I'm a 30 year old stay at home mom of two beautiful boys! I love cooking, crafting, movies, playing with my boos, pop culture, and tons of other stuff! I fancy myself a bit of a foodie and have been trying to incorporate lots of fresh, seasonal, local organic foods into my cooking. Hopefully this blog will serve as a forum for me to try new recipes and share them with anyone who might be interested!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Playgroups: A parent's way to socialize or a cause of unnecessary mommy guilt?

Recently, I've been reevaluating some of the more common parenting practices and trying hard to figure out why I hate so many of them. My oldest son is now 2 and for the sake of this blog we'll just call him M. When M was first born, I decided straight away that we needed to enroll him in something, ANYTHING to get him interacting, socially, with other children. I know it sounds silly, but ever since my days as a nanny in San Diego, it's been drilled into my brain that in order for children to thrive they simply must begin their social lives ASAP.
        There are countless playgroups, some of which you must apply and pay for to be a part of, classes, demos, seminars, workshops, etc. Working as a nanny in SD, I had come to terms with the fact that I was well below most of the other mom's socioeconomic statuses but that was no problem because I wasn't the one paying for all the classes (but for the record, my boss was amazing and very level headed about all the nonsense too)! When we got pregnant with our first son, my husband had just been accepted into a graduate program in Michigan. I had high hopes for our life here in MI! I figured "there have to be lots of other moms around my age and in similar financial situations!! M and I will make tons of friends! I mean, it's a college town after all"! But after 2 years living here, it really doesn't feel terribly different that California. All of the moms I've had the pleasure of interacting with here in MI are perfectly pleasant but it doesn't feel as though we have anything in common other that we've all birthed children. My husband is a student, theirs all have "real" jobs. We rent, most of them own. I can't afford to pay to be part of an organization just to have to pay for my kids to take classes at said organization. Their strollers cost close to what we pay in rent, mine I got on sale and with a coupon (and it was still expensive!).
       Now don't get me wrong, we live very comfortably! My husband works hard so that we can do lots of stuff, take a few trips a year, and really don't want for much of anything. I just can't seem to bring myself to spend money so my children can socialize! Plus, most "mom's groups" tend to feel very clicky.
       It used to be, back in my day (said in a crotchety old voice), that you made friends on the playground, around the hood, and in school. Now, before your child is even 1, people are asking you "what classes are they taking?", "have you looked into any preschools yet?", "shouldn't you put them in daycare so they can interact?". When did parental interaction become not good enough?! We should be baking cookies, playing with clay, blowing bubbles outside after a picnic lunch with our kids! I don't want some stranger teaching my boys how to tumble, I want to do that! That saying "Dance like no one's watching", we should be doing that, every day with our kids!!!


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