Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Secret (or not so secret) World of Play Groups

Finding the right play group is like going on a blind date, your never quite sure how its going to go or what your going to get until you get there. The truth of the matter is, it can be difficult! The group has to fit you and your lifestyle. Obviously a group centered around mommies being green, cloth diapering, and exclusively breast feeding is not going to be for me (although I don't see anything wrong with any of those things). They would think I flew straight out of hell with my pampers (with dry max!), fake boobs, and formula! What I really want is to surround myself with a diverse group of moms, with like minded values and in the same age bracket as me. Over the years I have found that some groups are very political, with a president, VP, etc. and expect you to be just as dedicated to it as they are, some groups will drop you if you don't go to X amount of play dates per month, some are invite only, some aren't welcoming of children outside their groups age bracket, some groups meet too much, some not enough, and did I mention that some are chatty? yes, very very chatty. It's brutal out there people!

I joined my first play group with Kay when she was about 6 months old. It started off as a story time/play hour our local library, then as we all became friends we kept it going and took turns hosting play dates and had meet ups at the park, that sort of thing. I was introduced to the "playgroup world" and it was fun!Then I met my husband and we moved across town, so I had to find a new group. I did, and we are still going strong! Our kids are all school aged children now, so our play dates are less often now; but summers, spring break, and holidays we always get together. It's a great group of woman and I get along with all of them well, and the funny thing is that almost all the kids are GIRLS! So I am set there...but now I'd like to find a group of mommies with babies for me and Miss M.

At this age it is more about interacting with other moms with children around the same age, and a way to meet new friends, and less about "playing". As they grow it evolves into something they really enjoy. They get a chance to socialize, make friends, learn how to interact with others, and visit new places. I simply cant imagine having kids and not belonging to SOME sort of play group. And since I am fortunate enough to work from home part time, I want to get out of the house and build relationships for myself. I have met almost ALL of my current friends because of Kay!

So now I'm putting myself out there on the play group market again! I have already been researching some groups in my area, now it's just time to get out there and meet up with some of them and see which one fits us best.


Jennifer said...

I haven't joined a mother's group yet, but after reading this, maybe I should! Why can't we live closer, Lisa?!

Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife said...

I'm so glad to hear that you have had luck in the past! I've recently started researching local play/mommy groups and I'm actually supposed to go to a gathering on Saturday to meet everyone. I'm really nervous! I feel like the new girl in school. I hope everyone likes me :/

Lisa said...


I know right?! Wouldnt that me great :)

Alice said...

Where do you find the playgroups? I live in a very small town and don't even know where to start looking for one! I doubt any local ones would be posted online.

Momma V said...

Play groups are SOOO hard to get into. Especially if they have been aroud for a while. It almost makes me feel like the new kid at school. Everyone knows each other and then there is me.. AAAGGGHH. I need to find one as well. For now, we joined an organized play at busy bodies and hopefully maybe we'll fit in there :-)

Lisa said...


You can check your local library, if there is one near you. A lot of them host story times, etc. Or you can check or and see if there is a chapter near you. I have found them on bulletin boards at kay's school and swim school, or jsut by talking to other moms at the park!

GL, hope that helps! :)

Lisa said...

Momma V,

I SO know the feeling, it is like being like the new kid in class!

Dawna said...

Hi Lisa! I love your blog! I am giving you an award to show my love! Come get your badge!!

Ann and Chris Armenta said...

I joined MOMS club when I moved out here since I didn't know a soul, and it was one of the only things that kept me sane! I agree playgroups are like being the new kid in school, it can really be difficult :/ But they're awesome, especially when you have a little one!

Dont forget we'll be in town next week, so we'll be happy to have a baby playdate with you and M. Ethan LOVES baby girls...guess he's starting young lol :)