| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:38 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:08 pm 
Offline
Making Threats to Punks Again
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:47 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: the homestead
I feel like a few of you have mentioned the groups you attend with your little one.

I have a 2, almost 3 year old and opened my mouth and told the local baby store that i want a mommy group so much i would be happy to help organize it. So they sent out an email to 10 moms saying i'd be in touch. I really do want this- but i've never been to a mommy group, other then La Leche League (and, although i AM a great organizer and a decent public speaker, i am also socially awkward).

Please, let me know if you are in a group,what do you do? how often? is there a fee? why? how old are the kids? if the kids are different ages, how is that dealt with? if the kids are all one age, are there lots of groups in your area?

I am a ball of nerves thinking about this- i am terrified its not going to work, because the people will all think i am nutso. this is a small enough town that i could be known as the nutso playgroup lady no one wants to get near.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your mommy group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:26 pm 
Offline
Wears Durian Helmet
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:27 pm
Posts: 811
Location: asheville
we go to a playgroup.

It is a group for babies 12 months and younger. my kid is the youngest in the group right now at 4 months. we have it every friday and switch turns hosting it. There is about 7 people who attend but the groups are usually 3-6 people each time. we don't all host and it isn't a big deal. the person who hosts provides the toys and a light snack/drink.

we have dues which is $5 because it is through meetup.com and it costs money to have. there are a lot of other mamas in the group as a whole with lots of different age kids. everyone can make an event but everything is geared towards older babies so we have our own playgroup within that group.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your mommy group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:32 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19321
Location: Cliffbar NJ
You'll do great! Playgroups are awesome!

You can make the rules that work for you - I'd definitely say have separate ones for different age groups, use a site like Meet-up and collect a small fee, and spread the work. Delegate to people, have others host etc.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your mommy group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:41 am 
Offline
Has Isa on speed dial
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:41 am
Posts: 84
Location: W Mi
We go to one through the school district and another with a group of friends. We've never had a fee at either because the school hosts one and we meet at either a church or somewhere fun for the kids. I think it just depends. Maybe if you host you could ask everyone to bring juice or a snack of some sorts for everyone. That way it won't be all on you.
Good luck! I'm sure it'll be a blast. Toddler Peach loves going to group.

_________________
Formerly peach b.s.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:14 pm 
Offline
Queen Bitch of Self-Righteous Veganville
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:21 pm
Posts: 10875
Location: Illinoize
I edited the title to be more inclusive.

_________________
"The Tree is His Penis"

The tree is his penis // it's very exciting // when held up to his mouth // the lights are all lighting // his eyes start a-bulging // in unbridled glee // the tree is his penis // its beauty, effulgent -amandabear


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:24 pm 
Offline
Making Threats to Punks Again
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 1105
Location: 'Burbs of California
We go to playgroup. It's through my town's mothers' club, and there are separate playgroups for different ages. Generally, people join when they have their first kid, and then stay with that group, but that's not a rule or anything. Our playgroup is for babies born from Sept '10 through Aug '11, and while there are around 20 families that participate regularly, I've never been to a playgroup with more than a dozen babies or so. There is a $35 annual fee to join the mothers' club (I think that mostly pays for bigtent). It started out once-a-week thing every Friday morning, but as the toddlers started to switch to one nap per day, a second playgroup on Friday afternoons was added to accommodate those who couldn't make it to the morning playgroup. People volunteer to host, and you submit a form to the organizers when you volunteer (it just asks for your address, if you have outdoor space available for the kids to play in, and whether you have pets). The playgroups are 2 hours long, and the host often (but not always) provides a light snack. Some people put out a lot of toys, some just provide a bit of empty space. It's really casual, people drop in and leave throughout. Recently, a casual park playdate was added on Tuesday afternoons as well. The two playgroup organizers also host evening events a couple times a year for the whole family.

I hope I explained that well.... You should do it, jildez! I really do enjoy talking to other parents, and I feel better knowing that my kid is getting used to interacting with other toddlers her age.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:16 pm 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19321
Location: Cliffbar NJ
mrsbadmouth wrote:
I edited the title to be more inclusive.


I wish there were more inclusive playgroups! There is one in our area that just started where everyone does cool weekend activities together like hiking with baby etc. I don't know if its going to get off the ground, but it is a great idea!

my husband wouldn't go to a playgroup unless it involved playing cards for money

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:38 am 
Offline
Chip Strong
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:37 pm
Posts: 958
Location: Brooklyn, NY
One playgroup that we go to meets once a week. We all met through a larger parenting group that our neighborhood has. We mostly meet at one family's house, well, because it's a house and actually has space unlike the rest of our small apartments. We meet around lunchtime so everyone just brings their own food or something to share. Then we just let the babies play together and sometimes sing songs.

