When you become a parent, there are so many aspects of your life that change instantly, and some of those changes are are going to be sticking around for a very long time. It's true that nothing and nobody can really prepare you for parenthood, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Being a parent can be wonderful, exhilarating and amazing all at once- nobody can deny that! But just as there are highs, there can also be lows, and the isolation is something that lots of new parents experience at some point. Because sometimes the changes that a new baby brings ca impact on your social life, and for some this can be huge. All of a sudden, you need to make new parent friends, and move in different circles. That can be a daunting prospect! So this week, we ask you- Toddler groups: Yes or No?
Parenting can be lonely, exhausting and sometimes- yes, we'll say it- miserable. It can't possibly be rainbows and nursery rhymes all day long. There will always be dinner to cook, clothes to clean and bums to wipe. That's the reality. But as with any of life's less than exciting tasks, all of this can be made bearable with company. A friend to talk to, someone who gets it when you just want to sit and wallow with a cup of coffee. And when you're the first of your group of friends to have a baby (or the last, and everyone else has gone back to work!) baby and toddler groups can be a sanity saver!
So baby and toddler groups might just mean the difference between sitting at home resenting your new life as a domestic goddess and actually getting out there for adult conversation once in a while. Ok, so your friendship group might now be totally unrecognisable, but is that really a bad thing? if you can't bond over the colour of your baby's poo on a Monday morning, when can you?
When you become a parent, your life is all at once totally and utterly consumed by small people. You are a slave to their every whim. You must respond to their cries, their gurgles and their nappies at all times. You must be able to recognise your baby's cry at all times. You must instinctively know what your baby needs when they wake for the 30th time that night. You must be always ready to play peek-a-boo at a moment's notice. Oh, and you must also instantly love everyone else's baby too, and be prepared to chat nappies and sing songs at the drop of a hat when required.
So does the thought of being surrounded by lots of babies and other parents who seem to be coping a lot better than you fill you with dread? You're not alone! Lots of new parents don't go for the baby and toddler vibe either, but that's ok. There are other ways to socialise with babies these days. If baby and toddler groups aren't for you, but you want to make new friends or talk to adults now and then, you might need to get a little creative.
Look out for classes that you can attend instead- swimming, singing, baby signing, etc- and see if you can find something you're genuinely interested in. You don't have to go to baby and toddler groups; there are plenty of other options for those days when you feel sociable.
What are your thoughts on baby and toddler groups?