Let’s begin with a few facts.
Having one child is tough.
Having two children is tougher.
Having three children is……. I’ll come back to this when I find a non curse word that fits.
Being single with three children adds to the stress, loneliness and isolation that can be associated with parenting.
All you stay at home parents know the drill. You are so busy fulfilling the every need of your bulging brood that adult conversation seems like a distant memory. The checkout girl at Aldi knows more about me that I would care to admit. I have become that person that shares all her pet peeves with poor suffering retail staff who just want to do their job in peace. And in Aldi’s case with great speed and precision. This is even more applicable when you don’t have a partner who comes home and can’t wait to hear about today’s adventurous school run.
I expressed my frustrations to my mother about a serious lack of adult interaction and she suggested that I come along to her Parent and Toddler group on a Tuesday morning. It used to be called the mother and toddler group but they changed it to Parent because apparently some men care for their children at home too….. who knew? I will admit now that I rolled my eyes. Always afraid of the unknown I had visions of earth mothers sitting in a circle wearing hemp clothes and flip flops sharing their organic recipes for humus. Now before people get all testy I know I know live and let live but I’m just not that type of mother.
So my mother gave me the sales pitch. It’s really beneficial for the children she said…. they learn to interact with other children in a safe environment she said…… we have numerous toys and activities that promote development and creativity she said…… you will meet other mothers she said….. you might enjoy it she said….. just give it a go she said. So I did. here’s the funny thing about mother’s….. they are usually right.
My parent and toddler group has had such a positive effect on my life that i’m not sure if my writing skills will be able to convey it. My mother emphasised all the great benefits my children would enjoy by being brought to this group. She never mentioned all the ways it would benefit me. Yes I love seeing my children play and interact but I also love the fact that once a week I meet a group of women who understand why I have toothpaste all over my top and why I couldn’t be arsed to change it. I sit with a group of women who understand why I am fed up of dressing four people everyday. I sit with a group of women who understand why my boy is in his slippers because I have managed to loose track of the one pair of shoes that fit him at the moment.
I have made friends who I really feel like I will have for life. We are all in the same boat. Some mothers have partners and husbands…. I don’t hold that against them. (I’m not bitter I swear) Some are working outside the home some are not. What connects us all is that we are trying to survive rearing our children and sometimes with the support we provide we even sometimes enjoy it.
So if you find yourself with a new baby for the first or fifth time or in a new area. Look up your local parent and toddler group. They are in every town and village. I promise you, you won’t regret it.