If there was no mother and baby group where you live would you start one?(16 Posts)
Just that really but a bit of background is that I am not particularly sociable, don't drive, struggle with my two and don't have that much interest in other people's children.
However, I'm an expat and the owner of a private international nursery has offered me the use of a room for the equivalent of 5 quid a session and says she'll advertise for me. She stopped running it because she wanted to concentrate on looking after the children.
Would I be bonkers to even be considering this? And if I do what do I need to think about? Tempted to have a meeting with her but need a list of questions.
Sounds like a good idea to me. Will you have a theme (eg music, just playing, nursery rhymes) will you do snacks - if so what hygiene measures do you need? Will you do a story slot? Craft slot? How will you advertise- FB groups can be great for that. How much will you charge? What will your costs be - toys, snacks, craft materials etc.
I wouldn't. I hate those places though. Way too noisy
Yes, I did, even before I had my baby - I had just moved to a new area, there was no baby and toddler group, I knew no one; it was linked to a playschool so it was fairly straightforward to just open for one morning a week, low cost, just toys and chat for the parents.
Interesting, thanks all.
A bit more info, when I had my two there was no nct equivalent and I had a private room in a small provincial hospital. I didn't even see another mum when I went to make milk or give the babies a bath.
I have friends here but none with babies and the ones I do have are very flaky.
When I had dd there was a group nearby ish but it didn't have any members her age. It shut due to lack of interest. Those mums have an fb group now and meet regularly in cafés and soft play places. I like them but it's very sporadic and it's proving a nightmare arranging lifts when arrangements are made last minute and besides I have low self esteem and am not convinced I fit in. This lot meet 20 k from where I live. The new place is the same distance the other direction. One lady drives about 50k to meet this lot so some might travel if it was a nice enough venue.
The girl that used to run the one that shut charged 4e for an entire afternoon session but knows of classes that charge 10 for 45 minutes so she can't get her head round why she had to close.
Refreshments and toys would be my first questions I think. I've posted on local parenting site but had no response.
I have also had lectures from family members that I should get out more and sometimes I wonder if I'm doing this because I feel pressure. I am not lonely but I worry about the little ones developing social skills of which they have very little but other people tell me it's all fine it will all fall into place when she's at playschool but I'm ages off that.
I'm supremely grateful to the people who run the several groups we go to, they were a lifeline for us when I had DD1 as I was the first of my social group to have a baby. Suddenly I was home alone all day and everyone else at work. I think they're hugely valuable and am planning on helping out at our fave one once DCs are at school.
However you must only do this if it will work for you. What do you lose if it doesn't work out? If nothing, then id probably give it a go, if you have to commit to hiring the space for a certain amount of time I'd think harder. The best groups IMO are the less structured ones, where there's refreshments and a little seating area for those with babies and maybe a sing song at the end. Those with crafts etc sometimes put too much pressure on a frazzled mum to get her toddler sit down/follow instructions if they're not so inclined (also stressful to organise). Most mums just want their kids to be able to play in relative safety whilst they get to drink a cup of tea with people who understand why your top's not ironed and you've not necessarily brushed your hair properly!
I would, because I don't know how I world have survived the first two years without a playgroup!
Go for it - just check if her PLI would cover you, or if you need to arrange your own. If you need any equipment, then a nice letter to your local Lions Club will often prove worth it - ours gave us money for soft matting, my First Aid training (not essential, but we are in a rural setting miles from any help, with sporadic mobile signal) and several other major purchases.
Thanks everyone. Good information there and things I hadn't thought of.
I'm not a sing songy type person so it's good to know that people might not expect much more than toys and refreshments.
I'm glad some of you had some positive experiences of this kind of thing. I have mixed thoughts and expectations and before I was a mum I couldn't imagine anything worse.
The update is that after I got no response on fb, the nursery posted about opening a group despite her saying she didn't want to run it herself. She mentioned prices and times which we hadn't discussed so I assuming she now wants to do it herself which is fine. I just hope it gets off the ground regardless of who runs it.
Sometimes word of mouth is the best advertising- it might take a little while to build up numbers.
I do agree with that but I know when the other group started and the first time they ran this one at the nursery they definitely gave it a good go but I know you need to be patient with it.
I also know it's going to be hard pleasing everyone. At the moment they're finding it difficult to agree on a convenient time and day which is also the problem with the other group too but I'm of the opinion they should just decide on something and stick to it.
I'd rather eat ground glass than go to a parents' group, but YMMV.
Well there always seems to be very mixed views of them on here.
At the moment it just seems like they are a complete nightmare to organise and I have a new found respect for anyone who has done it.
Just as a thought: are you an expat in a non-English-speaking country? If so you could consider doing an English-language session with led activities and songs.
It's obviously more work to organise, but the French and Spanish language equivalents are very popular here (London). They charge a LOT (£15 for 45mins) and people are generally willing to travel further for something specialised. Here they seem to start from about 1 year old - so not tiny babies, but you don't say how old yours are.
Although if you're in a EU country, now might not be the time to set up such a group.
I am in an EU country. But it's a small island with a massive expat community. And I live between two UK army bases.
So it's an English speaking expat group that I was going to. It would be difficult finding a venue in my village and I rarely bump into anyone who has children around here so an English group for children might not work although there was a time I was considering TEFL qualifications.
The private nursery considering starting a group has international clients and staff that speak the local language as well as English and Russian which is the second largest foreign community here but they've still had no further interest.
I want my children to be bilingual but I don't speak the language here I will be learning with them. They will go to local pre school.
The group that closed had a big age range 10 months to about 7 years! When they had their own centre the focus was on creativity. When they used other venues it was storytelling etc.
The one trying to start up is 3 months to 3 years and the focus is mother led play. Mine are 20 months and 4 months and I'd like a group they could both go to.
But I think it says something when a tri lingual group charging 2 euro a session can't get off the ground.
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