Mums at the Blue Lotus Gardens


Happy Mothers Day to all our wonderful and caring Interchange Outer East mothers!

Cool mums, crazy mums, serious mums, ‘what happens happens’ mums … no matter what sort of a mum you are, always remember you are a valued part of your family and of our IOE family.

So to all our mothers – try to take some time out to look after yourself this Sunday – even if it is just to give yourself a hug and tell yourself what an amazing person you are!

At IOE we have always believed that looking after mums is a vital part of our service and our Mothers Support program has been a valued IOE service now for over 25 years.

The inaugural outing saw 14 mums taking the ferry (the little one that no longer operates!) from Sorrento to Queenscliffe on Sunday 28th March 1993. From the report and pics in the June ‘93 newsletter, what happened then is what happens now – lots of food, wine, non-stop laughter, conversation, plus a great reluctance to head home … the open expanse of the bay and the wind in our hair as we sailed back to Sorrento were  symbolic of the freedom those 14 ladies were feeling at the end of that day.

Since that first day we have been to more markets, restaurants, wineries and pubs than I can count. We’ve BBQd and picnicked on boats on the Yarra, by the river in Warburton, and down the Peninsula! We’ve relaxed in spas in Daylesford and the Peninsula Hot Springs, been to theatre shows, dinner shows, comedy shows, Moonlight Cinema and Zoo Twilights. We’ve visited just about every market in Melbourne and surrounds and no op shop is safe when we are out. Those ladies really love to shop!
Basically if it is there, food is involved and a chance to relax and have lots of fun, then we will do it! Just about the only planned activity that had very few replies was the indoor rock climbing and laser shoot day – planned in response to requests for ‘something more active’. That went down like the proverbial lead balloon – I suppose it’s too hard to talk when you’re climbing a wall!

Being a mother and, for the most part, a primary carer of someone with a disability, often limits opportunities for normal social interaction. Because of care demands, many mums have limited opportunity to hold down a job, or even get sufficient time off to socialise with friends, let alone make new friendships or have time away from home just for themselves. Statistics show that marriage breakdown is higher than the average in families where there is disability, which only adds to care responsibilities and social isolation.

The opportunity to have fun and enjoy the company of other women who understand is the main reason why Mothers’ Support is so important to so many mothers.

Mums say that organising for time out is like organising an army manoeuvre – so we take care of the outing details for them.. Yes, mothers still have to organise care or funding for support for their charge but then they can walk out the door and know that they can turn off from ’being responsible’. All details have been taken care of. The biggest decision becomes what to have for lunch!
Mums’ group also gives the ladies a chance to network, get helpful information, de-stress and, at times, offload – all essential for restoring balance in a demanding life. Maintaining sanity in fact.

The benefits of Mums’ Support cannot be over estimated and is summed up by Diane, one of our regular mums group attendees

‘IOE Mum’s group well what can I say? If you’ve got a sense of humour, love to laugh and have some fun with a wonderful group of caring, talkative and noisy women then this is just the ticket for you!
From the first activity I ever embarked on where I hardly knew anybody I’ve been made to feel welcome and formed many wonderful friendships over the past 15 years. It’s given me a chance to seek some much needed respite where I could escape all the problems, responsibilities and demands of being a carer, wife and mother to just be ME!!’

So Mums spoil yourself throughout the year, not just on Sunday, by finding out more about our Mums Social Group and Carers Group programs.