Mum of three, Antonia Godber, was a primary school teacher before training to become an antenatal instructor over 7 years ago. Now, alongside teaching antenatal classes in Tooting for Bump and Baby Club, Antonia runs baby massage classes and is a key volunteer for the charity, Little Village. She spoke to us about her passion for her work and for her local community…
I have lived in Tooting for 10 years and I do think it’s one of the best places to have a baby. It’s a really lovely community and there’s so much for new mums to do – on any one day there’s about 23 different things you can go to!
I love bumping into my antenatal groups walking around Tooting together – in and out of each other’s houses, going on nights out and having Sunday lunches. It’s so important for new parents to have that support network, especially in a place like London where you don’t always have family around, and it can mean the difference between really enjoying motherhood and being utterly miserable!
One of my groups made my heart melt recently… They had all arranged to go out for lunch together after my baby massage class, but one of the mums was so exhausted, she decided to go home instead. She had been having a really tough time and the other girls knew this, so instead of going out to lunch, they went to the shops, bought lunch and surprised her by turning up on her doorstep with food, smiles and hugs. After they ate, they sent her upstairs to bed and looked after her baby while she slept. This is how motherhood should be!
I think antenatal teaching is one of the best jobs in the world because it’s such a special time for people. I love meeting up with them again after they’ve had their babies – they’ve just done the biggest thing they’ve ever done in their lives and their babies are so precious, so new, it’s really very emotional.
I work for a charity called Little Village. It’s based in Tooting and provides good quality baby clothes and equipment, donated by local families, to local families that need them. It’s like a food bank, but for baby stuff.
It’s all packaged up really nicely – we put little treats in for the mum too – so we’re not just dishing out charity, we’re giving them a gift.
We are currently in need of volunteers. Sometimes we get inundated with donations, but it’s the volunteers we really need – whether it’s coming along to help or sorting clothes at home.
It is a really nice thing for new mums to do if they’re missing the work place – coming and helping us is really special and you go home knowing you’ve done something good.
If you would like to help out at Little Village, please take a look here.