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To feel under pressure to be doing a whole range of baby classes and activity groups?

(23 Posts)
KatyBeau Fri 07-Jan-11 17:03:33

Friends with babies seem to be joining baby groups left right and centre. Which is great, but I can't afford it and am not convinced that they offer much more than baby can get from play at home, and out and about with friends and family.

I do sometimes feel like I'm not going my baby the best start by not doing some kind of exercise class, massage class or music class. Am I also not being social enough myself?

Anyone else feel this pressure?

domesticslattern Fri 07-Jan-11 17:13:16

They aren't doing it for their babies. They are doing it for themselves ie to meet other people and get out of the house. So don't worry about keeping your child back. Bit early to start worrying about that.
Would you like to go to a group if you could afford it? Childen's centres normally have free activities, if there is one near you.

craftynclothy Fri 07-Jan-11 17:15:22

Oh yes, particularly with dd1 (not so much with dd2 as dd1 had started pre-school and therefore we are socialising more anyway iykwim).

MIL used to go on about her needing to make friends and socialise hmm. Funnily enough dd1 was always v friendly with them, willing to go to them, etc whereas her cousin (who went to a group almost every day) was actually very clingy to her mum & dad.

FWIW in dd1'a class I can't see any difference in those that went to lots of groups and those that didn't.

That said, we found sing and sign very helpful with dd1 as it helped her communicate sooner and wish I could have done it with dd2 (couldn't cos dd1 would have had to come too and I couldn't afford that).

doireallywant3 Fri 07-Jan-11 17:16:02

i felt this pressure when DD1 was tiny (she is now 16 mo and I am 22 wks preg with DC2). I constantly had other people (1 friend in particular) asking me what groups, classes etc I was going to. I didn't feel the need to meet other new mum's as i already had a good set of friends with kids locally as well as my NCT girls who I love. DD was very socialised with other kids. I did feel like a bit of a bad mother not getting invlved in all the baby massage, water babies, monkey music etc etc but for part of it, DD was too young anyway, and the times I tried some things she wasn't bothered at all and was more into looking at other babies.
I would say that you know how you feel, try not to feel bad not to be sucked into costly classes. if your baby is happy you will be happy. if your baby needs more stimulation etc i'm sure you'll know about it. DD1 has been full time at nursery since July when I wen tback to work and is a very happy, well-rounded child and I'm v happy with her development. I'll do the same with DC2 when born but I may do water babies.
best of luck, trust your instincts and tell everyone else to mind their own business!

BaronessBomburst Fri 07-Jan-11 18:00:05

Well my DS is buggered then as we live in a small village in the middle of nowhere and there are no classes of any description at all. However, when I last looked he was happy, well adjusted, and friendly. grin

Mind you, domesticslattern has a point - I'm going slowly mad.

risingstar Fri 07-Jan-11 18:04:53

when dd1 and dd2 were small, i went to every group going. this is because i am a better parent outside the house than in.

however with dd3 i have done nothing but have her with me and enjoy her.

DrSeuss Fri 07-Jan-11 18:28:12

Being the totally crap mother that I am, I joined a number of groups for my sake, not DS's, and am contemplating doing so again for forthcoming DD. It beat sitting at home by myself all day and I didn't know many others with kids. As a result I made some really good friends. A lot of the stuff at these groups is somewhat less than stimulating for anyone over 3 but the gossip and the contact made it worthwhile.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 07-Jan-11 19:23:52

I felt that pressure. But I agree, they're not about the babies but all about the mothers and their social needs. Which is fine, as long as we're honest about it. So I think baby groups are great if you want an hour of coffee and chat with some other new mums, but a bit pointless if you go expecting your baby to become fluent in BSL by 6 months...

tholeon Fri 07-Jan-11 19:38:51

just rememember that when we were all growing up there weren't any of these classes..didn't do us any harm now did it!

I didn't take DS to any when he was smaller due to germ phobia (he was more vulnerable than most) and have only recently started a couple - he's 19 months (and currently taking a break due to swine flu paranoia!) TBH even at his age while I think they can make life easier for mums and be quite fun, they aren't necessary.

lazylula Fri 07-Jan-11 19:55:27

When I had ds1 I was so pleased to be invited to a new mums group, run by a hv, for 5 weeks (different topic each week)as I knew no one with a baby, friends either had older school age children or didn't have any! I went to the group for me, not my 6 week old baby! I met 3 friends, who, 5 years on, are still my friends and we went on to join toddler groups that cost a pound or so a week. I didn't really feel any pressure to do all the classes others did, Jo Jingles ect, as I was happy with what I did. Do not feel pressured, if you are happy as you are then that is fine.

londonmackem Fri 07-Jan-11 19:58:36

I only went to the free/£1/2 classes held in church halls and I completly did it for me!

