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~Mintie~

A question about playgroups

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~Mintie~

I was wondering...my mothers group is fading away as everyone else returns to work, so I've been considering trying out a playgroup. So what I'm wondering is are these playgroups kind of cliquey or have people found that new members are openly welcomed? My mum's group was ok, but very cliquey and b**chy towards some of the mothers who attended less frequently, one mother would even make constant derogatory comments about another mothers child. I was never at the receiving end (that I know of!) and I know if you put a bunch of females in a room together there is bound to be some cattiness but TBH it got kind of old fast.

So I'm interested in how other mums have gone joining up with a playgroup and was it easy to intergrate yourself into the group. The mothers group followed on from the nurse run info meetings so a new group was formed, I've never tried joining up with an established group so feel a little nervous about doing so :blush:

ETA: When I say "these playgroups" I'm referring to ones run through Playgroup Australia or similar.

Edited by ~Mintie~

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Chelli

Hi Mintie :)

My advice would be to try several playgroups in your area and see which one fits you the best. It can be hard to enter a pre-established group, especially by yourself. I did it when my girls were young and found a great one that had a lot of friendly and welcoming people, but I understand that may not always be the case.

 

The other alternative is to see if there is a supported playgroup in your area. By that I mean that some Playgroup Associations (one in each state) offer supported groups that has a facilitator who runs the group and often the people in the group don't know each other.

 

Schools also quite often offer playgroups which are facilitated by a teacher or aide. That may be another option in your area :)

 

Good luck!

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~Mintie~

Thanks Chelli :) I have quite a few in my area so maybe you're right, try a few and see which I like.

I'm not sure if our local school has one, I know they have a preschool there but not sure about a playgroup. I do think a supported playgroup will be the way for me to go, hopefully I can find one that isn't too full.

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ekbaby

So far I've found playgroups a lot less cliquy and competitive than some mothers groups can be, I think because the age range of the children is so much broader there is a lot less of the whole "my DS is rolling over, is yours yet? how many hours does yours sleep?" etc. Also a lot of parents with more than 1 kid who are old-timers and probably a bit over getting fussy about stuff like that.

 

Also you are often doing activities etc with the kids which gives you a focus and stuff to talk about, not just sitting in a room/cafe trying to talk to each other.

 

If you want to get to know people a good way is to offer to help out with the playgroup, most playgroups Aust type ones are run by volunteers and they usually need parents to help with the fruit cutting up, tidying up etc, if you offer to lend a hand it's a great opportunity to get to know ppl.

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ekbaby

So far I've found playgroups a lot less cliquy and competitive than some mothers groups can be, I think because the age range of the children is so much broader there is a lot less of the whole "my DS is rolling over, is yours yet? how many hours does yours sleep?" etc. Also a lot of parents with more than 1 kid who are old-timers and probably a bit over getting fussy about stuff like that.

 

Also you are often doing activities etc with the kids which gives you a focus and stuff to talk about, not just sitting in a room/cafe trying to talk to each other.

 

If you want to get to know people a good way is to offer to help out with the playgroup, most playgroups Aust type ones are run by volunteers and they usually need parents to help with the fruit cutting up, tidying up etc, if you offer to lend a hand it's a great opportunity to get to know ppl.

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robhat

I think it varies a lot... The playgroup I go to has almost no cliquey-ness at all, although I think if you're new you'll find it might take a few weeks before you know people well enough to just join in the conversations etc... But new mums are always welcomed and spoken to... My mother's group was cliquey though and I was glad they all went back to work after the bubs all turned 1!

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wannabe30

I've never been to one, but I know the ABA runs playgroups in some areas. You don't need to be breastfeeding to attend!

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Tetinks

Hey Mintie

 

Our playgroup is actually our mother's group, which we formalised into a playgroup. All the old crew are still there but we've also had two new mums join - one had some problems with her old mothers group (catty, competitive etc) and the other was new to town.

 

They've settled in really easily and the kids (and mums!) all get along really well. Some of the original mums have gone back to F-T work, but we catch up with them once a month on a Fri night, sans kids, and every couple of months on the weekends with kids and dads too.

 

Our new mums found us through word of mouth, so maybe ask around? There are some great mothers groups/playgroups around, it seems to vary so much.

 

If you lived near me I'd say to come and join us :grin:

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~Mintie~

THanks everyone :)

Wannabe30 I go to ABA meetings but our area doesn't seem to run the playgroup as well. Also my SIL is heavily integrated in that group, so it kind of feels like they are her friends, and it's a little weird trying to befriend many of the women there. In saying that, there are 3 of us who tend to chat amongst ourselves :)

 

My mother's group was cliquey though and I was glad they all went back to work after the bubs all turned 1!

Robhat I'm quietly happy about them returning to work too. Some are lovely, and some are just cows.

If you want to get to know people a good way is to offer to help out with the playgroup, most playgroups Aust type ones are run by volunteers and they usually need parents to help with the fruit cutting up, tidying up etc, if you offer to lend a hand it's a great opportunity to get to know ppl.

Volunteering is perfectly fine with me :) And yes, I hate the competitiveness of some mums in our group, so hopefully this will be a better option for us.

 

Claireabell your mums group must be the complete opposite to mine lol. They would never accept "outsiders", they weren't impressed when I suggested inviting a few people that several of us already knew into the group. They just want a closed group. Oh and if I lived near you I would certainly join your group :p

 

 

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nicka

It all depends on the group. The first one I went to only had 3 other mums that had all been to mothers group together and really didn't make me feel welcome, and making underhand comments about my parenting. I went to a different group that was much larger (about 15 mums on a busy day) and it was 10x better. They made me feel welcome, and with a larger group it was easier to find someone in common. Don't be afraid to try different groups if you don't like one.

 

 

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