Another playgroup that we just joined meets in a space that is used for birthing classes. We all just split the fee for using the space. There are a bunch of toys there that I think people just donated. Basically, it was a place to play in for the winter and we'll probably just start meeting in the park once it is nicer out.

The babies in both groups are the same age as Ada.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:07 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:16 pm
Posts: 3901
Location: Panama City, Florida
Tofulish wrote:
mrsbadmouth wrote:
I edited the title to be more inclusive.


I wish there were more inclusive playgroups! There is one in our area that just started where everyone does cool weekend activities together like hiking with baby etc. I don't know if its going to get off the ground, but it is a great idea!

my husband wouldn't go to a playgroup unless it involved playing cards for money


I think the best way for parenting groups to be more inclusive is for the women in them to stop trashing their husbands at every turn. The few times we went to play groups, it seemed like more of bitchfests. I felt excluded for actually liking and respecting my husband enough not to join in with this. I can't imagine how how awful it would feel as a man.

_________________
etsy shop: teeny tiny tantrums


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:11 pm 
Offline
Grandfathered In
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 9699
Location: Seattle
What I think feels awful is the assumption—among many mothers and fathers—that parenting means mothering.

This isn't a pissing contest about who has it worse.

This is just one father saying that fathers are parents too. It's always "Mommy and Me" this and "Mommy Knows Best" that. Fathers aren't just more-or-less-useful appendages. They are parents.

Not that this is news to any of you, I know. But I have a chip on my shoulder about this.

_________________
Did somebody say Keep on rockin?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:13 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:16 pm
Posts: 3901
Location: Panama City, Florida
<3 ff

_________________
etsy shop: teeny tiny tantrums


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:43 pm 
Offline
Naked Under Apron
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:08 pm
Posts: 1714
yeah Footface, you have an excellent point as always! I value my partner's role so much that it hurts me when people assume he's "just the dad." And it drives me crazy when our daughter is kinda shitty to him, like crying if he's the one unbuckling her from her seat instead of me etc. I know it hurts his feelings because seriously, during the week, he does 90% of the "work" caring for her and is so, so sweet with her. But as soon as I am home, she only wants me and can be downright nasty about it. I try to remind him that she will probably hate me in a few years.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:36 pm 
Offline
Level 7 Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 1570
Location: Maine
The local group here is called mom-to-mom and in order to join you have to be female. No dads allowed. Total bullshiitake. I have not joined yet because that peas me off so much, but I am kind of thinking about joining because Walter needs to be around kids more and I suck at making friends the normal way. Being a stay at home dad must be really lonely.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:12 pm 
Offline
Drinks Wild Tofurkey
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:06 pm
Posts: 2945
Location: Mke-ish
I've been to a moms' group through our hospital a few times. I would say it's more for the moms than babies, because all the babies are under 12 months. They send out a postcard invite about one week after delivery. It's free, come when you can, swap coupons and freebies, etc. It is facilitated by an RN, who is also an LC (which is awesome), but it's pretty loose. Each week there is a different speaker, for example a chiro, financial planner, who talks for 15-20 min. Then we just chat, play with the babies and some people plan outtings outside of the group.

_________________
*kdub's blog*


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:26 pm 
Offline
Wears Durian Helmet
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:27 pm
Posts: 811
Location: asheville
that is so cool kdub. I wish there was something like that around here. The closest thing is a building and group called "the fourth trimester" that you can join when you are pregnant and after the baby it is like a support group for new parents. It is REALLY expensive though. I didn't find out about it until after I had my baby and it was pretty much too late to sign up even if I could have swong the cash.

oh and none of the ladies in my group complain about their husbands. It is pretty awesome. we all might not have the same ideals but most of us breastfeed which makes everything much more comfortable. we are all just able to whip our boobs out fully and comfortably in each others presence.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:03 pm 
Offline
Making Threats to Punks Again
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 1105
Location: 'Burbs of California
mittenmacher wrote:
The local group here is called mom-to-mom and in order to join you have to be female. No dads allowed. Total bullshiitake. I have not joined yet because that peas me off so much, but I am kind of thinking about joining because Walter needs to be around kids more and I suck at making friends the normal way. Being a stay at home dad must be really lonely.

Aww, that really sucks. While our playgroup is technically through the local mothers' club, in practice, dads are very welcome and I was happy to see that dads as well as moms attend the playgroup. Still, if you were a dad(s)-only family, it would probably feel weird/awkward joining a mother's club.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:17 am 
Offline
Making Threats to Punks Again
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:47 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: the homestead
its funny, i actually emailed the women on the list the baby store gave me and titled it interested in a parent-child playgroup? and 3 moms said they were interested in moms groups. This is going to be a learning experience.