ShoppingDays Fri 07-Jan-11 20:02:31

YANBU. It's entirely up to you whether you go to classes and it sounds like you're enjoying seeing family and friends.

cairnterrier Fri 07-Jan-11 20:06:52

I second London mackem's suggestion: look into whether your local church runs any groups. Ours does and it's 50p per week and includes a cup of tea and a biscuit - bargain! Also, try contacting the NCT, they often have lists of local coffee mornings that are free to go to.

redshinyshoes Fri 07-Jan-11 20:18:50

Yanbu, With my first DD I felt I ought to be joining lots of groups and taking her to different classes, but I couldn't afford it either and it made me feel like she was missing out. I am now a mum of three and have realised that although it's good for kids to get out, try new things and mix with other children, they can have just as much fun if not more bashing pots and pans on the kitchen floor and hiding in cardboard boxes. Join some toddler groups, they are very cheap and you can meet other mums & relax over a cup of tea and biscuit grin

scallopsrgreat Fri 07-Jan-11 20:19:03

I was the same as you OP and didn't feel the need when my baby was tiny. By the time he was about 9 months I started going to a local group which was lovely. I am now back at work and don't have time but DS is in nursery 2 days a week so gets lots of interaction there.

I was lucky though - I have a DH who spends a lot of time at home a lovely MIL who lives a mile away and a number of good friends with young children. If you don't feel like going you really don't have to - but I know how you feel - that feeling of are you doing enough; should you join in etc! Don't worry it passes as you get more confident as a mother!!

onceamai Fri 07-Jan-11 20:46:23

The DS did tumbletots (hated it) the DD did a music thing (hated it). I politely thought most of the mothers were prats. We loved the following: Park (daily) - always met someone nice, story time at library, leaf kicking, pound a go church playgroups - lovely mums.

Met best ever BF at library and did baby swaps for free time alone once a week.

Booandpops Fri 07-Jan-11 21:38:12

Lazylula. I thoght you were one of my 1sttimee mums group then for a mo But there are 10 of us that are still regular friends. Still you could be describing my life my dd is also 5. Lol

tigitigi Fri 07-Jan-11 22:56:04

Walked out of NCT classes and some of the baby groups. Everything seemed so 'mummy' centric it made me want to be sick. Everyone spoke about how life was 'difficult', they felt 'tired' and 'isolated' whinged about their husbands etc. I just thought my babies were wonderful and I was busy with enjoying life I had no time to waste on other people's angst.

BaronessBomburst Fri 07-Jan-11 22:56:04

Actually, thinking about this some more, my SIL takes DN to everything going - I think about 6 classes a week, and apparently this is the reason that DN expects constant stimulation and is unable to play on her own.

Disclaimer: this is what my mother says who is therefore SIL's MIL and they don't get on. Could be total bollocks.

<leaves thread and goes to hide somewhere just in case SIL is MNer........>

Simmylou Fri 07-Jan-11 23:15:56

I was perfectly ok being at home with a LO, going to the park, the shops, the library etc and meeting a couple of my own friends. But I felt under pressure to do stuff and meet brand new "mummy friends" hmm. Even my own friends were asking if I had got new friends from baby groups and NCT and said they couldn't live without their NCT girls so even with my own friends I felt I had to "keep up" and make lots of new baby group friends! it was crazy - friends competing re who made the most/best new friends from baby groups!

Having said that, having a few baby classes in the diary per week did help pass the time and give some sort of focus/structure to the days. Even though I didn't feel any urge to need to meet new people, it didn't hurt to have a good reason to dig out some nicer clothes and brush my hair grin

monkeyjamtart Fri 07-Jan-11 23:44:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Sat 08-Jan-11 08:38:13

Yanbu - word for word what above poster said, not for me I'm afraid, I feel my maternity leave is too short and want to dedicate my time to my little one, which I felt groups and classes didn't do

FrizzyFrazzled Sat 08-Jan-11 09:03:58

YANBU. I felt this too, my DS is ten months and I have tried three baby groups, rhyme time at the library and swimming - he loves the swimming and couldn't have cared less about the others. I didn't really take to the mums either - as another poster said, there was a lot of whingeing about husbands and tiredness, as well as an undercurrent of competition about whose baby was biggest, most advanced, who was losing baby weight quickest, etc etc... Not for me.
I work freelance, so have limited time, and gae up on everything but the swimming, and my DS is perfectly happy with me, and coming to the shops, out to meet friends and to see family.
I wouldn't worry about it - motherhood seems to be too much about competition. Just do what feels right, and your baby will let you know when she is unimpressed!

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