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To liken Toddler Groups to Hell on Earth

(44 Posts)
Izzy82 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:27:56

So, I often read on parenting websites how amazing toddler groups are for socialising and making new 'mum friends'. So where on earth are these mythical toddler groups because the ones where I live are hideous.
They generally consist of cliquey groups of mums standing around chatting and completing ignoring their toddlers (who generally run around feral) or childminders who dump 3 or 4 kids in the mix and swan off to drink tea. Maybe im going to the wrong ones or maybe it's just me.
I find them quite soul destroying. they are even worse at the moment because the weather is so shite that there is nothing else to do.
Did anyone actually meet a lifelong mum friend at a toddler group they attended

ReluctantlyRedundant101 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:34:27

I find them very cliquey and full of childminders who all seem to know each other & I have been to toddler groups where nobody has spoken to me at all (I always say hello to the person I sit beside). My son enjoys them though so I suck it up for his sake

ReluctantlyRedundant101 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:35:52

Can't see that you'd ever make a lifelong friend at them tbh I think.most people feel the same

CripsSandwiches Thu 02-Feb-17 20:37:26

I always found them hellish for the reasons you describe, there used to be one in my area that was apparently very nice but it wasn't drop in and they had a waiting list of about a year.

SuperManStoleMyPants Thu 02-Feb-17 20:38:53

Sorry but soft play is hell on earth with toddler groups as a close second. I have likened soft play to a battle field before and sent dh 'letters from the front line'.

I treat toddler groups like prison time. Keep your head down, keep your toddlers nose clean and do your time.

SuperManStoleMyPants Thu 02-Feb-17 20:40:29

But don't use cigarettes to's all about the custard creams.

teacher54321 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:42:02

I hated all toddler and baby groups that I attended. Cliquey and claustrophobic.

Californiasoul Thu 02-Feb-17 20:43:10

Depends on the group. Some can be quite friendly but I am the sort of person who will make conversation with anyone.
Some are pretty shit though. Cold church halls, crap, filthy toys, no tea or coffee and no snacks for the kids. I did go to loads though when mine were small. Just getting out of the house and letting them run around like demons was a relief from the tedium of SAHM life.

Olympiathequeen Thu 02-Feb-17 20:43:57

No. That honour belongs to Soft Play.

Toddler groups come second.

SueGeneris Thu 02-Feb-17 20:45:06

We have a nice group. It's not drop in, you have to join, but it is friendly and lots of us have older children at the nearby village primary school. If someone new joins they are shown round and introduced to the group at story time and I do always try to say hello to new people.

I think it depends. I've tried others that I didn't really get on with. I think they can be very different.

Sandsnake Thu 02-Feb-17 20:45:54

I go to one with DS on my only non working day (I work four days). We really enjoy it but I think that's probably because a) I only do that sort of thing for one day and b) because I'm working I don't really feel the need to make friends so just enjoy playing with DS. I can see how it might be different for a SAHM though.

hookiewookie29 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:48:54

childminders who dump 3 or 4 children in the mix and swan off and drink tea

erm...this childminder doesn't, and neither do any of my childminder friends.Please don't tar us all with the same brush, as I've often found myself keeping an eye on someone elses children while they clear off and have a chat with their mummy mates!

MrsBB1982 Thu 02-Feb-17 20:49:30

I hated them with a passion..luckily so did my son so I had an excuse to stop going. So cliquey - I tried to help make the coffee once and got told I wasn't allowed, only a certain group of mums could do that. Petty..much?

attheendoftheday Thu 02-Feb-17 20:51:11

Well, I really liked our toddler group! Yes, I made good friends who I seem regularly years later.

I suppose it depends on the group - I'm in a rural area and the group was small. Everyone was welcoming and very practically helpful, e.g. holding my baby so I could help the toddler with things and so on. They were also my first port of call for moral support over non-sleeping children. There was also a strong system of passing clothes on to the next child which was very helpful.

Maybe I just got lucky.

attheendoftheday Thu 02-Feb-17 20:53:20

We did have a childminder there - she was fabulous. She now looks after my kids twice a week. She certainly didn't swan off drinking tea! She was always leading the way in arranging activities and negotiating toddler disputes, I learned a lot from her.

isthistoonosy Thu 02-Feb-17 20:53:39

I've not been to many bit those I've been too have been lovely. I chatted with anyone and everyone.
My kids played with other / new kids. A bit of upset here and there with other kids throwing toys, being a bit rough etc but my kids are use to that kind of stuff from nursery so all was fine.

blackcherries Thu 02-Feb-17 20:53:53

I thought it was just me! I go to one that had lots of toys and in a good space but the mums have hardly said anything to me even when I've tried to chat. It's not a posh area or anything, quite the opposite even. But been to a few others where they make an effort to welcome newbies, so there are nice ones out there..

smurfest Thu 02-Feb-17 20:54:44

Yes the ones I went to weren't much fun! I really only went when I was a SAHM to give some routine to the week, but I don't remember having a single interesting conversation at them.

I went to an art and craft type one too - that was much better

Mollyboom Thu 02-Feb-17 20:56:00

You are the voice of reason. Horrid places. Quite frankly the only thing I ever had in common with the other mothers at these groups was that we had all managed to give birth ( which incidentally some of them felt that they should receive the Order of Lenin for)

MollyHuaCha Thu 02-Feb-17 20:57:03

I went to a church run one three or four times. The noise was horrendous and it was full of speedy 3 yr olds ramming trucks into your shins. You paid £1 to get in and the lovely old ladies gave you a cup of tea in a polystyrene cup. I always felt a G&T wd have been more appropriate...

DramaAlpaca Thu 02-Feb-17 20:58:14

I really loved the toddler group I used to take my DC to. I made some really good friends there who I'm still in contact with over twenty years later. It wasn't cliquey at all, it was very welcoming. Must've been lucky, I guess.

Soft play on the other hand... Now that is hell on earth.

10storeylovesong Thu 02-Feb-17 20:58:42

I have two friends who I made at toddler group who I see being lifelong friends. We go out socially for wine without kids now. We were initially a group of 6 though, so some did drop by the wayside!

longdiling Thu 02-Feb-17 21:00:02

I don't know what parenting websites you read but there are threads about how awful and cliquey and full of feckless childminders they are pretty much weekly on here. This feckless childminder has been going to Playgroups for about 12 years and found the majority great. Friendly, nice activities for the kids including crafts and messy play and singing. Clean toys. There aren't many childminders at ours but those that are are no less attentive than anyone else. I have three toddlers with me so can't take my eyes off them for a second. They aren't compulsory though, there are other ways to socialise your kids. Just avoid them if they're crap.

Izzy82 Thu 02-Feb-17 21:03:17

Didn't mean to offend childminders. My son went to a great childminder before I started my second maternity leave so I know there are some great ones out there. Unfortunately, there are some really crappy ones too (and they all attend my local church hall on a Thursday!)
I'm glad it's not just me that hates toddler groups. Nobody spoke to me at all today. It's too soul destroying so have vowed never to go back
Will have to experiment with a few different ones before I call it a day completely!

LakeOfDreams Thu 02-Feb-17 21:07:57

To be honest I take my DD to toddler groups as we live in a tiny house and its good for her to socialise and play with toys we don't have. I have never expected to make friends, I choose my friends on more than their ability to bring a child to a toddler group. I'm polite and will hold a conversation with anyone but I'm not really there to make friends. I do hate it when parents don't supervise their kids though. DD looks older than she is and is often pushed over by older kids or blocked from looking at toys. I make sure I can always see my DD and am close enough to intervene if she's going to hurt someone

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