Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Guest Post: Evolution of the Playgroup

Baby To Go

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this guest post from Harm over at Baby To Go.  I've been asking her to post for me for a long time now, and she finally stopped traveling for long enough to write something for me.  She's out of her usual comfort zone (traveling with baby/toddler in tow) and writing about us...not her and I (although we're in here) us as in moms and our relationships with each other.

I would call Harm one of my best mommy friends, but in truth she's just one of my best friends.  I am lucky to have met her and so happy that our kids are growing up together.  She is a big reason why I am not looking forward to going back to work.  Okay, enough about my love for her - check out what she has to say about our playgroups and leave her some comments!!


Parallel Play: The evolution of the playgroup

When my son was 5 weeks old, I ventured out to a new mom meet-up in our neighborhood. I was looking for some adults to talk to, and something to do. I never though I would meet so many great friends, with kids around the same age as C. That is how I met Melissa & Jenna.

Out of this weekly meet-up grew our little playgroup. We would meet weekly, at a rotating hostess’ apartment. The hostess would provide lunch, and we would sit around and chat while our babies lay on blankets and stared at each other. These playdates would last for 3 or 4 hours. Kids would nap if they were tired. They would eat, maybe play with some new toys… who knew how blissful this really was?

C dressed up for his 1st play date, June '09

Last fall we began to take classes together and in good weather, groups went for long walks in the neighborhood or out to lunch. As winter turned to spring, our group became a little more informal, meeting mainly at the local playgrounds and sometimes the park for a picnic. Enjoying the emerging nice weather after the snowy winter months.

But about three months ago, when my son started walking, any attempt to “socialize” with another mom & child, became not so fun. Picture me chasing after my son, with broken bits of adult conversation in between. In the past few months, play dates have been on hiatus, and maybe it’s just the warmer weather, but at the same time, now that the children are rambunctious toddlers, it’s hard to have 5 or 6 (or more!) kids running around an apartment. Meeting another mom for a stroll, or coffee (so fun and easy when they are little infants) is impossible. Even a trip to the zoo or children’s museum, each mom is running after their lil’one… usually in opposite directions!

There is also the nap factor. Most of the kids we know are in the 16-20 month range. And their naps are at different times, different lengths. Some kids have to be home to nap, some kids are more flexible with their nap schedules. So it makes even finding a time of day to get together quite tough.

So even though I “interact” with other moms (I haven’t morphed into a hermit, and btw, my kid has no nap schedule) I miss my mommy-friends and our get-togethers. I guess with everything baby-related, this is just a phase. You probably could coin it the parallel play phase. And I’m talking about the parents here, not the kids. As the kids grow, and become more self-sufficient, I’m hoping the play dates will evolve to where we moms can sit back on the couch, have a glass of vino, laugh about our husbands, while the kids play together.

At what age does that happen?


  1. thanks for the GLOWING intro! I love the pic of C man and Jenna. I think that is from his birthday!

  2. Mommy and I meet a group of babies and mummies at Panera once a month or so - and the other babies used to nap, but now everyone is much more active. I'm so fast and mobile NOW - Mommy can't imagine when I start walking... I'm going to really keep her busy!

    Always nice to find a new mommy blog - came over from Baby-To-Go. :)

  3. Great post Harm!

    Melissa: love your blog! Especially your quote at the top! I guess that means you live in my hood too. Love to make new blogger friends!