So I’m sure everyone has heard of or been to a toddler group?
My first experience was awful, I was so scared, waiting out side looking in through the window at all these mums chatting away to each other and I just thought. Ow hell no this isn’t for me. It looked so clicky. I and was completely out of my comfort zone. I thought they all look like they know exactly what it’s all about, and just had maternal wrote all over them. Were would I fit in organic mums… Nope… breast feeding mums… Nope …. The confident mums…. Nope…. The pristine mums…. Definitely not!…. The quite mums…. Nope im far to loud for those… But… I don’t want anyone to know I’m loud and actually quite strange! Then no one will like me at all!…the mums that are clicky…. Don’t even bother… I Keep scanning…. Aha the mums that are sitting around a small area in the corner over there with there under 9 months…. Ok so I timidly go over place my self and my baby on the floor. It was packed and everyone looked like they had there shit together.
So about 30 mins into my first ever uncomftable experience of toddler group, and no one speaking to me I thought OK I’ll strike up a conversation with that lady there… So hear goes…. “Ow high, so what’s your little girls name.” she looked me dead in the eye and said “he is a boy!” absolutely brilliant I thought… is this really happening, God just take me now why don’t you! The next thing you know theres a child pulling at my baby’s hair is if he’s looking for milk. My baby’s screaming. The mum looked me in the face and said nothing, literally nothing she was as cold as ice nothing. I just could not believe it. So up I got baby in tow gathering all my belongings up and didn’t come back!
6 months later however when severe ocd and anxiety was setting in for me and I barely left the house these days. I thought let’s give it another go. I said to my self, it’s not for me it’s for my baby and that was my drive.
So fast forward almost 3 years later and play groups have been my saviour! We have gone every day to a different toddler group Mon-Fri for 3 years now, they become my happy place. I have made so many friends and was unexpectedly surprised at just how much we are all in the same boat, even the organic mums are winging it.
When things were difficult for me in the early days and I started suspecting some thing wasnt quite right with my baby, these mums were my shoulder to cry on, people I could vent to, and all of a sudden there were other mums that had been through the same as me before and I went to them for advice, someone who knew exactly how I was feeling, they were my voice of reason, my strength and my calm. The people who ran the toddler groups become my friends and they had mine and my child’s best interests at heart, people that really cared about my parenting journey. I loved the versatility of all these people who’s paths would never normally cross but we all have something in common our children/grandchildren, and that has brought us all close together and with that you learn so much about others.
Blakes development has probably been catapulted forward through having to socialise and enteract with other children. It’s given him so much confidence. He will just go and get stuck straight in. He loves arts and crafts and groups have given him the access to show me what he is capable of doing, he is an extremely creative little boy.
Our days would have been long lonely, boring and probably full of sadness and depression, if I had of let one person ruin it for me that first time of going, building friendships takes time but once you do these people will play a huge role in yours and your child’s life. Give it a go and don’t let one bad experience ruin it for you because it could be one of the best things you do for you and your child’s development.