourage in our group and the culture of our group. So whether or not we pull it off is another thing entirely. We'll leave that to the members out of our hands.

Kimberley: All right, time to get into some nitty gritty. Got any stories to share about things that have happened in the group?

Lisa: We have helped a lot of mums at a stage in their life where um something incredibly tragic has happened in losing a child or losing, a baby, being pregnant. So those moments are probably one of the most meaningful because at times, actually, most of the time, we're their first contact, so they haven't. I know I've counselled a mum. She hadn't even told her husband yet. And that was tragic. That was tragic. As hard as they are, it's quite flattering that people think that that's where comfort lies, is within us. And that's probably one of the most, I guess, meaningful. Like, this is why I do it. This is why all my hours go into it, because I can help people. Other stories I guess we've actually helped quite a lot of local businesses. There's been some mum startups, which I've been quite proud of. There was one lady who's not sewing anymore. She just closed her business down. But she was really popular with the mums because she started doing cloth pads.

Kimberley: I remember that one.

Lisa: Yes.

Kimberley: And everybody was after that.

Lisa: Everybody went for it and she got so many sales and that was brilliant. I just watched a little business grow and grow and grow. And she worked really hard and I was just super proud of her because she just took it all on in her stride and she really encouraged the mums to make the change. And that was a really good time. We've seen each other's kids grow. I guess that's another thing.

Kimberley: Yeah.

Lisa: So when we first started, there was a core, probably 100 to 200 of us, and a lot of them are still in the group. We've been able to watch all of our kids grow. My daughter actually turned nine yesterday. I put her photo up on Facebook and I went, she's nine today. This is brilliant. Beautiful. And a lot of the people who commented were mums that I've known her whole life and lived through that group, and that's just wonderful. They've watched from this tiny little baby right up until this beautiful little nine year old. And how lucky are we to have had that and vice versa? I've watched all their kids grow up, so that way it's been amazing.

Kimberley: Do you get times where it's three a.m., someone's baby will not sleep and they're just at the end of their tether and all they can do is sit there with their phone or their computer and just say, Someone talk to me. How do I get it to sleep? Just get me through until morning. Do you get that sort of thing happening?

Lisa: Absolutely, yeah. All the time. We actually get personal messages as well, through the night, which I had to put a stop to a couple about two years ago. I can't get messages through the night anymore.

Kimberley: Once your own kids are sleeping through the night.

Lisa: Nobody else is waking me up. But we learnt very early on as admin just to turn our phones off because even though it's good to get those messages and have those be that contact and that support for people, we're not professionals and you're just people. You've got life regular old people. We've all got partners, we've got houses, we've all got jobs. At the end of the day, we aren't trained counselors. So the advice or the stories that we can give you isn't legitimate advice, really. It's just our experience or the people that we refer you on to. We're hoping that they can help.

Kimberley: Yes.

Lisa: Because we can't do it.

Kimberley: So is there usually someone there at three a.m. on the group?

Lisa: No, it gets quiet at night. There are a lot of mums that do interact with. So we approve posts. Not a lot of people post during the night, but they do interact with the posts that are already on there. So they comment and they talk to each other. And we promote a lot for Mums to message each other. So we always say ask to message her about the situation or that situation. And that's really been handy to have, especially if somebody has had a bad experience through any kind of facility or anything like that.

Kimberley: It's nice to do that privately.

Lisa: It's nice to do that privately. Even though we are a private group, we would prefer if you don't say it is public. We prefer if you don't say it through the group, because we have had issues with businesses in the past saying, your group has said this about my business and we have copped letters from lawyers and things like that. So it has gotten to that point. I would rather not go to court over somebody.

Kimberley: No, don't need people doing that.

Lisa: And admin are held responsible for that because we provide the platform for it. So, yeah, that's why we're always on top of that one. No naming and shaming. We just can't do it. I'm sorry.

Kimberley: It's a good rule to. Yeah. Through all this good work that you have done, you are recognized in the Australia Day Awards with the Mayor's Award.

Lisa: So exciting.

Kimberley: So how did you find out that you've been nominated for that?

Lisa: Well, was that last year? No, it was last year. Uh one of our beautiful members, Hannah, she's absolutely gorgeous. She actually nominated me for Citizen of the Year.

Kimberley: Wow.

Lisa: Which was amazing. So I went to that ceremony and it was beautiful. What amazing ceremony. So it was lovely. It was awesome to be recognized and nominated. And then this year I got an email from Sarah from the Council. She's beautiful. She does all of their events and everything. It's amazing to communicate with. She emailed me and she says, hey, you're getting this award this year. I was like, Hang on a minute. Am I nominated for this is news to me. I mean, I know I'm good, but yeah, she said that the Mayor wanted to highlight volunteerism in 2022, which is all online. And I guess volunteering has taken a bit of a hit in the last couple of years with things being closed and not being able to have that in person, hands on volunteering. So a lot of it did go on online and, yeah, we were recognized for it, which is just amazing.

Kimberley: So you didn't make it to the ceremony?

Lisa: No, unfortunately.

Kimberley: What happened?

