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to be annoyed that most mother & baby facilities close down over school holidays

(26 Posts)
nct73 Thu 23-Jul-09 16:57:07

I am maternity leave with DS (6 wks) and have DD (2.5 yr) who is home 3 days in week. All the local mother & baby groups are shut over summer hols and the parent & baby screenings at cinema have also stopped. At least baby massage is continuing this time as the one I went to with DD when she was a baby shut down. Dont they realise we need these facilities for our sanity particularly first time round esp if no close friends with kids or family close by as are a lifeline, a reason to leave house esp when pouring with rain.

FimbleHobbs Thu 23-Jul-09 17:02:16

I think the people than run/work/volunteer at them often have school aged children though don't they. Agree it is a shame though, you can only make so many trips to the library in a week and there isn't much else free/cheap to do indoors in a lot of places.

Smithagain Thu 23-Jul-09 18:49:27

I run a toddler group and have seriously considered staying open, but several of the parents have bigger children (as do I) and either they'd have to come (which would completely change the character of the group and probably scare away most of the little ones), or they'd stay away, leaving me with too few to do it.

Our local children's centre has a full programme of "stay and play" sessions over the summer, though. Anything like that around you?

nickytwotimes Thu 23-Jul-09 18:52:56

We have kept our parent and baby group running this summer after asking memebers if they wanted it or not.
I have to say that the first 2 weeks of the hols (am in Scotland) we only had 3 attendees, but last week it was mobbed.
Tbh, it is often not worth staying open. Most of our group are pfbs, so it is easy enough for the parents to come, but those with older kids can't do this so easily.

MaybeAfterBreakfast Thu 23-Jul-09 18:55:18

One of the toddler groups we go to carries on during the holidays - it is a life saver. We decided we'd rather have it full of big and noisy older children than not have it at all.grin

Another one stops but the mothers arrange to meet in a local playground at the time it would normally take place. Would something like that work for you?

I'm struggling to find things to do with mine at the moment, particularly when the weather is bad. Places we might normally go if desperate (soft play, zoo, farms) are full of bigger children and not much fun with little ones.

nct73 Sun 26-Jul-09 22:25:22

luckily with DD1 because she was a winter baby, i had made some good friends by summer who started gathering at playparks or each others houses when wet. we all have the same day off so kept meeting post maternity leave. am just a bit miffed as DD does miss her groups and am miffed on behalf of new mums as know what a lifeline they were and it takes a while to build up from chatting to people at a group to inviting into home. lots of activities set up for school kids over summer. would be nice if some for younger.

on another note, am missing various daytime tv shows which also stop over summer. sad, i know blush

Jude68 Wed 29-Jul-09 13:49:58

Does anyone from SE London (Plumstead0 know if the stay and play in Elmley Road, Glyndon is ok? It's open all holidays but is apparently in a rough as f*ck area...

melmog Wed 29-Jul-09 13:52:25

Yanbu. I'm bored shitless.

And it's still raining.

jojomo Wed 29-Jul-09 18:41:16

OP - your tone is a bit off I think. I run a toddler group and have very little help to do so despite repeated requests to the mums who come. I also work part time and am enjoying a bit of a break from the toddlers in the holidays! I do still have my ds to entertain but it's nice to have the time and energy to do other things. Have you offered any help to any of the toddler groups - perhaps they would run a few sessions in the holidays if someone would help out?

jojomo Wed 29-Jul-09 18:43:55

Meant to say that most of these groups are run on a voluntary basis and there's quite a lot of work involved - spare a thought for those of us who do it and need a break!

pointydog Wed 29-Jul-09 18:48:26

yabu. Who runs them? What age are their children? Are the venues free in the holidays?

Having said that, I do remember feeling adrift in the school holidays with two young pre-schoolers.

MamaGoblin Wed 29-Jul-09 19:21:31

Our two local NCT groups are running throughout summer, on a scaled-down basis. Other than that, all the other music and paid groups are shut, but it's what you'd expect really, with volunteer groups. I agree, it is a pain. Am surprised at the cinema, but suppose they see the money in general screenings over summer.

MollieO Wed 29-Jul-09 19:28:44

I had the same as you when I was on maternity leave. Ds came home from hospital at the start of the school summer holidays and I was left feeling incredibly isolated as there was no organised group to go to and I felt too vulnerable to go out on my own (and got weird looks when I did).

The other thing that I don't understand is why are there loads of summer activities for school aged children but next to nothing for nursery aged children.

fatsatsuma Wed 29-Jul-09 19:33:23

Agree with jojomo. I help run a toddler group, along with several other volunteers. We all have school-aged children and cannot manage to run the group during the holidays.

