Generally thought to be the exclusive mainstay of stay-at-home moms, playgroups appeal to working moms more and more these days. Working moms want to find ways to spend more time with their children and their children's friends as well as to get to know their neighbors too. According to the information at OnlinePlaygroup.com, more playgroups are offering activities on the weekends, and more working moms are joining and starting their own playgroups.
Danielle Lee of Mission Viejo, California, says that she started the Working Moms Community Organization to find that support that all new mothers need. "For me specifically, a playgroup is a support lifeline!" she explains. "We are new parents and our immediate group of friends are childless. It's lonely not having others to relate to and who can relate to you and all the things that parenthood brings."
Sure, participating in a playgroup may mean fitting another activity into your busy week, but working moms like Danielle agree that the payoff is worth it. Take a look at some of the benefits for working parents and their children.
A Therapeutic Time Out
All moms need a break now and then, but many don't have the extra money to spend on babysitters or on going out. Playgroups offer the opportunity for work-at-home parents in particular to get that weekly break from home and work, and yet spend time with their children at the same time. "Whether working outside the home or not, you don't get a 'break.' There isn't any 'off time' as a parent," she says. "So having a support system is somewhat therapeutic."
Support from Your Peers
At a working moms' playgroup, you socialize with your peers. The other members face the same struggles that you do with juggling work, home and family. "Especially today, since working moms are the majority, it's comforting to have support from others dealing with career and family," says Danielle, "just as stay-at-home moms benefit from others who share their daily routines."
However, even if you don't have a playgroup nearby designed specifically for working parents, any playgroup would give moms a chance to make new friends and network. Indeed, friendship is perhaps the greatest reward of joining a playgroup. Many adults find lifelong friends in their playgroups.
Seek Advice and Share Experiences
Playgroups offer parents a chance to seek parenting advice and share experiences. In today's society many new mothers not only have postponed having children, but also have moved great distances from their families and friends. They no longer have that built-in support system that all new moms need. Playgroups and parents' groups fill that gap.
See Parenting Methods in Action
At a playgroup, you can see firsthand what discipline methods work and what does not. Many times there is a big difference between what the books say will work, and what actually does work!
Discover Your Community
Many parents' groups and playgroups offer field trips and other special events. Their members get a chance to see the local sites and learn more about the area in which they live. Some groups even become involved in the community through various service projects.
Help During Personal Need
Many groups offer special services and benefits for its members, like in-a-pinch services or babysitting co-ops. What if your babysitter cancels at the last minute and you can't reschedule that important business meeting? What if your boss has changed the deadline, and your toddler just won't take a nap? Many parents find it convenient and comforting to have someone whom they know and trust that they could call at the last minute. In addition, through playgroup, their children know and feel comfortable with that other adult as well.
Friendship for Children
Playgroups provide children with the opportunity to play with others besides their own siblings. In addition, many of the children in playgroup will likely be in their classes when school starts, especially if the group is composed of neighborhood residents. Children, too, can make lifelong friends in playgroup!
During play, the children learn valuable skills, such as how to share, take turns and role-play.
Low Stress Mom-Child Activity
A playgroup is not a babysitting service; parents stay with their children. That means no worries with separation anxiety! The children can play and have fun without having to worry about mom leaving. It's a very reassuring and confidence-building way to introduce children to socialization and to give them a little bit of independence at the same time. Not to mention, if the playgroup offers structured activities, it's 100 percent quality time with your child!
All these benefits combine to tip the scales in favor of playgroups. Now, go out and find or start your own playgroup!
About the Author:
Carren W. Joye, homeschooling mom of four children, has founded five successful playgroups and helped start countless other playgroups around the world via the Internet. She is the author of A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups
and the main force behind OnlinePlaygroup.com (http://www.onlineplaygroup.com).