I also asked about this on Facebook, especially since when i lived in West Virginia, there was this thing called Parent's Place which was very inclusive, lots of Dads went, one of my professors carved out time every week for it, but for parents of kids 2 and up. None of my friends who were part of it answered, so i don't know much more then it was weekly, the parents had a meeting and they had classrooms for the kids. However, some friends gave me great feedback, which along with all of yours has been rolling around in my brain for a few days.

i am thinking i am going to offer a kind of general once a month coffee/chat/kids hang out meeting at my house, and then encourage moms of similar aged kids to plan playgroups. I am trying to figure out what kinds of free alternatives to meetup we could use to share this/track it, because people don't generally want to pay for something new and untried, but i think using Meetup might just be a good way to do it. I guess i'm thinking we sound like a kind of diverse group, but the baby store says they get several requests a week for connections to playgroups/parent groups for infants and preschoolers, so i hoping that if we can make this work it can become a kind of umbrella group where parents can come and find their tribe (i know, i just stole that from hippie parenting forum). I figure i can use the baby store to advertise/ spread the word, and i am thinking if people are willing to spend a little cash, we might be able to use their meeting room for a general meeting. I am also thinking it might be good if people have to come to at least one general meeting before going to others- more because i feel like it might make it easier for people to be comfortable with having people over they haven't met- does this seem unnecessary to you.

Your discussions about what hasn't worked and some of my fears makes me want to come up with guidelines- "don't judge" being number one. I have been worrying about parents judging my parenting choices, but i hadn't even thought about judging your own spouse. ugh. i'm starting to be afraid of what i have gotten into. I'll let you guys know how it goes, i am going to try to set up the first meeting for the 20th or 22nd.

Good thing, though, one of the ladies whose name they gave me is a sweet lesbian lady and her daughter from LLL, so my fear that everyone will be peppy stereotypical soccer moms who won't want to talk to me won't come completely true.

Oh, and i feel like i need to come up with a catchy name.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:01 am 
Offline
Seagull of the PPK
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:46 pm
Posts: 8507
Location: Brasil
from past posts about get togethers and awkward situations, it sounds like it would behoove you to have one guideline be about bringing sick kids to playgroup.

_________________
Buddha says 'Meh'.--matwinser
I'm just a drunk who likes fruit. -- Desdemona


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:11 am 
Offline
Nooch of Earl
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 3750
Location: Bella Napoli
There's a vegan babies meetup and a vegan children's playgroup in the area here, which sounded awesome when I was pregnant.. Unfortunately for various scheduling reasons I haven't participated in any of their functions and at this point the effort of making mom friends out here seems pointless since we're moving this month. As Vi gets older I would love to join a group and probably will in San Diego..

The gender issues always get to me... My midwest-centered friends from high school still hang out in a very mixed gender group, but a lot of the other social circles I'm in tend to naturally become very segregated. Especially in the Navy, social events tend to be either just women or just the guys, and at mixed parties it tends to be all the women congregating talking about kid stuff while all the guys drink and play cards and talk about their hobbies. It is viewed as a little bit strange/unwelcome if you start chatting in the wrong group. I am guessing by how naturally it seems to happen that most people do not have a lot of opposite-sex friends and thus "parent" instead of "mom" groups seem a little strange to a lot of people.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:47 am 
Offline
The Real Hamburger Helper
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:13 pm
Posts: 2411
annak wrote:
There's a vegan babies meetup and a vegan children's playgroup in the area here, which sounded awesome when I was pregnant.. Unfortunately for various scheduling reasons I haven't participated in any of their functions and at this point the effort of making mom friends out here seems pointless since we're moving this month. As Vi gets older I would love to join a group and probably will in San Diego..

The gender issues always get to me... My midwest-centered friends from high school still hang out in a very mixed gender group, but a lot of the other social circles I'm in tend to naturally become very segregated. Especially in the Navy, social events tend to be either just women or just the guys, and at mixed parties it tends to be all the women congregating talking about kid stuff while all the guys drink and play cards and talk about their hobbies. It is viewed as a little bit strange/unwelcome if you start chatting in the wrong group. I am guessing by how naturally it seems to happen that most people do not have a lot of opposite-sex friends and thus "parent" instead of "mom" groups seem a little strange to a lot of people.


