Simar

Simar

I arrived in Australia from Lebanon in 1996. I was 24 years old, married and pregnant with my first child. Although my husband and I moved in with my mother-in-law who had been living in Australia for many years, I had no other family and social networks of my own.

When my son was born, I felt very isolated and sad that my mother, sisters, aunties and cousins were on the other side of the world. My doctor and the maternal and child health nurse understood how isolated I felt, but they did not know of any way to support me. I was not proficient in English and lacked the confidence to attend the local mothers’ group.

I know that if I could have gone to an Arabic mothers’ group or playgroup, it would have made a world of difference. From my personal experience, I am very aware of how much young mothers need to be nurtured and assisted through groups that support their language and cultural needs.