I go to one Baby and Toddler Group. It's little (too little actually, we are struggling to be viable at the moment - any new members please?) and friendly and right here in the village. So we toddle down there every Tuesday and have a nice big village hall to run around in and lots of interesting toys to play with, and I get a change of scenery and some lovely mums to chat to.
Just one group a week is apparently quite unusual for a Stay-at-home-mum. I know several who have groups to go to nearly every day of the week, sometimes one in the morning and one in the afternoon! I like just one though.
I've heard new mums wondering how they are ever going to make any "mummy" friends. They are newly at home and their friends are still at work and/or childless and they suddenly feel all cut off and alone. I always advise that they get along down to their local parent and baby group, assuming that this friendly group will be as welcoming and friendly as the group I belong to...
... I have now discovered that they aren't all like this.
I found a booklet in the library last Monday about Clackmannanshire Storytelling Festival, and one of the events was going to be a drumming workshop for toddlers, hosted by another toddler group (do I mention the name? Hell yes, name and shame, it was Alva Toddlers). So last Tuesday at our toddler group I shared the info and we collectively decided that we would cancel our group and go to the drumming workshop.
The drumming bit was fine. The toddler group was massive, way bigger than our little group (we've never had more than about a dozen children, and more often operate with about five). There were children everywhere, and adults everywhere, and a lot of noise, and a lot of toys. You know what though? We were there for an hour and a half, looking friendly and everything, and in an hour and a half not one person spoke to either me or my children. Not one. Even though we joined in with the drumming, and we joined in with snack. Everybody just chatted with the people they knew, and dealt with their own children and totally ignored us. I couldn't wait to get out of there.
Now I know what people mean when they say that they tried their local toddler group and won't be going back. All of you, come and join our Baby and Toddler Group. We welcome everybody, chat to everybody, make you a tea or coffee and have a nice time. Okay - rant over... and breathe...