With great trepidation I put Erin in the buggy and walked to the local community centre to join a mother and toddler group. I did go for a while some 11yrs ago when Chloe was a baby, but bypassed the whole lark in exchange for coffee at friends houses with Dylan. Partly because my best friend had her son the same time I had Dylan, so I didn’t really have a hole that needed to be filled.
However I recognise the imprtance of some social interaction for Erin and me over the next 9 months. We obviously have given up gymnastics and swimming and I thought a toddler group is the way to go.
Therefore we arrived and hit our first hurdle, the door has a safety gate on which made access really difficult, buggies are left outside but I knew Erin would need hers, luckily the staff were more than willing to whip the gate off for us when they spotted the cast.
As I glanced furtively around the room I tried to work out where to sit, you can see the cliques, little groups of mums that clearly know each other and all my insecurities whooshed up. But I took a deep breath because I know Erin needs this. Thankfully because of Erin’s physical needs I sat on the floor with her to enable her to play, she didn’t desert me in exchange for the ride on bikes etc!
Thankfully one of the hairdressers that I know from the local salon walked in holding her new registration form too – suddenly I wasn’t alone! There were lots of glances from the other mums and I could see them watching Erin as she attempted to slide across the floor in the cast – I don’t mind as I’m sure they are thinking isn’t she doing well in that cast. Besides I have to get over that hurdle because we are in this situation for a long time and were going to make the most of it! We both need outside interaction.
Personally Erin did get a little frustrated but we will go back again next week. Therefore if you need to get out the house try a local mother and toddler group. Here are a few tips to get you started
1. Check out the notice board at the local community centre – thats what I did
2. Churches often run the same sort of groups so check them too.
3 Take your little ones drink, trying to drink out of a different cup is stressful for all concerned
4 Just take a deep breath and do it. Go back a couple of times before you decide whether it is the right group for you.