Are Playgroups for Me and My Child?
I always dreamed of being a stay at home mom, it may seem silly but that was my little glimpse of the future that I longed for. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a mommy as many girls do, and I wanted to be very involved. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that my mom stayed home with me, and she was very involved with all of my activities. I loved that and knew that I wanted to emulate it someday. It may have something to do with the fact that I lost my father at an early age and knowing that my mom was always there made me feel more secure and confident.
Whatever the reason, I am happy to say that I am living my dream. I still work, but from home–though it’s a juggling act I love every second of it. I count my blessings every day even on days when things don’t always go smoothly. Staying at home with your children can be a lonely experience for some, and I will admit that there are those moments where you feel isolated from the world. I feel very lucky that I have several friends who are also stay at home moms as well, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of something for both my daughter and I.
Enter the playgroup–I will admit that I was hesitant at first. I thought it was a bit cheesy and I couldn’t picture myself as part of a playgroup. I don’t really have any reason why I thought that, but I also will admit that I didn’t understand how you could get lonely when you were home with a little one. So it’s safe to say that life is full of surprises when you have a baby! I did my homework and found several mom’s groups in the area, talked to some of the contact people, and then went to my first group. I love it! I will say that a playgroup is as good as the personalities within it, and if you don’t have chemistry with the other moms then it may not be a great experience. (I have had friends who had such an experience and will never go back)
If you are a somewhat social person and looking for an interaction that is half about the child and half about you, then a playgroup is for you. Particularly when your child is an infant, the playgroup is very much about you and the interaction that you have with other moms. I find that I love sharing experiences, exchanging advice, and just talking to others that are in my age group. Sure my daughter is starting to play a bit and it is nice for her to have the interaction with other babies, but considering that she just started sitting up on her own recently, I think it will be a little while until it’s mostly about her.
If you are looking for activities that involve you and your children, that gives you something to do and look forward to throughout the week when everyone else is at work, then a playgroup may be a good match. There are so many different kinds of groups out there–some that are really more for the mommy who offer a lot of mom’s night, some that are purely about the kids and are centered around playgroups, some that cater to the working mom and in some cases both parents, and some that are a nice blend of both. I will admit that we belong to a couple of the groups listed, and we like each kind for different reasons. It’s nice to have the interaction on several different levels, though my sisters make fun of me and jokingly call the culmination of them all the “overwhelmed baby club”.
Playgroups certainly aren’t for everyone, it’s a personal choice and really depends on what you’re looking for. If you think it may be of interest, then start off with a class in your area and see if you enjoy the interaction. We took a mommy and infant swim class for example and loved meeting the other kids and moms–this too turned into a playgroup and it’s become a lot of fun. It’s nice to meet different moms from all different walks of life and learn how they are handling the pivotal role of motherhood. To me you get as much out of it as you put into it, and it’s a nice diversion in the day to give mommy and baby something to look forward to. You never know, you may learn a thing or two and make a friend along the way.
Its a well known fact that sensory gym promotes growth and development which is vital for playgroups that involve children.