Living Arrows | Nine

This week we actually made it back to playgroup! Our favourite church based group has been one we have missed for a few weeks, but we got back there and hopefully will get back into the habit of spending our mornings with friends!

Our playgroup schedule has diminished a lot the last few months because BB is of an age where he’s too boisterous for some but not big enough to defend himself in others. I enjoyed going to the library to sing, but as the friends I had made went back to work it became a really lonely place — and not just for me.

I once cringed my way through a session when a mum was trying to involve her son who kept snatching.. She was obviously working with him on stopping that behaviour, and doing a great job. Sadly, she was watched and scrutinised by a group of women who had new babies and then she felt uncomfortable enough to make her excuses and leave early… I was sat next to her and she said she was so embarrassed her son was so lively, but they had just moved to the area and she needed some company. So she had made the effort to come out and then made to feel judged — it was a really uncomfortable experience.

I went a few weeks later when BB was confidently crawling, and he kept wanting to play with toys that other babies had — quite common, he was still just over a year old. I then glanced round and realised that we had become the subject of this judgemental mindset. All sat with their babies happy on their laps, chatting to one another.. About BB. I didn’t go back.

Just remember, it’s all well and good sitting back and gossiping about someone else’s child and/or mothering. But your baby won’t be a baby for long, and you’ll be the one chasing your child wielding a tambourine around the room while everyone whispers and tuts.

Living Arrows

Living Arrows is about celebrating childhood and its trials & tribulations. The project originally took it’s name from a poem by Kahlil Gibran, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” and each Monday I’m going to share a moment from our week. Over the course of 52 weeks, I’ll have a series of snapshots built up which shows my little boy blossoming!

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  • We have had just the same experience as we go to baby groups for B, who is 11 months, and I take along M who is almost three. She behaves like a completely normal toddler; nothing particularly boisterous, but obviously not non-moving baby behaviour, and we get the same looks sometimes. I’ve made a conscious decision to just ignore them and get on with it – they will soon learn and I don’t see why we (and especially B) should have to miss out because of the judgemental nature of others. I hope you find another group where people are more welcoming. #LivingArrows

    • Thankfully the church group I attend is much more welcoming and friendly — I’m happy there and so is BB, especially when he’s labelled as ‘Wreck it Ralph’ in a humorous way and it’s okay for him to be himself!

  • Oh what a horrible experience for you and the other mum. My son was so busy and active as a toddler (he still is now!) and I remember finding it so hard when the other little ones were nice and calm, but luckily I don’t remember really feeling judged by any of the other parents. x #LivingArrows

    • It just seems to be the parents of children who are very young.. Like they don’t know that on the horizon, they’ll be the ones in my shoes (or that ladies shoes) with their own little ones! I hope I wasn’t like that when BB was small, but I probably was in the newborn bubble.

  • I remember those clubs so vividly – some were so strict on children’s ages but completely disregarded their abilities and others just ran until they could walk or from walking which is much easier usually! x

  • It’s hard when they’re little and just into everything isn’t it? We go to a singing group and Gabe is one of the biggest ones there – he’s pretty good usually but I still worry he’s going to accidentally hurt one of the babies. I hope you manage to find somewhere without all the judgey mums. He looks like he’s enjoying that tunnel though! #LivingArrows

  • What a horrible bunch of mums! My middle boy was always the boistrous one and more often than not I would be sitting on the floor with him trying to prevent him from doing something “wrong” when in theory he was just being a toddler.

    • Exactly! I feel like me constantly saying ‘no’ ‘don’t do that’ ‘you can’t do that’ is stifling BB at the group and it isn’t fair on him. Of course he wants to play, touch and explore and if they can show me a child that shares willingly at 15 months then I’ll eat my hat.

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