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Cake, coffee and lots of new friends for Wymondham mum and blogger

PUBLISHED: 06:12 29 December 2017

Roots cafe in Wymondham. Picture: Sally White

Roots cafe in Wymondham. Picture: Sally White

Sally White

Beating loneliness and eating cake - a recipe for happy parents and pre-schoolers

Sally and her son Alex at Roots cafe in Wymondham. Picture: Sally WhiteSally and her son Alex at Roots cafe in Wymondham. Picture: Sally White

Parenthood is the oddest combination of never, ever being left alone while simultaneously feeling agonisingly lonely. Not always; friendly glances in cafes, eye rolls across a soft play, a smile from another parent when it’s your kid being ‘that kid’ at the park can provide a moment of unity and understanding. But sometimes it can feel like the whole world is just you and your whinging child stuck at home while everyone else is out acing careers, attending swanky lunches or laughing uproariously with their NCT friends. Sometimes it can really feel like there’s no one you can put an SOS flare out to, or morse code an emergency ‘free for tea?’ message to.

So I went to my local Children’s Centre when they were hosting a meet and greet organised by the Jo Cox Commission for Loneliness. It was life changing. It was a room full of parents brave enough to say ‘I’m lonely’ and my naturally needy side shone through and I unashamedly invited all these wonderful clever women to be my friend. We even started a WhatsApp group: the hallmark of any friendship.

But where to meet?! Enter Roots Cafe, Wymondham. Held at the Wymondham Baptist Church, this cafe is the dream of every parent with a pre-schooler. First, someone always seems to meet you at the door - a friendly face will swoop in and hold the door while you wrestle in buggy/baby/layers of coats/shopping. It sounds like a small thing but when it’s taken 20 minutes to get out of the door, manoeuvring through another can (has) reduce me to tears of frustration.

And what a reward when you’re in. Cakes! Huge hearty slabs of all the classics, and freshly made! And yummy coffee! And huge pots of tea! All extraordinarily reasonably priced!

It gets even better. Not only are the staff - all volunteers - extremely friendly and helpful, but (wait for it) you can order, slump down in a chair, strip your kid’s coat off and send them off to play. Read it again: send.them.off. Roots Cafe has boxes of toys and books and playpens for the children to clamber about with while you fork in cake and chat with your new friends.

My new friends and I meet every week and each week more parents are joining us as word spreads. We hope to create a network of parents in Wymondham and establish a community that reaches out into the new housing developments, into the Lego-strewn sitting rooms of all parents and holds them tight and says ‘We are here and we understand.’

We meet at 10am at Roots cafe in Wymondham (just up the hill next to Merv’s bakery) on Fridays. Please come along and join us: dads, mums, grandparents, everyone.

Don’t fancy a big meet up? Then come for the cake another time. Roots cafe is open 10am-1pm Mondays and Fridays.

Also, shout out to The Sanctuary on Grove Walk in Norwich, another great place to meet up.

If you’re interested in setting up a regular play group then there are grants available from your district council.

For more family truths and parenting spoofs, visit Sally’s blog at www.wifeofawigwearer.com

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