I was not originally of this opinion though, that playgroups were the bees knees. I’d have to say my post natal depression had a lot to do with that.
When Elliott was a baby I absolutely dreaded going to mothers group. I felt physically sick in the stomach the day before, planning each and every step I had to take from getting Elliott in the car, driving there, worrying about if he’d get hungry, worrying about breastfeeding, worrying about pretty much everything. On top of this, I was coming into an already established mothers group, some Mums I felt were not so easy to talk to and were quite ‘clicky’. My anxiety went to overdrive and I had to pull out.
But last year when we moved to a new suburb I set myself a challenge to find a local playgroup and to be confident in going there. By this stage I had officially been diagnosed with PND and was on the road to managing it properly and so my confidence levels were on the up. Fast forward to today and I’m actually helping another Mum (and now friend) run the playgroup. Who would have thought that this would happen almost three years ago!
When it comes to finding a playgroup or mothers group its definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. My PND aside, just because you go to a group and your child has fun does not mean that it’s right for you, you too have to feel comfortable.
I am a big believer that a playgroup or mothers group is for the parents too, it is an opportunity to get outside the four walls of your house that you see every day, to have normal adult conversation, to make friends and to simply be able to relate and take comfort in knowing that you’re not going crazy and that other parents are going through the EXACT same thing that you are. I reckon the latter is the best part…not feeling crazy or like a bad parent.
To be honest, Thursday (playgroup day) would seriously have to be one of my favourite days of the week. I wake up with a skip in my step because I get to hang out with like minded Mums and have a good old laugh. I’ve made some great friends, had a great ‘Mums night out’ and have had awesome support during tough times. Playgroup has been a saviour to me in so many ways.
If you have felt like a playgroup or mothers group just didn’t fit, don’t take it personally because it’s the playgroup that doesn’t fit and not a case of you not fitting the playgroup, just keep on looking.
Are you in a playgroup or mothers group? What do you love about it?
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