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Before having kids I had no clue why moms would want to get together and hang out just for their kids. Why would I need a separate set of friends for your kid when I already had a great group of friends? We could still get together and hang out even after I had a kid, right? Wrong. There’s a difference between adult friendships and playground friendships.
I quickly realized that my friends, a mix between single women with no kids, newlyweds with no kids, and working moms, just wouldn’t have the time to meet up with me during the week when I desperately needed adult conversation to keep my brain from going to mush. You see I worked, but only part-time. And the days I was alone with my son quickly became monotonous even with the activities I planned out and the day trips we enjoyed. I needed people I could relate to. Who would get what I was feeling and where I was coming from.
So when my son was about 6-7 months old I delved into the wonderful and crazy world of playgroups. My first stop? Meetup.com. After a few quick searches I joined a few local groups and within a few weeks I started to test out and attend play dates with these groups. After a lot of misses I finally found a group that worked for me. And met some women who I would form lasting friendships with (that continue till this day). My children have also formed amazing playground friendships with the children they’ve met.
I’m currently the organizer of the playgroup I fell in love with and now try to create a space that other moms feel comfortable with as well. And while my playgroup isn’t the perfect fit for every mom, I can share with you how you can find the perfect fit for you. Because finding an amazing playgroup will not only help give you something to do, it’ll also help form lasting friendships for you and your child.
How To Find The Perfect Playgroup For Lasting Playground Friendships
1. Search in your area
The most important part of finding a great playgroup is accessibility. I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t have to drive far with a kid who hated the car seat to meet up with other moms. Luckily when using a site like Meetup.com or even searching Facebook groups, I was easily able to pinpoint where a majority of the playgroup meet ups were. From there I was able to weed out quite a few playgroups that were specific to certain areas around the county we live in.
2. Test out the waters
My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t get along with the other moms. So I did what was suggested by a friend and tested out a handful of playgroups, attending 1-2 play dates, before committing to a playgroup. This allowed me to meet other members and get a feel for if my personality would match theirs. And it also allowed me to see how my son interacted with the other kids and if the ages of the other kids matched my son. Some of the personalities found in playgroups will not match! And there may be a difference between the way one child plays compared to another. Not all playground friendships start out perfect. It can take time to get used to one another.
3. Start your own playgroup
If you haven’t found the perfect playgroup for you and your little one, consider starting your own playgroup! Check out local establishments that cater to kids and see if they have a way to reach out to other parents who may be interested. Or consider signing up at Meetup.com to start your playgroup. Then get the word out by creating a Facebook group for the other parents and start letting your friends know. Start by posting play dates at local playgrounds or other free places to enjoy some fun so others don’t feel obligated to spend a lot. Then as your playgroup starts to feel more comfortable with each other you can meet at each others houses or at other areas.
Have you found success in finding playground friendships through playgroups for your child?