Updated: Oct 20, 2021
….AND ACCIDENTALLY FOUND HERSELF IN THE PROCESS.
You’ve moved 17,139 kilometres from home, and one month later you find out your husband is working in London, lea
ving you at home in Bath with a young teen starting school in a foreign land and a three-year-old… and you discover you are pregnant with your third child.
Long-awaited third child, mind you (a story for another time).
So there is elation, and trepidation, and all the feels that go along with those.
Then you remember, you don’t have any friends or family in Bath. And you’re alone.
What would any self-respecting, community-minded, people-loving, isolated mother do?
Start a Facebook Group, of course.
We all know Bath has special air, or water, or something (long-awaited pregnancy, remember?) but I wasn’t aware until I lived there for a few years how truly, deep-down, uniquely magic the place is.
When I started the group I was fresh off the Australian island, learning the lay of the land, and literally finding my way around.
We lived right in the Centre, in fact, the exact middle house on Beauford Square. I had barely travelled before leaving home, y
et we had been through Japan and Italy on our way to England and then found this beautiful place after a few weeks in an AirBnB in a village on the edge of the City.
Once we bought our Mini Cooper, the picture-perfect English life seemed complete.
For this Sydney girl, I just felt like I was living in a storybook half the time – my former Georgian townhouse later turned up as a backdrop for a period television series.
Five years, one global pandemic, and more than 7,000 members later, I sit here from my home office – well bedroom with a desk in it, to be more precise – and I feel incredibly grateful.
It was because of Mums in Bath, as it was originally called, I was able to find connections and information in a way I had never been able to before.
The Group gave me a way of discovering not just the information I needed to get by, but also an understanding of the society and the culture I’d landed in without a roadmap.
For the most part, though, I found myself in the centre of a fascinating conversation. I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to help women escaping domestic violence, and out of all manner of pickles. I even found a lovely lady to pass it on to when we decided it was time to go home to Australia.
It’s been 3 years almost to the day since we left the beautiful City now, and a thriving group of almost 3,000 women at that time.
I miss my Bath women-friends more than a steaming bath-house rooftop on a winter’s morning (Sam, Vicky, Ruth, to name just a few). And my beautiful coffees and pastries. Oohhhh the pastries.
Overall, it was an experience I will be forever grateful for.
Why most of all? Because it set me up to do what I’m doing now. It allowed me to realise that I’m really good at building supportive communities, and I lo
ve serving people in that way.
So now, in Australia, I have a podcast, a blog and what-do-you-know, I’m building a membership and community of women so we can come together, support each other in living soulfully and ethically, and rediscover ourselves through mastery, custodianship and purpose (instead of emerging from motherhood feeling lost and lonely).
I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to serve women in this way.
It’s called the Soul Mama Academy.
Our members LOVE it.
I LOVE it.
And none of this would be possible if it weren’t for the beautiful mothers of Bath coming together in that original group and showing me how it’s done.
So thank you, divine Bath families.
I’ll truly never forget you.
- Alena x