Monday, April 2, 2012

Meetups and play dates

Do you ever feel like this?

I spent my first few years as a parent feeling rather lonely when it came to friendships and outings with other parents. Sam and I have finally jumped into the playdate world, and here's what we've found:

Decorating cupcakes

Mmm!

Gymnastics free play!

I couldn't resist this one of L2 screaming like a warrior on the trampoline run.

These firefighters were awesome.

Checking out the ambulance

Well, hello, there.

Reptile Zoo


Valentine's workshop at Home Depot


Indoor sandbox

Moira & Alrik hanging out

Sharing a meal (gluten-free for the kids!)

Boys & bubbles

Swimming in the pool

Lowe's kids clinic

Reading the Lowe's directions

Gnawing on the supplies

If you're feeling isolated or bored, if you want some adults to talk to and your kids want some other kids to run around with, I just want to encourage you to seek out some resources locally. Even if it's scary at first. Even if you're sure the parents near you won't be your type. And if a group isn't working for you, try another — or start one.

I know it's not always easy. I know it might require some trial and error. Sometimes people will frustrate you and disappoint you, and you might do the same. I know if you live in a remote area, there might not be as many people to choose from. But it's worth a try.

Here are a few places to start your search for a tribe:

  • Meetup.com — search by keyword locally
  • Attachment Parenting International — find your local support group
  • La Leche League — even though it starts off as a breastfeeding support group, it can morph into much more
  • Yahoo! Groups — you can find a group on pretty much anything!
  • NPN Forums — contribute to the thread on Where in the World are you?
  • Mothering.com — Finding Your Tribe
  • Local midwives & naturopaths — ask about birth classes, breastfeeding groups, new parent support groups
  • Local Montessori, Waldorf, community, or other "crunchy" schools — even if your kids don't go there, they might be able to direct you to some parent groups

Some keyword ideas to get you started: your locale, attachment parents, natural parents, breastfeeding, moms, play group, unschooling, homeschooling, cloth diapers, babywearing … whatever it is that would make you feel part of a cool crowd!

And if you're local to the greater Seattle area, let me know and I'll tell you what I've found.

Here's hoping we can all feel locally supported in this parenting journey — and have some fun along the way!

Come and play!

What kind of network do you and your family have where you live? What other resources do you recommend?

2 comments:

melissa said...

You really jumped in with both feet! There seem to be some awesome activities available there, and by the looks of it, Mikko is loving them. It makes me more inclined to jump into a few more things myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

Christine Powell said...

What great amounts of fun! :)
Ive actually just started a little natural mothers group, in the hopes of finding a bit of real life socialization ;) ... it hasn't really taken off yet, here's hoping!

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