Be Brave: That first Toddler Group visit

I remember someone once telling me that having children is a great way to make friends. Well, having recently moved to a new village, I decided to test out this theory. I looked on Facebook and discovered there was a local Mums and Tots group that meets every Tuesday in the church hall.

I dropped my eldest off at school and headed down. I whispered a few words of encouragement to myself and pushed open the big double doors.

It was chaos! Lots of screaming toddlers crammed into a small, hard-surfaced room and mums dephoto-1453749024858-4bca89bd9edcsperately yelling at each other over the noise, trying to make conversation.

There was nowhere to sit so I followed my 1 year old around as she flitted from 1 pile of toys to another.

Nobody spoke to me.I’m not even sure that anybody made eye contact.

I came away pretty deflated. Yes the access to different toys had made for a nice change, but we’d really gone for the human connection.

I decided to give it one more week…

The same thing happened again. We stuck it out to the end and then I bundled my little one into her coat, resolved never to darken the door again.

But just at that moment, a mum popped over and said, “Hi. I think I’ve seen you at the school gate.”

To be honest, I didn’t recognise her in the slightest but we got chatting. It turns out she was relatively new herself and didn’t really know anyone else. Well we got on like a house on fire, and I’ve been back every week since then!

All it took was one mum stepping out of her comfort zone and offering me a kind word of welcome. It meant the world to me.

So fellow mummies, I call on all of you, as a united sisterhood – if you’re lucky enough to have other mummy friends to go to toddler group with, PLEASE spend a few moments looking to see if there is anyone on their own, and welcome them in. I know it’s easier to stay with your friends where it’s comfortable, but one day it might be you on the outside and I’m sure you’d appreciate that small act of kindness.

R is for Hoppit


Add yours
  1. 1
    carly aka mummy

    Can definitely relate to this. I’m usually the one trying to talk to everyone like some desperado. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. But you have to try don’t ya? Glad it worked out for you in the end.

  2. 3

    Glad it worked for you. It’s no fun doing it alone.

    It’s telling that it took a fellow newbie to get talking. My wife has been going to the same group for over a year and they have only just started to acknowledge her!


  3. 5
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn}

    I know exactly how you feel. I was like that – still am. I moved out of London 2 years ago and I was so isolated. I had then a 3 yrs old and a newborn. Going anywhere was hell – the playgroup were either too young for my 3 yrs old or too big for my new born. I ended up in the park mostly where he is free to run around and I can still feed my newborn even though it was freezing cold outside. My boy is now at reception and my girl is now just turned 2. It is such a difference what the age gap can present. I found new mummy friends at school and new mummy friends at my girl playgroup. Funny how things turned out. Glad it all worked out for you. 🙂 xx #PassTheSauce

    • 6
      Lucy At Home

      Oh yes trying to find something to work for both kids adds a whole extra difficulty! I’m glad you are starting to find some local friends now. I think having fellow mummy-friends is so important! I am new to my area so just starting to get to know people but it is hard work! Onwards and upwards!

  4. 7
    Silly Mummy

    Yes, a good message. & glad you made a friend. The groups I went to with my eldest when she was newborn were fairly friendly. But I couldn’t go to newborn groups with second one because I had a 1 year old who wasn’t allowed to attend. When youngest was a baby, I didn’t go to the toddler groups either, as I couldn’t really put my baby down on ground with rampaging children up to 5 years, and couldn’t supervise my toddler running off with baby in tow very well. But a few months ago, after youngest became a toddler too, I did try taking them both to a toddler group. Oh my god. Yes, they all ignored me. But more weirdly they were all ignoring each other too, so it wasn’t a reject the new person thing. Seriously, they were all sitting, individually, doing individual activities with their own children, ignoring each other. I’m shy so did not attempt to speak with other parents, but my little ones, especially my outgoing eldest, tried really hard to chat to and play with other children. & they were good too, not snatching toys (mostly offering them, in fact). The glares and disapproving looks they got from all the other mothers for actually trying to talk to and play with other children, and when my eldest tried to speak to other adults, they blanked her. It was so strange. I have not returned. Thanks so much for linking with #PasstheSauce

    • 8
      Lucy At Home

      This is such a shame – everyone goes to these things to make friends and everyone who has commented has had bad experiences. I am starting a “be friendly” revolution at mine, encouraging the other mums to reach out to each other (and setting the chairs out differently each week so they can’t have a spot where they always sit!) it seems be working so fingers crossed…
      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  5. 9
    Big Pink Link 16 - The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

    […] Lucy at Home – Toddler Group :  A familiar account of the ‘interesting’ experience that can be mother and child […]

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