Ok. Own up! Whose bright idea were baby groups? You know, the ones in a musty church hall with toys that probably failed safety regulations back in 1982 that cost you 50p for which you get a shitty cup of tea and a pink wafer biscuit.
I hate these groups with a passion. They were my biggest source of “mummy guilt” with my first child and I’ve vowed not to put that kind of pressure on myself this time. I didn’t have any friends with children the same age and to be honest I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not your average mum.
By that I don’t mean I’m special. The problem is I just don’t like people very much. I particularly don’t like children, apart from my own (most of the time). Baby groups are almost expected of mums these days and if you don’t attend at least 3 in a week it seems you are considered a bad parent (some people have an outing planned for every day of the week. Can you imagine?!). It seems babies as young as a month require “socialisation”. Bollocks do they?!
If your idea of socialising is playing with the aforementioned shitty germ ridden toys (that’s if you can fight the bullies off them) while their carers (mums, nannies, au pairs, grandparents, childminders et al) gas and drink the aforementioned shitty tea not taking a blind bit of notice of what their awful child is doing then be my guest!
You must remember that baby groups are for pre-school to school age children. There are babies lying on the ground with “sensory” toys whilst slightly older babies crawl around, dribbling, pulling each others hair and toddlers on ride ons hoof towards them at break neck speed. It’s actually making me sweat just thinking about it.
Then there are the comparisons. “Oh. Can’t (enter name here) (enter milestone here) yet? You should speak to your health visitor about that”.
I spent most of my time at these groups willing myself not to tell half the mums to go fuck themselves whilst dreaming of repeatedly punching them in the face.
Oh! I nearly forgot the recruiters. You know, the ladies from the church that suggest you attend a service. A. Church. Service. Likely to be in a Sunday I’m guessing. Now, I’m an atheist. Each to their own but church isn’t for me. I appreciate the offer, actually I don’t. I can only assume these lovely ladies must think I need saving. I don’t. I just don’t fit in there. It’s fine.
I know a lot of mums like baby groups. It’s socialisation for them as well as their babies. It’s just not for me. If I want to socialise it’s usually in the comfort of my own home (or in a pub). And if it’s not for you either don’t feel like you have to put yourself through it. Big L has turned out to be a lovely (social) little boy without being dragged along to countless groups and his mum has retained a little bit of sanity.