Monday, 21 November 2011

Playgroup Break-Up

It has been a long time coming, but finally I think its time to officially break-up with my playgroup. 

We were joined together when our first babies were born as a mothers group. After the initial council sessions we opted to say on and make our group into a playgroup, using the facilities at the health center instead of having to go to each others homes. It worked well for a long time and as a new mum with no mummy friends it was a savior in the early days and has always been so good for the little ones. As time went on people dropped off, went back to work or simply stopped coming. Our group was always changing, it got smaller, then larger again when new people joined and second babies arrived. All the while the leader of the group remained the same, she had fallen in to the position because no one else wanted it, obviously we became quiet friendly over the years. She is not your typical leader type and I always felt there was some uncertainty about her, she seemed distant and I could never quiet read her. I always felt compelled to go, even if I didn't feel like it, just because I thought it was the right thing to do. And that's what I have done up until now.

Lately though things have been different, i am not quiet sure if it is the age the kids are at, or that the group has gotten smaller once again, but the dynamics have changed. In fact we haven't been now for a good couple of weeks. Riley had a really unpleasant time last time we were there and left in tears. It all came down to a lot of not sharing going on. I know it can be a difficult age, but I like children to share or should I say I like parents to encourage their children to share {I know this lesson is a tough one to learn} I really don't think it is fair if I am trying to teach my son to share and other children are allowed to snatch and hurt my little man with not even a word spoken by their parent, which was happening constantly. Poor Riley was heart broken that I would not let him get away with doing that to another child and it was continually done to him. 

He was so upset he asked to leave and we haven't gone back since. And to be honest neither of us has missed it. Riley hasn't even asked about it and I have filled our days with other things, play-dates with friends and people I want to spend my time with, friends with children who are kind, compassionate and share with my children and who benefit from time spent together. 

So now is the hard part. I have made excuses, avoided messages and calls from the so called playgroup leader. Avoided the conversation, the confrontation of why I am no longer attending the group. Tomorrow is the day, playgroup day, I know I will have to speak to her. I know I can't go back now, to much time has passed, it's to far gone. But I don't know what to say, I am not sure what I should do. Do I be honest and tell her its because her child makes it unpleasant and won't share with mine? {sounds so petty now} or do I make up some random excuse?

Help! What should I do? 

Do you go to a playgroup? What is it like?

image here.


  1. Random excuse is easy.

    You are too busy with other commitments and wont be able to make it from now on. You are organizing the family schedule for next year and have decided there is no time for play group.

    Confrontation isn't required...but I will do anything to avoid confrontation!

  2. I would be honest - your kids a non sharing twit and if I have to go near him again I might just wanna scream.
    NO seriously I would probably just say that you and Riley have decided to try a few new activities before the year is out but thank you for all of the great times.
    Good luck, be strong!!

  3. I agree with the last 2 comments, just say other things are starting to happen in your lives & it's all getting a bit too much. It's really no one elses business, but I do know how you feel! You'll be ok, try not to stress too much about it.
    Rach x

  4. I agree. Tell them the truth. Lives change and people go different ways. We all evolve and build our own routines and for a long time that was your comfort zone but you don't need it anymore.

    When I left town I was the playgroup co ordinator and use to put in a lot of work. Now that I'm back a lot of things have changed and there has been a shift in my original group of friends and for a lot of it I've felt weird about it. It's like starting all over again but for most it I'm actually happy to step back. To be a little disconnected and just go with the flow.

  5. Jody we left our playgroup during the second term as the dynamics had changed and it just wasn't a fun place to be anymore. I just told the other ladies and coordinator that we had outgrown the group and were leaving to pursue other activities :)
    Good luck.


  6. I would definitely bow out of this one quietly Jody. Remembering that you don't owe anyone an explanation of the where, why and who when it comes to what you do with your children. As a matter of courtesy just let them know you've decided not to attend anymore, surely they will understand, most Mama's appreciate life is hectic.
    We used to go to a playgroup, it was run by the local church and just grew and grew in size. There were so many children there, I used to leave feeling stressed and daunted most days. I found it to be a little unfriendly at times also, a bit hit or miss. My mother's group on the other hand, is fantastic. Because it's now just 5 of us who have been together since our first babes were born. We know we are lucky to have that special bond even now.
    No doubt we will go through many stages with friends and groups as our children grow. It's not easy, but probably the best approach is to go with your instinct and don't ever feel pressured to do anything :o) xo

  7. Playgroup politics are the worst! You're just very busy towards the end of the year. That's all.

    Or you just say that it's not that enjoyable at present "kids this age aren't really built for sharing, are they?"

  8. I find it so hard when other people's children are behaving badly and there is (what I consider to be) insufficient discipline happening.
    I agree with Life in a Pink Fibro...bow out gracefully and move on.
    We've formed our own little park group of like-minded mums and we coffee and play and its great.

  9. I agree. Bow out quietly. Gee wouldn't it be nice to say how you feel though?

  10. Great expression that I use (given to me by a really wise mum) as follows (choose the one you feel most appropriate:
    "It just doesn't work for us right now" - great for those situations where you don't want to insult/offend but expresses definitively your position!
    "It works really well for us right now" - ie your choosing to go in a different direction and don't want to explain yourself to anyone!
    Both of these could be used in your situation - no need to be specific about your perfectly legitimate reasons for bowing out but you still want to assert yourself :))

  11. I know it's best to be honest.

    But I agree with Julie (and simply through this being my own personality type), rather than offend, I usually bow out of everything silently.

    I loathe confrontation. In fact, because you described this all so well, my heart was beating as I read it, HAHA! That's how non confrontational I really am :)


    Or if you have, & I missed that post, direct me to it :)

    I have a really dominating, bossy 'leader' in my mothers group, & she intimidates me beyond description, & I feel like she constantly judges my parenting. I hate it.

    Dave told me not to bother with my Mother's group in 2012. I don't think I will ...



Thank you so much for stopping by, i love hearing from every one of you! xx