Friday, August 12, 2011

Playgroups.....Good or Bad?

I became a stay at home mom when my first son Timothy was a year and a half old. Going from working full time to spending my days at home with my son was sorta a shock to me. Working full time I had plenty of time to socialize with adults, I was able to get out of the house everyday. Once I was staying home full time I lost all of that.

Not only was I needing to get that adult socialization, my son was now not getting that interaction with other kids like he was getting on a daily basis. I was a young new mother, I was 19 when Timothy was born. I needed to find support and help from other moms, so I turned to playgroups.

That first playgroup was crucial for us, and it was the best playgroup! The support, advice, and friendships I gained from that playgroup were priceless. And ever since that first playgroup I have struggled to find one that I liked as much. I went through several more playgroups that didn't work out for one reason or another. When my second son was born I found a playgroup that I enjoyed and eventually I became the organizer of that playgroup. It was the only other playgroup that I enjoyed as much as that first one.

I was sad to see that group go, but thankful that I made some friendships in that group of ladies that would last well after the group was gone.

I have went through a handful of other playgroups since the group I organized and have had no such luck at finding one that lasted. Finally about a month ago I found a group that seemed like it was going to work. They were all moms from around where I lived, they had several play dates scheduled a week, and looked like a great group. I went to my first play date with the group last week and had the worst experience I have ever had.

Of all the playgroups I have been in I have never had a really bad experience, they usually just didn't work out for a reason such as location or not having many play dates. But this group didn't lack any of that, they lacked common courtesy. We met at a park by our house for a morning play date. I was the second mom to arrive and had a short conversation with the mom that was already at the park. We said hello and made small talk. Then I went the rest of the morning without ANYONE saying a word to me. The only other mom was the assistant organizer and she merely said hello. The organizer of the group never approached me once. Everyone seemed to already know one another, so I was surprised she never introduced herself or me to the group.

So I was already feeling like a fish out of water. It felt like being a new kid in school and trying to fit in when there are already cliques formed. After that it was just one incident after another. First a little boy ran up and pushed Mason down and jumped on him. Then that same little boy sprayed my kids with water after I asked him once not to get them wet. But that's not all, then that little boy decided to take my $800 camera and hide it on the playground equipment. The only reason I found my camera was because another little boy told me where it was.

The thing I couldn't figure out was this little boy was terrorizing everyone, kids and adults. And no one seemed to be doing anything about it. Like that was just who he was and they let him do it. Well I had enough, and left the park pretty upset. I later received an email that I had been removed from the group because the other moms were complaining about me yelling (which I never did except when I left after my camera was taken).

Who knows if I will ever find another playgroup like that first one or the one I ran. But for now I am done looking. What ever happened to mother's supporting one another, a group of woman who are apart of a group for friendships and advice.

I am curious what your take on playgroups are especially if your a mom. Are you apart of a playgroup or mom's group? Do you think playgroups are more good or just problems? If your not apart of a playgroup, how do you get that advice, support, and socialization with other moms?

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