Lisa: We were isolated. Yeah, it was just super bad timing, actually. We were two days off missing out. it was two days after the ceremony. We weren't allowed out, but, yeah, unfortunately.

Kimberley: Did you get to see it online?

Lisa: I did, yeah. I got to show family and friends and stuff so it was really good. It was just um really nice to be recognized. And then lovely. Sarah dropped everything off at the front, so, yeah, it was lovely. So they put the certificate in a frame, and I got a couple of other little prizes. It was really lovely. So it's nice to be recognized.

Kimberley: Did you get any of the Mayor's special bickies?

Lisa: I did. Amazing. My husband enjoyed them as well.

Kimberley: Yeah. And really great. Not just for you, but to recognize the whole group and what it has done.

Lisa: I know I get recognized a lot, and people talked to me a lot about the group, and um I guess I'm still sort of the face of the group, which is brilliant. But if they could only see how much the admin do behind the scenes, and they pull me up a lot as well, because my heart and soul's into this. Like, I'm all in. If something goes wrong or something happens, I actually have a tendency to react quite emotionally to it, and they're like, look at it logically, look at it this way or look at it that way. So they're actually quite good at reining me in, as well as what's happening on the group. The thing I like about our admin team is we're all friends. Like, we all become quite good friends, and we all have different perspectives in life.

Kimberley: That's handy.

Lisa: So we do disagree on a lot of things. when we do disagree, it's good because we get that whole picture.

Kimberley: You've got a few different perspectives.

Lisa: Yeah, we're lucky that way where it's not just one person's opinion on one person's decision. It's actually nine people making this decision. So whatever you see through the group is filtered through quite a lot of smart moms thinking about it.

Kimberley: Sounds like the entire admin group is really important for making the whole mums group happen.

Lisa: We've got a brilliant admin team at the moment and past admin team as well. They've helped establish the group. There's quite a few mums that have admin for a couple of years and then left and a couple of came back to. But the ones early on helped sort of establish these blocks that we could springboard off now. But our team at the moment are brilliant, amazing ladies. I can't say enough good things about them. Here's your opportunity. I love them. They know how much I love them.

Kimberley: All right. Much appreciation for all of the admins. They've obviously helped you along the way.

Lisa: Yeah, definitely.

Kimberley: And made sure that the group could still exist and run well and not have too many of those letters from businesses and lawyers.

Lisa: No.

Kimberley: Have there been other things that have really helped the group to keep going for all these nine years?

Lisa: I think as I was saying before the core members, I think they had early on taking some ownership over the group as well. So there are a lot of members on there who do sort of say, um hey, we don't do that here or this isn't the page for that and things like that. And I think it's not just admin trying to keep it going, or it's not just me trying to keep it going. It is the membership that runs it as well. And I think that has been the thing that kept it going is that people are quite loyal to our group and people sort of say to other mums, hey, this is a really good resource. Join this group, because I've actually found some great ideas here or I've found really great support here, or you're a new mum. I've heard that people at the hospital have recommended us for new mums to join. One of the local developers actually have our group on their advertisement on their website, really as um something attractive for people to come. So we do get recommended and that's pretty special, I thought

Kimberley: Have you had any challenges on the way?

Lisa: Yeah, a lot. I'm not going to sugarcoat.

Kimberley: Not all smooth sailing.

Lisa: No, a lot of challenges, unfortunately. We've been approached in public. There's been disagreements that have happened on the group and I've had people at my house sort of say I didn't appreciate this decision and things like that. So it's been that way, I guess. But this was early on as well. Like having said, that hasn't happened for quite a while.

Kimberley: A little bit of growing pains.

Lisa: A lot of growing pains. Yeah. I think what actually saved our group, because I was on the verge of just eliminating it together about four or five years ago. I think what saved the group was we do post approval now, so we can just.

Kimberley: I think that saved a lot of groups. Yeah.

Lisa: We can check the post before it's on there. And it's not just people posting whatever they want, whenever they want. We actually know what's going to be on the group before it's on there.

Kimberley: It does make the task of moderating a group a lot easier.

Lisa: Yeah. And it did take a lot for us to get there, but there were a couple of incidents that happened and it was in real life that shouldn't have happened and it was unfortunate and we just decided from then on to put on post approval and it was personal attacks of me and admin and we can't do this anymore. We either close the group down or we do post approvals.

Kimberley: Probably a really good move to do the post approvals and I'm sure there are parents out there who are thanking you every day for keeping that group going.

Lisa: Honestly, I think it's a really good resource for people who have just had a baby, especially if it's their first baby, because there are a lot, like it's a wealth of experience.

Kimberley: There's so much to know. What do I feed it? When do I feed it? What sort of nappies? How often do they change nappies. How do I clean them?

Lisa: I'm feeling this way on day four.

Kimberley: Yes. Is Am I supposed to cry all the time?

Lisa: And those posts are amazing because then you see mums who have kids around 15 and 16, or you see those mums who have kids around 20 or 25, or you see grandmas who are a part of our group, which I love. And they go, Sweetheart, you will be fine. I love. that You're

Kimberley: It's okay.

Lisa: Because you need that mum saying to you, you are doing so well, you're caring about this issue, which means you're a good mum.

