NINETEEN three-year-old kids, their mums and dads got together over the weekend for what local photographer Belle Garfath believes was Canberra’s biggest cake smash.
“A cake smash is generally a milestone for a one-year-old. In this instance it’s a mass birthday celebration,” says Belle, who is part of a closed online support group of mothers who had children in February, 2014.
While the cake smash was fun, more importantly for Belle it was a chance to raise awareness for the need of community and support for mums in Canberra.
“We want to emphasise the importance of a support group network as a parent. Even for myself with a third child,” Belle says.
As an “older mum” with two teenagers Mitchell and Maddy and her youngest Ava (three), Belle was reluctant to join the group.
“There is no judgement. We all come from totally different walks of life but when we come together we all have this one thing in common.
“Underneath we are all sleep-deprived mums.”
Fellow mum Femke Matthews had a similar experience and before joining the group didn’t know anyone who had kids in Canberra.
“It was about finding people who were going through similar experiences,” Femke says.
“Most of us joined the group when we were still pregnant. We were all going through it at the same time.
“I wasn’t expecting to make such good friends.”
Another mum in the group Sophie Green says: “While the friends from other aspects in my life are wonderful support to me and my children, they aren’t who I would sit down with to chat about new types of baby food or problems with breastfeeding.”
Belle says she’ll put a post up during the early hours of the morning and will find that other mothers will be up and will reply.
“I remember once wondering what the rash was on my daughter and posted help and next minute I learn it’s Hand Foot and Mouth and we were off to the doctor,” Belle says.
The mums emphasise that the page isn’t for medical advice but it has given some mums, such as Belle some peace of mind.
To join, inbox the administrators at facebook.com/groups/canberramummies2014/
Three-year-olds get into the cake smash. Photos by Belle Garfath