A playgroup is really a mommy support group

An early playgroup. Audrey is the baby at the bottom left.

When I brought tiny Audrey home from the hospital almost 11 years ago, I was completely overwhelmed. I was suddenly responsible for this fragile, precious creature. Somehow I would have to not only keep her alive, but help her learn and grow for the next 18 years!

When she was two months old, I knew that I was going to have to find some support. It was wonderful that our families were supportive, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to spend all my time with them. And Rich’s role was very defined: go to work, come home and help with Audrey. I had to learn to define my new role as Mommy to my cute little Audrey.

So I decided to pack my newborn up and head to the hospital where there was a meeting of a Nursing Mothers’ group. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew that Audrey and I were getting settled into our breastfeeding relationship and it would be good to meet other mothers who were on the same road.

And that’s where our group started. That morning, four other women and I decided to start a playgroup. Of course, I use the term extremely loosely, since the babies ranged from one month to five months in age. We started meeting, though, and laid our infants on pristine new blankets on the floor to “play” together.

Time passed, and the babies grew into toddlers who actually did play. But more importantly, we had each other to navigate the waters of new motherhood. We talked about everything. At the beginning, it was nursing, sleeping, and diapers. Later, it was potty training, new siblings, and preschool. We talked about our marriages, vacations, in-laws, and just life.

As our oldest kids started school, we started meeting once a month instead of once a week. And before we knew it, the headaches of big-kid scheduling caused our group to disband. But we had met for over seven years when it was all said and done.

The children may not remember the countless hours they spent playing together. But I think it’s safe to say that none of us will ever forget growing as mothers together.

 

This post was inspired by Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman. After being kicked out of her widow support group for being too young, Becky creates her own support group with an unusual twist. Join From Left to Write on February 14 as we discuss Saturday Night Widows. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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