Monday, January 26, 2009

Joining groups for your kids

I joined a church parent support group in which you bring your kids to the group meetings and there are volunteers there that help entertain the kids and do projects with them while the parents/caregivers discuss topics related to parenting. This is exactly the type of group I was looking for - one which 1. you can bring your kids, 2. you can engage in discussion with other parents/adults and not just watch kids together, and 3. stimulate my mind with moderated topics that may benefit me as a person and/or parent. I looked into churches for some activities for my kids because I thought the people in the church would be nicer and more family centered. Some other groups I have been apart of with my kids have been a bit less substantial, I'll say. For example, meeting at a small coffee shop so you can gab with other moms while your kids sit by and get bored. Those types of "play dates" work if you have a very tame and peaceful newborn who sits in their car seat for long periods of time.
Also, I spent some time in the south in Tennessee and I found that, at least from my experience, the people I met were more family/community/church oriented and up north the people are a bit more selfish, over-involved in work, more day-care, etc. Of course I live near New York City which is the financial capital of the world and lends itself to a large population with the do more, get more mentality. I am making a grand generalization here and I know there are all types of people everywhere. So, knowing the family-oriented people are here too, I decided I didn't find many of them because I must not be looking in the right places. Additionally, before I had children, I rose in my career and was very focused in that respect also. So I suppose I am now trying to flock with some other birds now that I am a mother. I enjoyed the interactions in the church group for both myself and my kids, but I can say it does take a while to find your niche in this parenting game and by the time you do, your kid is probably at the next level of the game and the comfort level you finally discovered doesn't matter anymore!

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