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Advice please am i wasting my time????

(4 Posts)
network Thu 03-Mar-05 14:05:14

I thought i would try to organise an informal group of parents who could help each other out eg picking up from school, look after the children while the other needs to do.......... etc i admit the idea is (need driven) but still i thought it was a good idea but i am not having very much success. If you have any advise i would be grateful.

tigermoth Fri 04-Mar-05 07:05:49

Hi network. I think it helps if the other parents in your group have similar family set-up and needs to you, and not just ages of children. I have never organised a formal support group, as such, but tend to find the friends who help me the most are the ones who are most like me. But it takes lots of looking to find them!

For instance, some of my son's friend's families had lots of backup already, via extended family, neighbours, old friends living nearby, so simply don't have the need to offer support and expect support from me. (I don't have any family I can call on or likeminded neighbours, except in emergencies).

Also, of course, there is an element of risk in getting relatively unknown adults to look after each other's children. It is not as if they are registered childminders, or their homes are insured for childcare. And if a well meaning adult offered to pick up my children from school every day, I'd be extremely grateful but also need to know how reliable they are. If people feel they are simply doing favours for each other, they may feel more free to cancel arrangements.

I also think people have to be very sure of each other and their parenting styles before agreeing to swap duties, and of course it can take time to build up that trust and knowledge. Perhaps if you start building up some sort of social support network (get people and their children together for park dates, ets) with a view to helping each other out, then once everyone is at ease with each lother, start to sort out the child care angle?

I think it's a great plan and good luck with it. I wish I or someone I know had been determined enough to start a local group like yours around here.

lmccrean Sun 06-Mar-05 15:19:37

dunno what ages your ones are, but we have a local mother and toddler group, run by childminders, and with prior arrangement, and as long as the child (6mths - 5) is already familiar with them, you can leave your little one there to play between 9.30 and 1, under the watchful eye of the carers. Its £2 per morning, and you bring a packed lunch. They dont have to stay the whole time.

Ive never actually taken them up on the offer, as most mums just stay and play with the kiddies there, but maybe you could check out local papers etc and contact any groups to see if they offer it...even if its only an hour or two, thats enough to do a quick supermarket dash, or get your hair done, or just enjoy doing nothing!

I do have a few close friends from the 3 groups I go to, and sometimes we leave our kids off at the group, under the careful eye of our buddies, do what needs to be done and get back before the end. Usually means there are at least 2 mums with an eye out for the little one!

network Mon 07-Mar-05 15:28:43

Thks for the advice everyone. I will persevere and have joined a local group (pih)with your comments in mind to do some socialising, pih used to have a really active group but the kids have grown up and consequently the adults have moved on. So here goes

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