Lets make this clear right off the hop. Play Groups benefit EVERYONE!
That statement is coming from an introvert SAHM who only leaves her house for a few very specific reasons. Like getting food or going to visit family/best friends or to buy coffee.
As someone who loved the idea of play groups prior to having children, I am a little ashamed to say that it took over 2 years for me to attend my first one. Once Toddler G was born I had no desire to go to a play group or even ( sadly ) a play date with my best friend and her kids the majority of the time.
You’re tired and you’re overwhelmed and while these are actually great reasons to attend a play group ( think – recharge mama!! ) as an introvert you really don’t feel the need to leave your home, like EVER. Also, people drain you and it’s exhausting just thinking about it.
So, what made me change my mind?
My insanely active 2 year old tornado who insists on waking up at 5 am everyday and destroying everything he comes in contact with until he goes to bed at 8 pm.
Seriously, who has that much energy? He never stops!!
Insert Play Group here!!!
I’ve come up with 6 very valid reasons why you should take your kids to Play Group!! Introvert or not, it really does benefit everyone involved, not just you and your kids but everyone else too.
Reason #1 – it gets you and your kids out of the house
This is something I struggle with daily. To leave or not to leave essentially. You play scenarios over in your head about screaming kids and where you will change the next blow out or nurse a hungry baby. Those 3 thoughts alone would keep any mama in her PJs. But cabin fever is real and sometimes you don’t see the signs of it until it’s too late and the shit storm has hit. You pack the kids in the car and drive just for the sake of driving, or enjoying a hot coffee while they snooze in the back ( and there is nothing wrong with this ) but you might as well let them burn off some energy running around with other kids because chances are when you get home from that car ride, you’re walking right back into the same cabin fever shit storm you thought you left behind.
So just do it! Pack’em up, put on a bra, ( ugh, I know ) and take the kids to the Play Group.
Reason #2 – It makes you feel normal
Kids got you ready to throw in the towel? Wondering if you’re the only one. Well, you’re not. And Play Group is just the place to go to see that every parent out there is struggling with the exact same issues as you. Social media is bad for portraying all these perfect happy little moments that tend to eat away at your soul and leave you thinking ” Why not me? Why are my kids… ” But you never usually get to see those kids when they’re throwing a tantrum for the 10th time today or refusing to eat anything their mama makes. Those moments are not fun, so why would anyone display them on social media for the world to see. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that they don’t happen. At Play Group you get to see ALL that shit happen, in the RAW! No filters and yeah mama it makes you feel damn good. Like there’s a special nod you give when another parents kid is turning the room upside down. It’s like ” I feel you, I’ve been there, we’ve all been there. “
So just do it! Pack ’em up, put on a bra, ( I said a bra not a nursing tank top ) and take the kids to the Play Group.
Reason #3 – Your kids will have an insane amount of fun ( and you might too! )
How often do you set up little obstacle courses for you kids to do in the house, or out in the yard? New activities and crafts will have your kids on cloud 9. I am all for painting and doing crafts at home, but there is something else about seeing them do these things alongside their little friends. It’s a warm fuzzy feeling you get, and just because you’d rather be at home in your PJs doesn’t mean they want to be. I won’t lie and say going to Play Group was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I will say I love seeing my kids happy and it’s a different kind of happy they get to be when they’re around people their own size. Bonus – they will burn off all sorts of crazy stored up energy!!!
So just do it! Pack ’em up, put on a bra, ( no not a sports bra ) and take the kids to the Play Group.
Reason #4 – It’s Extra Help…
We’re all in the trenches together here mama and this is one spot you can go and not have to hover or helicopter over your kid. It’s hard not to do it, especially when you have a rambunctious toddler who insists that every fu*king toy ever made is their own personal property. But there are other parents whose kids act the same way and so there are always eyes watching and always someone to help guide your little ones when things take a turn for the worst. This will be a huge relief off your shoulders. And if your toddler is anything like mine, they need to hear it from someone else of authority, not just you.
So just do it! Pack ’em up, put on a bra, ( ok you got a real one on yet? ) and take the kids to the Play Group.
Reason #5 – YOU and Your kids get to make friends
I know you’re sitting there saying, I don’t need any more friends or I don’t want new friends and that’s ok. However, this is one of those things you need to do for your kids. Let them socialize even if you don’t want to. Don’t be like me and end up kicking yourself in the ass 2 years later because you just didn’t want to leave the house. If your kid is a social butterfly like mine they will flourish at Play Group. You will be amazed at how their attitude changes or they do things they’ve never done at home that make you smile ear to ear. They deserve the chance to be social whether you want to be or not.
So just do it! Pack ’em up, put on a bra, ( that’s it, don’t you feel kind of like a million bucks all of a sudden? ) and take the kids to the Play Group.
Reason #6 – They will nap so hard that day you’ll get to actually drink a coffee hot
This reason doesn’t really need an explanation because it’s just so damn glorious and if your kid doesn’t nap after Play Group, I feel for you mama. Hopefully next time they’ll sleep twice as long. I will say that this was one of the reasons I never took the boys to a Play Group before, I never wanted to mess up their nap time routine at home. But it’s totally worth it!!!!
Well, have I convinced you yet mama?? I know it seems like too much to plan or organize, and you’d rather just chill at home, but your kids need this, you need this, and other parents need it too.
So look for the closest Early Years Center to you, or check Facebook for other mamas hosting a Play Group in your area.
Hell, if you’re feeling really good, host one yourself! I know there are other families out there that NEED this just as much as you do.