I get it to an extent...there are a lot of body issues to go with new motherhood and some women don't feel comfortable nursing in mixed settings. I do feel bad for the daddies, though. My husband is the stay at home parent and he keeps getting discouraged by all the classes offered for moms and babies that don't allow men. He has been able to find a dad's group but they meet outside so I don't think that will work until summer. We will see.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:13 pm 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 1324
Location: Montreal
I get why it happens though... The woman is the one that goes through pregnancy, delivery and recovery, she's the one breastfeeding and the one needing post partum paid leave... so there are definitely female-specific subjects that come up in an infants group. No guy is really going to commiserate over ripped up lady bits and bloody nipples. Once the kid is a bit older, that pattern of moms-only has been kind of set and it's hard to get away from

Anyway, my playgroup is very informal. We all met at a pregnancy and breastfeeding store/cafe that hosts events of various kinds and became friends. There is a core 3-5 of us and about 5 others that we see frequently. We just have loose plans for every Saturday. Again, we're all women because we met and bonded in the early p-p months, but we do a lot of family activities too and have a few dads join for coffee once in a while. We realized we were getting into and kind of man-bashing mentality early on and nipped it in the bud, but we still do vent about our partners occasionally... more at private get togethers than bigger or open events.

We haven't seen the need for fees or a website, we use facebook and word of mouth primarily.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:11 pm 
Offline
Attended Chelsea Clinton's Wedding
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:38 am
Posts: 218
Location: Charlotte, NC
I've been part of an informal moms' group (dads weren't forbidden, it just wound up being comprised of stay at home/work at home moms) and a babywearing group. The babywearing group was way more fun for us because it involved actually doing stuff and going fun places, which I'm more into than hanging out and talking (and there's nothing wrong with being more into hanging out and talking, too).

One of the biggest problems with the moms' group was that it was made up entirely of natural mamas--breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, etc., all of which I was/am into, but conversations veered into judgmental territory WAY too often. We were sharing birth stories one day and when I got to the part where I had an emergency c-section--that saved baby equus' life and probably mine too--one woman literally boo'ed me. As in, interrupted me mid-sentence to yell "booooooo!" about the c-section. Who DOES that?

So my input for a parenting group would be to keep both the group and the conversation topics respectful and inclusive. Even in "crunchy" circles, the paths to and through parenthood take a lot of different twists and turns. Parents sometimes catch a lot of crepe from the world at large--stink-eyes over a fussy child in the grocery store, pointed glares in restaurants, etc.--so a parenting group should be a safe place where everyone's story and style is welcome.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:22 pm 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 1324
Location: Montreal
it definitely does seem like it's hard to get a good balance between natural/attachment parenting styles, and not being kind of asshole-ish about "non-natural" choices. i definitely wanted a group of people who saw the value of breastfeeding, not doing CIO or spanking, healthy foods and even stuff like cloth diapering so we could find some common ground, but when i got a bit more outspoken (and frankly changed my mind) about the real value of women not taking the backseat in career choices and worrying about people veering into martyr territory with their attachment parenting mantra, i definitely realized that some people in the group were not a good fit for me.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:33 pm 
Offline
Grandfathered In
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:41 pm
Posts: 9699
Location: Seattle
I completely agree that mothers might want to have a chance to get together and talk about mom-specific stuff. Makes perfect sense for there to be mother groups.

I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is treating "parent" and "mother" as synonymous. Like, if it has to do with parenting, you're talking about women (and not men).

_________________
Did somebody say Keep on rockin?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: tell me about your parenting group/playgroup...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:57 pm 
Offline
Nooch of Earl
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 3750
Location: Bella Napoli
FootFace wrote:
I completely agree that mothers might want to have a chance to get together and talk about mom-specific stuff. Makes perfect sense for there to be mother groups.

I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is treating "parent" and "mother" as synonymous. Like, if it has to do with parenting, you're talking about women (and not men).



This is totally tangential to the parents' group discussion, but.. While the language bothers me, I find myself falling into those roles very easily and that is what I dislike the most. I think people start saying "mom" when they mean caregiver because, at least among the crowds I know, mother nearly always DOES mean primary parent. It's kind of a special case, but especially with the navy - you just aren't going to be the default caretaker if you're the one deploying for six months at a time (and my husband doesn't work with any women and won't for the near future; maybe DADT will bring in some two-dad families? I doubt it though, until DOMA is repealed, but that's a totally different discussion)...and when you come home the patterns that get set are really hard to break out of. Heck, husband's been ashore these last few months and we still don't manage to break out of the default caretaker pattern on evenings and weekends. And while I think breastfeeding and having a stay at home caretaker are great for Vi, they certainly don't help.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: annamal and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer