When I was pregnant I dreaded the thought of toddler groups…. Spending time with people I’ve never met whilst always learning how to look after this small human being scared the crap outta me! But then reality kicked in and I had a toddler that needed entertaining for two hours so it guaranteed an afternoon nap and some quiet ‘mum time’. Plus where else do you get that kind of entertainment for £1? Throw in a warm cup of tea for an added bonus too! However you also need to be prepared for the mindfield that is toddler group…
1. It’s like your first day at school. What do you wear? Will you like anyone? Will anyone talk to you? That is forgotten within 30 seconds as your child runs straight up to another and you realise the mum is looking at you thinking the exact same thing.
2. The regulars get the best toys, don’t even think about grabbing them or world war three will start, just wait until said toddler is bored and grab it whilst you can!
3. Regular mums are hard to break… newbies are easy but the ones that have been there a while are harder so plans some ice breakers… I find ‘Sorry, it that your son my child just tried to kiss/bite?’ usually works!
4. Sippy cups/dummies are communal property…. same goes for food/snacks. Be prepared to accept your child will have his dummy and good taken off him, also given back afterwards too!
5. You actually miss them during holiday time… You no longer have someone to moan to about the lack of sleep/meal times or illnesses they’ve caught!
6. You will have a crying moment at some point. Blame it on lack of sleep and other mums who totally understand where you’re coming from, these women get you and you’ll be so grateful for it!
7. You’ll lose your inhibitions about singing in public! Believe me, this is coming from the mum who, when the baby was 2 months old went to one play group and had to sing then swore she never would again…. roll on 12 months later and I know the all the songs to Tuesdays rhyme time!
8. You’ll know all the babies name and Facebook/stalk the mums as you’ve spoken to them too often to now ask them theirs.
9. Your child will humiliate you at some point! They will have a meltdown at some point, pull someone’s hair or refuse to sit down, but all the other toddlers have too, it’s just your turn.
10. You’ll find your new mum friends! It may take a while to get you head around toddler group ‘rules’ at first but before you know it you’ll find other mums on your wavelength and the friendships you’ll make are worth it!