Playgroup: A Sanity Saver

Playgroup: A Sanity Saver
Now I’m not going to ramble on about the benefits of playgroup to children because that’s pretty obvious, but what I am going to go on about is how playgroup (and mother’s groups) can be a HUGE benefit to parents.

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.

playgroup a sanity saver
What I’ve learnt is that it’s OK if you didn’t feel like you ‘clicked’ at a playgroup or mothers group, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop trying.  So many groups are different, they have different types of people and they are run differently too.  I know that the playgroup I help run is very laid back and has minimal structure, the kids enjoy open play and the parents enjoy a good chat and coffee, but some parents don’t like that which is fair enough. I’ve spoken to parents who attend other groups which are very structured and they prefer our laid back ‘have a chat’ atmosphere, it just depends on what’s best for you.

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?

 

Mummy Mondays Linky
 

Thanks for being part of the Mummy Mondays linky. Here are a few points to follow to ensure the linky runs smoothly: 

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  • Most importantly, please join in and comment on some other blogs.

 

Today I’m also linking up with One Mother Hen and My Home Truths

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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17 Comments

  1. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    September 29, 2014 / 7:22 am

    I used to LOVE a playgroup I was part of in Balwyn! I had so many lovely friends in it that I made. Then over time it changed (it was connected to a church and got a bit churchy sometimes and most of us weren’t church people). Eventually we moved house and where I live currently, I would not dare to venture into one: my locals are a bit rough around the edges here! I’d be scared my toddler would come away with colourful language or a smoking habit! Lol! When we move back inner I will take my Missy back to one.

  2. September 29, 2014 / 7:50 am

    I love my mums group. Its 3 years in the making and we have doubled our kid numbers. A very supportive, fun, easygoing and non-judgemental group we are and we all get along really well. Even better, two of us blog so we share and support each other with all that caper too.

  3. September 29, 2014 / 8:17 am

    I help to run a music playgroup (called Junior Jivers) with our local church. I love it and have made many great friends over the years. As you say the actual playgroup part is a little secondary to the relationships formed by the parents. I think I appreciated this even more before I had a school-age child.

  4. September 29, 2014 / 8:30 am

    I love play group. Definitely saved my sanity and was part of my recovery from PND as I met some lovely mums who I am not friends with. I highly recommend it to new mums.

  5. September 29, 2014 / 9:55 am

    I have been a part of several ‘playgroups’ and ‘mummies groups’ and I agree – sometimes it won’t feel right and other times it’ll be the best part of your week. I joined a mothers group when my first born was 6 weeks old and it truly was the BEST thing I’ve ever done. Some of those girls are still my bestest mummy buddies. A huge sanity saver!
    C x

  6. Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    September 29, 2014 / 10:15 am

    As I’ve worked for most of my kids’ lives I never had the opportunity to attend many playgroups. The ones I did when i was on maternity leave were very valuable both for the kids and for me. I have to confess with kids with special needs they weren’t the most stress-free moments (always trying to keep Gilbert from some sort of upset with other kids!!!) but I definitely would do it again if I had the opportunity.

  7. TeganMC
    September 29, 2014 / 11:02 am

    My mother’s group was awesome. I’m still friends with most of them, we just don’t meet us as often because a few of the kids have started school so it makes it harder to coordinate a time that suits everyone. We had a laid back group too, but we didn’t meet in the same place each week so we would go to different parks. We did have one woman join who wanted to start doing things more structured..she quickly moved on though when she realised that none of us wanted things that way.

  8. September 29, 2014 / 11:28 am

    I love my mothers group. I totally relate to the anxiety and freaking out part though, I was exactly like that in the beginning because of my PND and mine was also an established group too. I was just lucky that I get along with all the ladies in mine and all our kids are only 6 weeks apart which is great for them too.

  9. September 29, 2014 / 1:54 pm

    I couldn’t do the mothers’ group thing, it just wasn’t for me. Instead I was lucky to find a TAFE program set up like a mix between mothers’ group and a pretend preschool where 3rd year child care students under supervision from staff would interact with your children. You had the option to head to the tea room and have a coffee or hang around in the background. It was a fantastic for not only my three under three girls but also provided valuable tips and activities that I could then implement at home.

  10. September 29, 2014 / 2:59 pm

    Yep. Totally agree with you. Playgroup is all about the mother. I think they need to be rebranded. I love this group of women and the support they offer me. I’ve reached a point that this group of women are now my only friends and I worry that if something happens, what then. So, I’ve started creating and attending other things too with the aim to make more friends. xS

  11. September 29, 2014 / 9:00 pm

    Yep, play group is definitely awesome if you find one that works for you. Unfortunately it clashes with my work days now but I still catch up with the mums for dinner regularly!

  12. September 29, 2014 / 9:31 pm

    I love playgroup too! The group I joined was not very good from the start though. It was a new playgroup starting and a large group of the mums were coming from an existing mothers group. I remember sitting down on day 1 and introducing myself to one of the other mums. She told me her name, pointed to the other mums she was sitting with and told me they were her mothers group and turned her back on me. Rude! All those mums have now left and we have a really lovely small group of friendly and supportive mums. Sorry for the long comment, just thought I would share my experience!

  13. Alicia-OneMotherHen
    September 29, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    I love playgroup in that it gets me out of the house, having adult conversations, even if the conversation is about our kids. We get to have a laugh and mostly hear that I am not the only one having difficulties at home with my kids, others are having a tough time too, just with different things.
    The mothers group I am in now, isn’t the original one I started in, but I feel much more at home in it, my kids have a ball, and are close with the other kids. They adore each other!

  14. September 29, 2014 / 10:05 pm

    I’ve just linked up for the first time after finding the link on the #linkylist from youbabymemummy, I still struggle with playgroups and I have 3 children, I have been to a couple that are nice, but I’m so shy and I find some weeks its fine and other weeks I struggle, so I don’t tend to go very often. will have a look through the other links tonight once the kiddiewinks are snoring. x

  15. September 30, 2014 / 12:53 am

    I didn’t have any success at Mother’s Group 18 months ago but your post has made me think that maybe I should look for a play group that suits both my little one and me. When my eldest was a baby I was part of a Mother’s Group and even though none of the women in the group ever became my close friends, it was a wonderful thing to be a part of because at the time I lived very far away from family and friends. It’s amazing what getting dressed and out of the house and chatting can do for our mental health, even if it’s just once a week.