Random Mumday thoughts... after reading this, there needs to be the disclaimer that I do love my daughter- like nothing else and always but the reality of parenting requires a broad definition of love. Here are some of my real parenting lessons learned about playgroups.
Parent and toddler groups are one of parenthood's little-celebrated heroes- thank you, thank you, thank you. I thought I could take or leave you, but no. I need you. My daughter needs you.
This is why they are sooo good:
- Not only do they provide an activity for the most part of a morning (including a drive or walk, which also eats up time) but the activity is more often than not, educational and usually involves a lot of running about for her. She gets tired and your guilt for not doing enough painting/crafts/music at home is allayed.
- It is valuable contact time with other adults. Never underestimate the need for adults in your life when you become a parent. It is generally a social requirement of an adult to talk in more than 2 word sentences- you will be surprised at how soon you get out of practice!
- You need to talk about something other than children. Try to limit your time with those who constantly talk about theirs- it is good to hear other stories and learn from those who have been there, but if there is NO other topic of conversation forthcoming, smile and move away- you had interests before becoming a parent and they still exist, if only briefly on a Monday morning at playgroup when you talk to Sarah about 'Grey's Anatomy'.
- Your little one gets to be social. A big deal for only children but also you get an amazing insight into their social behaviour and personality that you might not experience at home.
- There are more toys than you could imagine and your child will play with them all and you don't have to pack them away! And even helping to put them away doesn't seem too bad when there's help.
- It gives you the opportunity to see what toys your little one enjoys so you can do some wise shopping. Saves you a bunch of money on toys they look at once and discard for a cardboard box.
- It gets you out of the house and away from other stuff like cleaning, washing, vaccuuming, cooking... for a few hours a day, you get to be focused on your little one without feeling you need to be doing something else. Enjoy them.
- They provide space for you and your little one. Sometimes that is just what the two of you need from each other. That is also all about love.
This list is just a start... what do you get from your parent and toddler groups?