Kimberley: Yes.

Lisa: And you don't realize that until somebody says that to you. Okay, I'm doing the right thing. I'm okay. And those posts are just amazing. All the grannies and all the older mums, they come out of the woodwork, all the mums that I have six months old and say, oh, that was me five months ago. I tell you what, I felt this way and it was just awful. But you know what? I feel this way now, and it's great. Those mums connect. They go out for a coffee and they make each other feel better. And that's 100% the only thing we want out of the group.

Kimberley: It sounds like mission accomplished. And keep doing all of that.

Lisa: We'll try.

Kimberley: I got a question for you. If you could tell all the mums in the world one thing, what would it be?

Lisa: It's only a season. So a month old will only be a month old once. A two year old. A ratty little two year old sometimes will only be a ratty little two year old once. So I'm in a fairly privileged position where I had a baby when I was 20. She's now 21. And then I had another baby when I was 32, and she's now nine. So I experienced parenthood early on and a little bit later. So when I had my second, I just drunk it all in because I knew how quickly it went. My oldest was twelve, and I had my second. And to me, my twelve year old was tiny and beautiful and baby. And then I had a baby.

Kimberley: Suddenly, a twelve year old is galumphing giant.

Lisa: She's a big tween, and now she's 21 and she's living in the city with her boyfriend.

Kimberley: When they're 21 and they go off to live in the city with their boyfriend. Is that a thing that comes up in the mum's group? Yes. So it's not just babies?

Lisa: No. That's another really good thing. The teenage years are just shocking.

Kimberley: Yes, they can be hard on everyone.

Lisa: And thankfully, we have a lot of mums in the group who are at that stage. And they do support each other because not having support at that time can just horrible. It's awful. But, yeah, I guess everything is a season. Everything only happens once when you have kids, as you know, they grow so quickly.

Kimberley: They do. And there is no point getting upset that they've reached a milestone because that's a tick you can put on the box and got them that far onto the next one.

Lisa: I guess the other thing, too is that we get a lot of posts that my two year old hasn't started talking yet, or my 18 month old is still only crawling things like that. I guess every adult is different. Every child is different, too. So there will be kids that don't fit into the mold of development. So if your child isn't walking at 18 months old, it doesn't mean that they're not going to be walking by the age of two. It just means they're a little bit late. Or if they're walking at nine months old, you've got an early development running shoes on either end of the spectrum. Don't worry about it too much until it really does become an issue, because every kid develops at a different rate.

Kimberley: And pretty much by the time they start school, they're all walking, talking, and going to the toilet all by themselves, mostly, most of the time.

Lisa: And having no idea what they do every day.

Kimberley: They're all there by the time you send them on.

Lisa: What did you do at school today? I have no idea.

Kimberley: All right, last question for you. The last nine years have been busy ones for you running the Mums group, and probably years where you've learned a lot and grown a lot and done all sorts of new things. What's in the future for you?

Lisa: I am actually studying at the moment.

Kimberley: Why am I not surprised?

Lisa: So actually, about twelve months ago, um 18 months ago, I uh hit myself in the head and I went, What are you doing? You need to get qualified, girl. So I like to think that I do have a little bit of experience behind me now.

Kimberley: I think you do, yes.

Lisa: I thought, well, may as well go for it. So I'm getting a diploma in counseling. I should be done in about twelve months time, so I'll be able to legitimately help people who do message me, but also take on clients and things like that so that's my next sort of five years is building a client base. Hopefully the group will benefit from it.

Kimberley: Are you finding that you're benefiting from all this experience you've had ?

Lisa: Yeah, definitely. It's changed me as a person. I guess I've become a little bit more rounded as a person. I thought I knew who I was before I was early 30s. I knew everything and I'm an adult and don't tell me otherwise.

Kimberley: Sounds about right.

Lisa: Yeah, but yeah, I've grown up a lot in the last nine years and realized that the world around me is a little bit more damaged than I thought it was. And there are people out there who just need a good old chat. Why not do that for the rest of my life?

Kimberley: Sounds like a plan. Well, Congratulations on your award.

Lisa: Thank you.

Kimberley: And on the last nine years of work you've done on the mum's group and of course, there's 21 or so years practice you've had since the start. It sounds like you've got a long way to go. Lots of cool things ahead of you.

Lisa: Yeah. I'm really looking um forward to the next couple of years. I think the group is just going to steadily grow as it always has done, although we haven't really got anything on the horizon for catch ups or anything like that, I think we're just going to keep trying to strengthen that community sort of support and getting us out there a little bit more and capturing those mums who need that support in the community.

Kimberley: That's wonderful. Well, thanks so much for having a chat with us today on What the Hills.

Lisa: Thank you very much.

Kimberley: That's all for What the Hills this week. Tune in next week for more local stories from the Adelaide Hills on Lofty 88.9 and au at midday on Monday and in your podcast app anytime. What the Hills is produced on Peramangk land in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Music is written and produced by Daniel Biggs. Voiceover by Andrew Challen What the Hills is produced and edited by Studio 4. If you have a local story to share, get in touch with us on social media.