As a SAHM I sometimes feel that my children miss out. If I went to work and them to nursery they would socialise more with children their own age. They would play with different toys, eat different foods and learn how to interact with different kinds of people.
When Baby J was small I braved my first mother and baby group. I remember feeling so nervous before I went but the people were so nice. I made good friends and we keep in touch, but I stopped attending after getting pregnant again. Hyperemesis and baby groups aren’t a good mix.
I’ve been beating myself up for a little while, thinking I should be taking them to some sort of group. Especially Baby J, she is more than ready to make some more little friends and experience a new environment.
This week I bit the bullet and headed out to a toddler group that I could take both of them to. It’s based at our local Methodist Church and is run by a lovely couple, who care so much about making sure all of the little ones have a great time.
Heading out with two under two by myself is never a straight forward task. Looking after a stationary being in a room full of over excited toddlers, whilst having to chase my very own enthusiastic eighteen month old around is hard work! It felt good to see Baby J having such a great time though, there were so many toys she didn’t know where to turn first! The room was full of like minded mums and dads who are all in the same boat, suddenly things didn’t seem so difficult.
Sometimes baby and toddler groups get bad press. The idea of cliques and gossiping parents make going seem so daunting. I find that walking in with an open mind and a smile can make all the difference. Chatting and drinking tea, creating allies in this parenting game was a real boost on an otherwise mundane Tuesday. In the end I had a great morning, most importantly both of my two loved it. For that reason alone we will definitely be heading back.
I hope that I am doing enough to make sure my children get enough socialisation and education in these early years. I hope that when they start preschool they will feel confident and happy in their environment. They learn so much during this time, I really want to get it right!