When we moved to North Carolina I didn't know ANYONE...I didn't know what there was to do, I didn't know the cool kid places, I didn't know where parks were, I didn't know anything about the area, but I learned, quickly, because I joined a playgroup. And I LOVE my playgroup! I was searching online for stuff to do and ran across a site called meetup.com and found a group that sounded fun. I joined. I was apprehensive at first to go, thinking that I would be judged as a person, as a mother, on my clothes, and that I would be trying to get into some kind of clique, but that is not what it was like...it was open and fun and while it was kid-oriented, it was ADULT time also!! I got to talk to other moms about not only our kids, but anything else we wanted to! So, here are my top ten reasons why I LOVE my playgroup and I think that all stay-at-home mothers should join one:
1. Friends! Not only will you find friends and playmates for your little one(s) but you'll make your own friends. Girls you can call on to babysit, go out with, share recipes with, have a drink with, and just to talk to. If you don't meet your new best friend the first time, don't worry...come again! With the variety of people and activities, you're sure to meet a few gals you can click with.
2. Oh, I suppose the playgroup is for the little ones too! It's a great opportunity for our children to learn how to share, meet new people, learn manners with their friends and other adults, and to learn new words and activities.
3. You'll find stuff to do in the area you live in. You'll find all the kid friendly restaurants, the deals and discounts, the good hair salons, the museums, zoos, craft stores, parks, dance & gymnatstics classes, preschools, shops, walking trails, and whatever else you might be looking for!
4. Local events! We always try to put up the local events like festivals, circuses, concerts, and other events that are family friendly so that you can find stuff do with your family even if it's not with the group. Let's face it, we don't all have the events calendar on hand and it's nice to go to one site and see what is going on in your town (and surrounding areas).
5. Exercise! Not many people want to exercise on their own, but with the group you can have group walks, runs, park time, gym time, zumba classes and more!
6. Explore new things - I'm not much of a crafty person, so I would have never thought to have painted pottery or making bows, but with this group, I have done both and loved them both. We have also done other things I would have never thought of, like filling a baby pool with jell-o for the kids to play with, or pudding painting, or making playdough, and other things like this.
7. Motivation! Just to get out of the house! No mom should sit around in their house all-day, every-day and retail therapy is not always an option! I mean, really, how many times can you explore the toy-section at Target or Wal-mart not buying anything before you go nuts! And it gives us an excuse to shower and wear something other than pj's! Also, if you host playdates at your house, which we do all the time, it is motivation to get those little projects done and clean the house up once in a while.
8. Helping others out! Not only do we make meals for new moms and their families (kitchen fairy) but we also help eachother out by advertising our home-businesses, sharing clothing, listing stuff for sale to each other, and other stuff. I mean, the little ones only play in there little exersaucers for so long and we always know the next one to have a baby, so we know where you can sell it to someone who needs it.
9. Moral support! Sometimes we just need some moral support and empathy from other moms. Moms that can offer advice on temper tantrums, picky eaters, breastfeeding, and more! The advice from people who are currently going through the same things that you are is nice, and though we love our mommas, sometimes their advice is not always helpful!
10. Sanity! Personally, I would go insane if I didn't have people to meet and talk to, and different activities to do. I can sit around the house for a while, but it starts to eat my brain I think and I turn into this pathetic zombie of a person, so I have to get out!
So, out of shameless promotion, here is our groups website if you're in the Fayetteville area: http://www.meetup.com/kidsatplay/. I am an organizer and have been for over a year and did I mention that I LOVE my group!