I've been attending the same playgroup since we first moved here. Tom was one and I was newly pregnant with Jules. About a year after I joined the group I became the coordinator and have kept that job until today. I had my last day at playgroup today.
When I had a baby and a toddler I NEEDED playgroup. It was one of my only outings and I'd look forward to it all week, planning my outfit days in advance. Playgroup saved me from depression, loneliness and a feeling of utter incompetency in this parenting caper.
No matter how bad my week, I knew, that on a friday I had friends to listen and understand, I could have a cry and a laugh and I would come home a bit saner than I had left. What was even better was when I found that others had had a much crazier week than I had. It helped me realise that the antics in my home were normal for a family coping with an energetic toddler, a new baby and a sleep deprived mother. The tears were NORMAL (mostly mine). Allowing a two year old to watch TV all day was NORMAL (I just needed a break!). Vegemite sandwiches for tea was NORMAL (he's happy, he's healthy). While my parenting skills developed and the kids grew, I used my survival skills.
There was a large group of us a few years ago all with babies and toddlers which has now disbanded. Routines have changed, families have moved away, the toddlers have now grown and started school. Times have changed, our kids are growing up. I don't need playgroup any more.
There's a new group of mums now with babies and toddlers. It's their group, their outlet, their support network.
It was sad to say goodbye but a part of me was very grateful that I've left those days behind. The baby bit is over and the school bit has begun. I'm excited about that.
I'll miss going to playgroup on a friday and I'll miss the families who I've met... I'll also miss this view...
and the classically CWA style tea cups....
I'll leave these things behind but the friends I've made are friends for life, I'll take them with me.