Playgroup Outing

This morning we ventured back into the playgroup world. I wanted to stay home, especially after Ellie got me up before it got light, but I ignored my jitters (not to mention my headache, sick stomach and extreme exhaustion). Getting us out the door by 9.30 was a challenge and I am proud to say that we made it on time!

I hate that moment when you walk into a room full of mothers and they all turn to size you up, lowering their voices as if they were actually talking about you as you made your way through the door and looking you and your children up and down before going back to their conversations.

As this moment passed, I took a deep breath and signed the book while Ellie held tight to my finger. She was very shy at first, happily amusing herself and playing alone. Eventually, she made her way to the playdough and kitchen to ‘cook’, which drew quite a few older girls to her. Thankfully, she had warmed up enough to chatter to them and share.

I laid Kahlei on a baby playmat close to the playdough and watched while Ellie did her thing. I like to be somewhat near Ellie in these kinds of situations, keeping an eye on her and interacting with her when she has something she would like to share with me (cooked playdough, for me? Yummo). This means I have little interaction with the other parents who are at the table having morning tea (some not bothering to watch as their little boy snatches toys and is a general nuscience). With my whole new weight loss journey I didn’t want to go and sit at the morning tea table, where delicious looking scones, cake and biscuits mocked me. I do not consider myself a ‘helicopter mum’, I do not interfere in her activities or hover over her waiting to save her from everything, but I do believe that I should keep an eye on her. She is only young, after all.

Once the door to outside was open Ellie wandered out there for a swing and a slide. Unfortunately, she wanted to climb UP the slide while another little girl wanted to go down, so another lady offered to hold Kahlei while I showed Ellie that she had to climb up the ladder at the back AND wait her turn (I know, that’s asking a whole lot of a toddler). Once that was figured out I watched Ellie’s delight as she slipped down the slide and heard one of the ladies asking how warm Kahlei’s wrap was. The lady holding her said “Not very and she has coughed once.” I instantly felt quite defensive. I knew for a fact that Kahlei was warm enough (in fact she was even a little sweaty) and had not coughed, she simply made protest noises at being so near nap time and being with a stranger.

As Kahlei got more tired I decided it was time to go. She will no longer go to sleep in our arms, especially when out somewhere so busy, with so much to look at. I scooped up Ellie and was met with screaming. That’s okay, though, we’re all mothers, right? No. From the looks I was getting, it was not at all okay. This is the second public tantrum in the presence of people who, apparently, have perfect children who would never, ever throw a tantrum – especially in public. If Ellie could say “Bad Mummy” I’m pretty sure she would have at that moment when all eyes were on me, judging and unimpressed.

Having worked in the childcare industry, I can’t explain how I came to the belief that coping with a toddler’s tantrum in a place full of parents of toddler would be met with understanding and support. Yes, that’s what I thought! Go on, laugh at me, I sure am.

I don’t understand the attitudes of some mothers. I don’t know why raising our children is a competition, why it is that we can’t raise our children in a different way to others without it being considered the ‘wrong‘ way. For me it works and if my children are happy, healthy and thriving then I’d say it’s the right way for me, as I would say that what works for you is the right way for you.

I have discussed my thoughts on what I call the ‘elitist mother‘ in a previous post. I want to find a way to encourage acceptance and unity among mothers (big dreams, huh?), we’re all on this amazing journey whether we use cloth or disposable, whether we breastfeed or bottle feed and sometimes support from someone else experiencing this crazy thing called Parenthood is just what we need.

One Comment

  1. I'm sorry playgroup didn't go the way you would have wanted. Ellies screaming would indicate that she enjoyed even if you didn't

    I know how you think, and I know that you were very self conscious. It will get better you know. They'll get to know you and maybe someone will click with you, that would be nice.

    Don't give up on it yet. The girls need the interaction, but so do you.

    Love you.


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