Emma's Story - Life Before & After Playgroup
Monday, November 12, 2018
Hi There, I’m Emma, mum of two, perilously close in age, preschool children. Miss Scarlett is three, and Master Felix, four. Welcome to my tale of life before, and after Playgroup.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was pregnant, getting to that part was hard enough! A couple of small miracles later, and all of I sudden I was a mum of two under two!
Honestly, the early days were hard. Looking back now it’s a blur of coffee, sloppy kisses, washing, vomit, work, ABC kids and childcare illness. Because my babies were so close in age (14 months gap…yes) I found it hard to get out of the house.. everything seemed a struggle. One gigantic baby bag, one babe on the hip, one toddling along, half walking/half running away. Feed the children, change two sets of nappies, grab snacks and water, catch myself in reflection, wipe off the crumbs, try to fix up the Mum bun and we are off.
Sometimes there was no destination. I had to escape, those same four walls drove me nuts! I needed interaction. I needed adults! I needed to get OUT!
Friends were quickly dropping like flies, mat leave was over for them. I’d missed out on Mother’s group... what on earth was I going to do all day? Days seemed to last 72 hours! I loved my little people so much it hurt, but my goodness it was RELENTLESS!
Then a friend suggested Playgroup. Of course I had heard the term “Playgroup” but had no idea what it really was. Well, it was perfect! All I had to do was get the children the short distance from the car to inside the building… and they had a safe space to play! To get messy! To make crafty, sticky, glittery things that I had no desire to clean up at home. I had found my THING and it was PLAYGROUP!
Why I love Playgroup soooo much:
- I had somewhere to go…repeat - I HAD SOMEWHERE TO GO! Hallelujah! I didn’t have to bug my Mum for the 4th time in a week, I could go somewhere on my own. Independence baby! They see me rolling... all the way to Playgroup!
- Is that all Playgroup costs? Sign me up for every day, it tires these little tackers out. I’ll visit a different Playgroup every day, please!
- It solved my issue of aimlessly wandering around shopping centres, spending money I didn’t have.
- Less time at expensive Play Cafes (winningggg!!) That’s always a bonus, right?
- My house stays clean! (Ok, who am I kidding… my house doesn’t stay clean, but there is definitely less glitter, sand, paint, crumbs and fruit chunks than there would be if I was at home instead of at Playgroup.)
- Shock, horror... I made new friends! I reconnected, I had adult conversations. Sometimes it wasn’t even centred around my tiny human beings! Support, advice, even a friendly smile, it goes such a long way! COFFEE (in a closed lid travel mug for safety, of course). But my gosh that coffee tasted better than any barista made Espresso I’ve ever had.
- An ongoing Playdate. I knew that regardless of who’s kids would be sick, we always had plans in place. I knew it was on like Donkey Kong! Ah the relief of knowing that I had something to do outside of my house!
Fast forward… Playgroup became my lifeline so much so, that when a position became available at Playgroup SA I applied, and prayed to the Goddess of Maternity Leave that I would be blessed with the opportunity to work with this amazing non-profit organization. Well, you guessed it, my passion for this amazing movement and let’s not mention my amazing skillset (which needed some dusting off post Baby Brain haze – I swear it exists!) gave me the opportunity to work in this organisation and spread my message of Playgroup Love.
I can sit here and tell you all the reasons why Playgroup is beneficial for your baby and child, and there are hundreds… But I’m not sure if anyone has told you why it is so beneficial for you as a parent/adult/human. If you have missed it, you may be in the fog of baby brain, go back to the top and read again. All of this applies to stay at home Dads, Grandparents that are caring for children, guardians, whomever. It’s hard work! Let Playgroup make your week that bit easier whilst also having a whole host of benefits to your child.
My little people are now 3 and 4. We still attend Playgroup, and they still love it! It is still perfect for our little family.
Mum of Two “spirited” children
& Communications Coordinator at Playgroup SA