Sunday, 29 April 2012

Scared about socialising


I’m going to playgroup!!!!

Eek, I’m going to an actual playgroup, you know, where there are other *whispers* ….mums.

Dollop turns 2 in 2 weeks, and so far, other than Mini, she has had virtually no interaction with other little people. How on earth have I managed that???  How could I have kept my beautiful baby on her own for 2 years? How have I kept her amused by myself for 2 years? How am I still sane???

Our parent supporter feels it’s important for me to now get out of the house, away from the place where so many challenging and hard things happen. She feels I’d benefit from speaking with other parents and picking up other strategies for dealing with things. And she feels like I’d benefit from timeout and just being me. And there is the obvious aim of getting Dollop mixing and socialising with other toddlers. I agree. I know all of this to be true. I know (and hope) that sometimes lifelong friendships are made at toddler groups and playgroups. Indeed, my mum and her best friend met 30 years ago when I was at toddler group!

But I’m nervous. This is because I never felt able to take Mini to a toddler group. I felt that I’d be walking in with a ready made toddler, no birth stories to relay, big sign on my head warning other mums that I was ‘different’, I thought I’d stick out like a sore thumb.
 I did manage to go once, to a group recommended by another adopter, but I was so nervous, that I only talked to the other mums I knew to be adopters too, and it was all I talked about. So instead of blending in, I made it blindingly obvious that I was indeed different, and was so embarrassed by my own behaviour, I never went back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not embarrassed about adoption, I just don’t want people’s pre-conceived ideas about adoption kicking in before they get to know me and Mini. So that was that. To socialise Mini and prepare him for school, he went to nursery instead, which actually was the best choice for him in the end.

So now, my fear about not having a birth story is irrational. I do have Dollop’s birth story. But I’m worried about the questions I’ll get about my family. I’m worried all the other mums will already know each other. I’m worried that I’ll have nothing in common with anyone (except for an ability to change a nappy in 60seconds flat!) I’m worried that Dollop with be overexcited and naughty. I’m worried that Dollop will be shy and cling to me the whole time. Yes – I’m a bit mixed up about the whole thing. Getting myself in a tizz about it! Parent supporter is coming with me though…she’s going to do the hard bit – the walking in to a room full of mums – with me. Phew!

So keep your fingers crossed for me. I’ll report back when I’ve worked up enough courage to actually go, and not bottle it!

7 comments:

  1. he he, I'm with you on this one. I actually hate toddler groups - and what I hate most, is the walking in to a room of people I've never met before, and then the struggle to find something to say! Try going to one, and then the parents discovering that you take parenting sessions - they never speak to you again!!!! (either that or you get every question going!)

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  2. So that's one thing I won't be sharing then!!! I'd love to be one of those mums who helps organise bring/buy sales to raise money, and hosts playdates for my kids...it's just breaking into those groups that is the problem...

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  3. ha ha ha, I mean that I ran the parenting sessions. I think going to them is acceptable! I only ever gave this information under scrutiny - or when someone else shared the info for me!

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    1. Not sure admitting to going to them will put me in a good light either though!!!

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  4. Fingers crossed!
    I remember the first time I went to a playgroup with my brand new 20 month old son. It was REALLY hard. I was pretty embarrassed like you. I'm very shy and didn't know what to say to anyone. And having everyone think I was an experienced mum when I was brand new to the job was difficult. But it did get easier. And seeing my son have so much fun with the other kids helped a lot. I admit I didn't usually enjoy going, but it was very worthwhile for his sake. But I hated it when they started talking about pregnancy and giving birth!!

    If Dollop clings to you at first don't worry. It's a normal healthy reaction. Not like my sons unattatched reaction which was to go up to every other mum for cuddles! :-( Dollop will learn confidence. And cuddling her gives you something to do rather than sit there like a spare part while she is off playing!
    Hope it goes ok.

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    1. Thank you. I know she'll love it, and it's good preparation for her going to nursery, and then obviously school. And maybe I'll be lucky enough to meet some of the nice mums who might turn into friends...

      It's just like being back at school again though isn't it? Going into a new class not knowing anyone.

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  5. Like going back to school, but I don't think that the Mums are quite as bitchy as a bunch of schoolkids!!!

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