Thursday, February 09, 2006


Well, I have begun my foray into the world of playgroups.
You would think that this is not that hard of a task to find or create a playgroup…but it is never that easy. I have found that a lot of moms try to stick within groups of other moms that are going through similar things. So finding a playgroup can be tricky. Is it a playgroup for stay at home moms, working moms, or is it moms with special needs children or then there are the numerous different religious affiliations or the different suburbs. It makes it quite difficult to find a group that meets on a day and time that you’re available and that have the same interests as well as fit all the other parameters. Silly me. I just thought I would find some moms who wanted to spend some time together chatting and letting the kids romp about a bit. I was wrong. I’m sure there are a lot of moms out there wanting the same thing I am, but finding them is the hard part. Also, I work part-time and this puts me in this crazy gray zone. The full-time moms can’t relate to me totally because I do stay home half the week and either they’re either envious I get to spend more time with the little one or uncomfortable that I choose to put my “career” aside to help raise the muchkin… and the stay at home moms can’t relate to me because I get out of the house a couple days a week and I can’t fully understand the isolation and exhaustion that comes with being home all week with the little ones. Aghhhh!

Dave jokes that although we’re happily married I’m back on the dating scene again…and sadly he’s not too far off base. Finding a playgroup is sometimes eerily reminiscent of the whole dating scene. First you have to find someone whom you get along with and you share similar interests. Then there is the whole casual, “Hey, we should get together sometime and our kids can play.” Now we all know that these playgroups are just as much for the moms as the children. Don’t get me wrong, the kids enjoy hanging out and playing with their peers, but I think when the little one’s are young it is even more important for the moms to get out and have conversations with someone else going through the same things they are. We can empathize with one another, support and give advice to one another and it makes the whole experience seem not so overwhelming or isolating as well as you learn so many new things on how to tackle the latest quirks you’re little guy has acquired.

So, once that question is out there…you wait for the response. Will she be excited and leap at the chance to set something up or will it be an awkward moment where she fumbles to come up with an excuse as to why she can’t right now. Once you’ve found a “connection” with someone…then there is the exchange of phone numbers and once you have a phone number there is the actual phone call. I think these calls can be harder than the usual dating calls as well. Because not only are you trying to be casual and cool and set up a playdate…but invariably when you call your little one decides to start shrieking and clawing at the phone or you call her and wake up her little one who has had a tough time going down for a nap and had just drifted off into a restful slumber when you called and woke her up again.
So, once you finally work past that, you try to set up a date. But this doesn’t always go as smoothly either. There are music classes and activity classes to work around as well as those pesky naps always get in the way as well. Once you finally have found a time that doesn’t overlap with anyones nap or class you finally set a date. And then when the day comes, you’re little ray of sunshine decides to skip his nap and your normally happy child becomes Oscar the Grouch. And you just keep praying to yourself that the other mom will understand and that you’re little ray of light won’t bean her child with a toy or cry the entire time you’re there. Ah the joys of motherhood. But after all in the end…I think she probably has similar worries and is hoping the same thing.

So, after many months of searching and many tentative starts…I think I have finally found and become a part of a playgroup. Yippee. There are a total of four moms with similar aged children and although they are all full-time stay at home moms besides me, they don’t seem to mind that I work. I sometimes can’t understand what they are going through and they sometimes are envious that I have a chance to get out of the house and get a little break from the little guy. All in all it is working out splendidly. We are four similar and yet very different women but we have one major commonality. We have children. And I can’t even begin to express how lovely it is to get out of the house and spend 2 hours with other adults to chat about that latest milestones in Alec’s life or get advice on how to handle a situation…and the kids love it. They romp and play and munch on crackers and other goodies and have a wonderful time. So, although it has been one wierd, wacky journey so far. It's been worth it.


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