Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Baby groups and why I'm not so keen on going

The very first mother and baby group we attended was a local breastfeeding bistro. We had to see a breastfeeding specialist due to several issues me and L had at that time.

I didn't want to take L to any groups at such an early age but we didn't have a choice. 

Older kids were running around with toys, music playing, to my surprise L was sleeping as if it's the quietest place in the world! All mums were set in a half circle and were offered a free cake whilst waiting and "socialising". I was set next to a lady who had a little baby girl. It was nice to have a chat but it was a little bit awkward, I think she thought exactly what I did- we would never see each other again so on her way out she never said good bye!  

Few weeks later we attended our second group-baby massage. I was very eager to go and try it with L. 
The group was not in my local children centre which was a bit of a problem for me as I didn't want to expose L to the world of public transport for few reasons- germs, L constantly crying and constant feeding.
Thankfully the representative from the council sorted a mini bus. I didn't mind the group at all, until I noticed that the massage lady was chatting to one of the mums for ages isolating others, some mums didn't talk much at all, 2 foreign mums were chatting amongst themselves and a lady who had different parenting style to mine. We didn't argue it's just everything she liked to do with her daughter I wouldn't do with mine just yesterday I found out that my husband dated her at school (how lovely!). 

It was very obvious that we are there for babies not to make friends, at least no one made friends.

The third and the last one for now was Rhythm time, it's a musical class where babies are introduced to music and different instruments.
We went to a taste session where all babies were much older, L was 10 weeks and other babies were 10 months! Later I found out that most of them either know each other because it's a small town or because they go to these classes since their babies were L's age. 
I wanted to try something different so I booked us in for the next 5 weeks (you have to pay upfront and if you miss a session you either lose money or book yourself to a different session) but to a group where babies were similar age.
First week all new mums met each other, some were more talkative, others didn't want to talk to each other, but closer to the end of the class I've noticed that all mums had a friend to talk to, where as my partner to the right didn't want to talk at all. It fine, I thought, it doesn't matter I have L and surely can have fun with her. Cutting long story short I made 3 weeks out of 2, as it seemed repetitive and I had no motivation to go. 

I'm not saying I'm scared of meeting other people (secretly we all do, right?!), I'm scared to be "odd man out", I don't want to purposely wake up L from her nap to take her to the group, I don't want to base my day around the groups which start at a ridiculous times (at least for us it's inconvenient) and most importantly I don't want to use public transport because of the germs :-)

But I will have to force myself to go because L needs socialising and getting used more kids, more people than just seeing me all day long.

Do you force yourself or do you enjoy baby groups?


  1. I didn't like going to baby groups when Pumpkin was really little. Like you say, they felt awkward and clicky, they were at weird times, etc. It got easier as she got older though - and it took a while to find a place we both felt comfortable. Class-type settings work better I think - I feel like I have a reason to be there and if I happen to talk to another mum, that's fine, but no pressure. We love our Sing and Sign classes and swimming is good too - maybe those are options in your area?

  2. I go to a music group that I started attending when daughter was about 4 months old. I have met a couple very good friends there. Although, I understand that it is hard to feel included when going to new groups. As the children get older the groups are lots easier. Look for a soft play or craft class. I go to classes that I will enjoy interacting with my daughter and don't expect to make Mommy friends. I will be your blogging friend.

  3. I tried a few baby groups, they all seemed at awkward times which didn't help. One was ok but everyone had been going for ages and knew each other well, I was the odd one out, plus there was this really pushy mum who I think thought she was top dog and wanted to compare our little ones all the time like it was a competition. Another one I went to was far to busy, could barely fit everyone in the door! Yet again everyone seemed to know everyone and whilst I tried to talk to people I felt I was getting no where. Mini M doesn't seem to have been adversely effected for not going to groups! Xx

  4. I'm not a huge fan of baby groups either but recently I've been forcing myself to go to a couple for my daughter's sake. I agree with Shannon's comment about the one's that in class settings are better, we enjoy sing and sign too because the focus is on the activity. I don't really talk to the other mums as they all seem to know each other already (a re-occurring theme in my baby group experience).

    Just do what's best for you - baby groups aren't for everyone :)

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

  5. so weird, all these mums were in a exactly the same position once) i want to go swimming with L when its a little bit warmer, should be fun!)

  6. I have never enjoyed baby groups either because most of them were already friends and it just made me feel awkward and like the ones you went to, nobody seemed like they wanted to make new friends. Very hard to deal with when you have anxiety and depression. Thankfully mine are at nursery age now :)

  7. Baby groups do not get any easier as they get older. There is always the clicky mums that know you are not part of their clique.
    It's a tough road being a parent!!