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I need to pluck up the courage to take DS to a mother and toddler group

(39 Posts)
tweetyfish Wed 09-Mar-05 12:55:12

DS is now 2years and 7 months and he has never really played with other children. He attended swimming lessons for 2 terms until I got pregnant with DD, which he enjoyed. We have also been to a soft play area and he loves it, he is very interested in the other kids and wants to play with them.
I think the main problem is me - I am scared stiff at the thought of going to a mother and toddler group and talking to people, and also of my son's behaviour. I'm so frightened that he'll hit another child (even though he is very gentle with his baby sister and has never hit her) and that the other mums will think badly of us. However, I know I must rise above it for his sake.

Anyway, I was just wondering really if anyone else has never really taken their kids out, or if they were in the same situation I am in and went to a group and found it good?

Twiglett Wed 09-Mar-05 13:00:35

get a list of local playgroups and just go for it

as long as you keep an eye on your child and intervene / discipline if he does hit another child then no-one will care because we've all been through it

smile at the mums and say hello and if you want ask a question about their child (how old is s/he? where did you get that lovely top? you know the kind of thing )

good luck .. and enjoy

vict17 Wed 09-Mar-05 13:01:36

whereabouts do you live? perhaps there is a mumsnetter nearby who could recommend a friendly group?

huggybear Wed 09-Mar-05 13:01:59

hi im in birmingham. if you are local to me i dont mind going with you if you want some support xx

stickynote Wed 09-Mar-05 13:02:21

Where are you tweetyfish? You might find there's a MNetter near you who's willing to hold your hand - you never know!

HappyMumof2 Wed 09-Mar-05 13:03:22

Message withdrawn

stickynote Wed 09-Mar-05 13:03:32

Great minds think alike

tweetyfish Wed 09-Mar-05 13:07:26

Vict17, stickynote I'm in Orpington.... happymumof2, I have never even heard of a oneoclock club! I have thought about a playgroup but everyone tells me he needs to be potty trained for that and he's not particularily interested at the moment!

jane313 Wed 09-Mar-05 13:08:42

I think they all vary so much and even the same ones can be different from week to week. I go to one that is lovely, everyone talks to each other, there are sweet church volunteers who make sure that people have cups of tea and chat if required. (I should be there now but my son fell asleep!) I have been to others where everyone is in groups and never make an effort with you (my son is a bit young to play with others so its not like hes making friends really). Its not that they most are deliberately unfriendly, its just they have their friend and don't feel the need to be sociable).

Why do you think your son will hit others? There are always some toddlers that do that anyway and I don't think most sensible parents mind too much if that happens as long as the parent is trying to stop it (unless they are those with angelic kids who have never done anything wrong and they think its cos they possess superior parenting skills to others)

Why not give it a go? It only costs a £1 and you can just leave if its unfriendly.

stickynote Wed 09-Mar-05 13:11:36

Also, must say don't be put off if the first one you go to is awful - they really are not all the same.

jane313 Wed 09-Mar-05 13:11:43

Oh yes hes old enough for playgroups. The one near me doesn't insist on potty training so they are all different. (and I'm sure most kids can last two and a half hours in a nappy!)

shrub Wed 09-Mar-05 13:12:13

have you thought of 'musikgarten'? its a music group based on montessori education (the natural world etc.)its been a great way to lose inhibitions and for your ds to learn to take turns and its very informative - at the moment we're singing about the planets and seasons. you sit in a circle with your child, sing songs, play instruments and dance. there are up to 12 in the group though more often its averages 8 so not too daunting and threre's no pressure if your child runs around/doesn't want to take turns with instruments etc. at first - this is all normal.
i could try and find a link if interested.remember that given the opportunity, the great thing with kids is they sometimes make your friends for you

HappyMumof2 Wed 09-Mar-05 13:12:45

Message withdrawn

tweetyfish Wed 09-Mar-05 13:15:09

Jane313 - I'm nervous ever since I saw a boy's mum at the soft play shouting at the top of her voice "that boy hit my baby" when it had barely been a tap! The staff were called in and everything. I'm 95% sure he wouldn't hit, but might be a bit forceful - he is very tall for his age and has the strength to go with it!

tweetyfish Wed 09-Mar-05 13:19:36

oh, so he may be able to go to a playgroup! that would be good!
Shrub, the montessori lesson sounds great, I love learning so it might be ideal for me!
thank you so much for your help, it's conforting to think there are such nice mums out there who may be going to a group!!!

pinotgrigio Wed 09-Mar-05 13:20:11

I'm in exactly the same boat tweety.

DD has been invited to a birthday party on Friday by one of the little boys at tumbletots.

However, it's my nanny who takes her to TT because I'm a working mum. Nanny doesn't work on Fridays, so I'm going to take DD.

I'm petrified that they'll hate me because:

a) I'm a working mum
b) I've got a nanny
c) It was my nanny who was invited and knows everybody else, not me.
d) DD will play up because I'm not normally with her and I'll look like a rubbish mum (and they'll all tut and say that's what happens when you're too selfish to be a SAHM)
e) Everybody else knows each other already
f) We'll have nothing in common because I work

I'm going to go for DDs sake, but I'M SCARED!!

So, think about me when you go down to your playgroup and whatever happens its probably not as bad as having to the party!

My plan of attack is - I'm going to ring the mum this afternoon and explain it's me and not my nanny and asks if she minds out of courtesy. I'll take cake for the mums, wine for the birthday boy's mum and bribe DD with a lollipop to behave. If they hate me then I've tried my best!

