I’m a big fan of Playgroups. When I first embarked on my stay-at-home-mommy journey, I combed the internet looking for a Mom group. Noone really told me the necessity that such a group would hold for me, but as a now 6ish year veteran of not one, but two playgroups, I will tell you-they are a must for the stay homers. It’s very easy to get sucked into your own little world with your babies, to detach from the realities of things like World News, Make-Up, and Adult Conversation. Once, when my middle child was about 3 months old, I was riding in the car with my husband not knowing what to do with myself-no screaming child, no baby music to find, no bottle to fill. At that point he stopped down, looked at me, and told me to get out more-that WE needed to get out more WITHOUT the kids. The way he said it startled me, but at the same time I knew he was right. I was going a little nutso…enter Playgroup.
I found said Mom group, called the Mom in charge, and on a Tuesday knocked on a stranger’s door. They welcomed me with open arms; they introduced my oldest to the other kids; they fed us both lunch; they told stories of their own children and family lives. They made me feel normal. From that moment on, there was no stopping me from missing Tuesday Playgroup. If we were well, we were there-because yes, the kids had the opportunity to play, but also I formed a connection with these moms. They saw me at my most vulnerable-a new mom, and they still liked me, reassured me, and laughed with me. They gave me advice without sounding condescending. They gave me hugs when I knew I was sending my children into future therapy. They assured me that all the craziness in my life was normal, and that I would gain some control over my surroundings eventually. They said all this because they were in the same place I was-needing the same reassurances thrown their direction. We shared our Tuesday mornings, we shared our children, and we shared our lives. They were a lifeline for me, and I dearly missed them upon our Big Move to the Little D. I mourned that support system. I felt naked with only my crazy thoughts and even crazier children to surround me.
But, slowly, I began to form friendships here, and put out a few feelers to these Moms to see if they would like to meet and play. To my surprise, they jumped on the chance-maybe needing those connections and bonds as much as I did. Last year, we met at McDonald’s and the park. We went on a few fieldtrips over the summer, and this year our little group has really molded into something quite special. We celebrate our blessings, hurt for our hardships, and look forward to that weekly retreat into friendship. A friendship that feels safe, accepting, and fun.
It’s because of the joy Playgroup brought to me, that I want to pass this treasure onto you. I’ve put a link on the sidebar of the menu for a Yahoo! Group site associated with the moms in the Decatur Area. I’ve mapped out a calendar for the next few months, just meeting at a few parks around Decatur. I invite you to go to those parks, and look around for other Moms pushing their kids in swings, or putting their kids in time-out. Either way, you may find a kindred spirit, and just a tad of your own sanity.