We do it because we think toddler groups are really worthwhile and got a lot out of them ourselves, so are happy to carry it on for other people. But I do wonder whether many of the mums who come realize that the group is solely run by unpaid volunteers.

As previous people have suggested, maybe you could offer to help keep one of the groups you attend running during the holidays? Tis not impossible with tiny baby and toddler (speaking from experience here).

donkeyderby Wed 29-Jul-09 19:50:39

Spare a thought for parents of disabled children who often face this situation every single holiday from 0yrs - forever.

sarah293 Wed 29-Jul-09 20:06:16

Message withdrawn

carocaro Wed 29-Jul-09 20:23:23

yes YABU, most people who runs these things have kids and this is how they make teeny bits of cash, and when their kids are off have to be with them, you just have to get OUT THERE and make friends, hang around the park, make conversations with people, form friendships, it's like dating but has to be done if you want a social network. Hard work with a newborn and toddler but it's not going to come to you. Go to yout local library as many have storytimes still in the holidays, the leisure centre might still have a playgroup, join your local NCT and don't be sniffy about it, they have lots of events where you get to meet people, or start your own in you house!

chickydee Thu 30-Jul-09 09:01:53

Hi, i run a toddler group and we are open all year, we only close bank holidays and xmas weeks.
We decided when we opened to do this, and in the holidays older kids are welcomed too, (up to about 10 ish) as we have a seperate room were we have set up a playstation and a plug and play, we also do craft for the older ones.
We have worked out a full timetable of activities for them, baking, karaoke competition, t shirt printing etc.
We open mondays and fridays and i think its a God send, because i've been there!! 6 weeks with NOTHING, is a very long time.

The thing is you have to be prepared to put time and effort into something to get something back.
I'm lucky our village hall is available so we can run all year, some places aren't, but myself and the other 2 ladies who run it do so voluntarily, so it does come down to wanting to make things better for the local community, rather than getting something out of it for ourselves.

PuppyMonkey Thu 30-Jul-09 09:03:33

have you tried popping to your local library? they are doing all sorts over the summer at the one near me...

proverbial Thu 30-Jul-09 10:53:36

You should try living in a country that doesn't have sure start, or childrens centres, or library activities or story time, or free kindegarten places, or music/baby gym sessions that cost less than ?10 a go per child, or soft play centres that cost the same, and no toddler swimming or in fact anything suitable for women and babies/toddlers unless you have lots of money.

Or in fact more than one playground in a 20 mile radius.

I feel your pain, but for some of us thats all year round.

stonethecrows Thu 30-Jul-09 13:32:24

Totally agree with Jojomo - I also help run a toddler group, but also have older school age children too. The amount of times we have asked people to help out, even during term times, and they won't help is absolutely unbelieveable.

Does the op realise that the people running these groups are usually unpaid volunteers?? If more people actually helped a little then it is way more likely these things would run through the holidays. It is possible to put new baby down for 5 minutes. I often feel like my poor DD is being neglected whilst I run around after all those mums who couldn't possibly put their DC down for 5 mins to help out.

Sorry, rant over blush - but you will find that if you help out more, thes things are more likely to run through holidays.

PS It is possible to help out when you have more than one child, most of the volunteer parents at ours have at least two.

Jude68 Fri 31-Jul-09 18:54:49

proverbial, I think I'd go completely bonkers living where you do with two pre-schoolers.

proverbial Fri 31-Jul-09 19:48:49

I think I already did Jude. blush The attitude here seems to be very much "you had children, its your problem".

Sometimes I very much regret leaving England at 18! envy

Jude68 Fri 31-Jul-09 20:44:29

I thought we had it tough in a fairly boring Kent town...we are moving back to SE London to live with family (long, dperessing story with debt at the root of it) and although there are the toddler groups, SureStart centres and playgrounds, there's also broken glass, empty vodka bottles, social deprivation, hardly any greenery and too many "Vicky Pollard" mums for my liking.

AlderTree Fri 31-Jul-09 20:54:35

YANBU I remember thinking the same thing - now we have a packed summer what with one child still in part time childcare and the list of things the older one wants to do on those days, both children out on another day and then the babysitting favours and other friends n't seen for a while we have very little free time. I do recall when it wasn't like this and I sympathise. It gets better with time when you and the children make more friends. Invite someone you get on with at one of the groups you go to for coffee or to meet at the park if you need company.

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