Good luck, it will do you and DS loads of good to go out and go to groups. The more you go, the less scary it will be. My top tip would be to join these groups at the start of term, when there will be lots of other new starters.

LipstickMum Wed 09-Mar-05 13:20:40

Hi Tweety, I started taking dd to groups when she was about 10 months. It was intended to benefit both of us tbh. I felt she needed to meet children other than friend's children on a 1:1 level, she is naturally quite shy, which I don't mind, so am I. However, I also wanted her to have the courage (for want of a better word) to interact with other children.

For me, I needed to get out of the house, simple as that, mainly to do with PND and depression in general.

My reservations were walking into a room of strangers and not knowing anyone, no-one talking to me etc we've all been there. Somehow I did it. Of course the first time is difficult because no-one does know you, although you may recognise the odd face, but if you keep on going it gets better.

My dd is pretty reserved and is always the child getting pushed over, toys snatched from her etc. She takes it in her stride now and I tend not to interfere unless I am really peeved (which I was yesterday!)

Your ds may hit another child while he's there, he wont be the first or the last. Don't let that stop you from taking him. I think you'll find most people are very understanding about it if it happens. But maybe he'll be so entranced with the different surroundings, toys, people, sounds, and songs it wont cross his mind.

Marina Wed 09-Mar-05 13:22:52

Hi tweetyfish, I live up the road in New Eltham but work full-time outside the home
this SE London thread might give you some people to contact in the area?

Twiglett Wed 09-Mar-05 13:24:43

as a SAHM can I answer your fears ???

I'm petrified that they'll hate me because:

a) I'm a working mum

no they won't, you're a mum first and you have a job. it probably won't even cross their minds, they might want to let you know how wonderful your nanny is though

b) I've got a nanny

and how would you work if you didn't? I bet a lot of the other mums at TT work too

c) It was my nanny who was invited and knows everybody else, not me.

it was your child who was invited, you're just the appendage that gets her there

d) DD will play up because I'm not normally with her and I'll look like a rubbish mum (and they'll all tut and say that's what happens when you're too selfish to be a SAHM)

if DD plays up she won't be the only one and any smiles you get will be recognition ones

its not selfish to work, nor is it selfish to be a SAHM, we don't judge as I would hope you wouldn't judge us

e) Everybody else knows each other already

probably only to small talk with though and smile, you might be a fresh new face and if you smile and say hello and ask about their kids it'll be fine

f) We'll have nothing in common because I work

I used to work, I'm female, I'm a mum, my child goes to TT, I have sleepless night, stupid worries, wonderful cute little stories... you'll have more in common than not


jane313 Wed 09-Mar-05 13:26:57

oh tweety that sounds horrible. Some people have no ability to empathise. Actually I have a friend who was worse. Her son went through a biting hitting phase and I never made a fuss if it was my son he was attacking. Now she has forgtten this and always makes a tremendous fuss if anything happens to her son now!

Classes can be better as its the same people going each week. But if you don't like them you are stuck with them and you've paid a fortune!

I started going to things when my son was 6 weeks old! And even then with a cute newborn people didn't always say hello! But I was desperate to make friends as I had nothing in common with my nct group.

tweetyfish Wed 09-Mar-05 13:27:37

oh poor you pinotgrigio! I can understand your nervousness very well! I must admit, I always raisins, sweets etc if I'm going out somewhere to use as leverage! And I'm sure if they make comments about you working it is out of jealousy that you don't spend all day wiping bums! I'll be thinking of you come friday!

Miriam2 Wed 09-Mar-05 13:36:18

What about Tumbletots? They def have them in your area. That way your child is occupied and so are you...rather than you having to sit round making small talk at M&T - and also you will get to know some people if you go for a few weeks. As for behaviour, people who work in childcare have seen it all before and won't be judgmental..and if other mothers do, they are showing their ignorance.

shrub Wed 09-Mar-05 13:41:13

just been trying to find the uk link and it says 'website coming soon'. to find out more see musikgarten international
or could try phoning your council/googling your area and musikgarten. i'm in my third year now having taken ds1 and now take ds2 and expecting third next month - babies are welcome. because its a hour to structured music you don't tend to get the conflicts at the traditional playgroup where the mums are on one side of a room and the children the other. good luck!

bubbly1973 Wed 09-Mar-05 15:12:56

twiglett, what a lovely post you made to pinotgrigio

tweetyfish, i have a ds whose 2years 8mths, i felt i had to go to mother and toddler too as he is only child so wanted him to mix with others

he is going through a selfish stage where everything is 'mine', but all i can do is keep a stern eye on him and hope all goes well

it wont be nice the first time, but after a few times of going it will be fine, your face will become familiar and soon before you know it you will be looking at other new mothers joining the group

just go for it

if you are worried what other mothers think if you ds hits out to another child, remember, the chances are they will understand as at some point their children will have hit out at someone too and know what its like

my personal feeling towards this and it seems a quite a lot of mothers in my mother and toddler group is that if the mother doesnt seem to care and not do anything about it after the 100th time of there child hitting other kids, that is more annoying than the child who hit (hope that makes sense)

im sure both you and ds will be fine...i had the same worries as you and now both me and ds love going

pinotgrigio Thu 10-Mar-05 09:40:09

Twiglett & Tweety. Thanks for the words of advice/support. Sorry to have hijacked - was just trying to empathise!! Twig, your advice is of course perfect sense, but I get a bit paranoid about having a nanny and thinking people will judge me (well, of course they do). I will remember everything you said as I go through the front door (clutching wine and cake like the security blankets they are!!).

Tweety - found any groups to try yet? We could both take the plunge tomorrow.

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