Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Less is more, third time around
I told my friend how I am a bit more reluctant to go to playgroups a third time round. For a first time mum they are a lifesaver, a great way to make friends with other mums, a reason to get out of the house and have some interaction with people and can help a child to become more sociable too. Yet, without wishing to sound smug in any way, I feel that I am past that stage now.
This time round, I have friends I see regularly, mostly my eldest's nursery and school friends mothers. I am always out and about on school and nursery runs, getting bits done while they are at school and nursery and quite honestly, enjoying a bit of calm with the baby while it is just the two of us! Going to a playgroup and watching the baby stuff germ-ridden toys into her mouth while I force myself to chat to some other mothers is not high on my priority list these days!
I tell myself that it is different with a third child. She is used to having her siblings around and friends of theirs over sometimes too. It is always a lively time and she seems to be a sociable baby around other people. We went to some friends for dinner recently and I left the baby in the playroom with the older children and she was perfectly happy. The older children (all girls apart from my son in this case) looked after her and gave her toys and she was happy to be joining in with the others. I don't think I could have ever left either of my older two when they were babies in another room, unattended. Don't worry, I did keep going in and checking on her!
Once the weather gets better, we will all be enjoying the outdoors more and a walk to the park will be as nice for me as it will be for the baby so we will get out more and she will be more mobile then too. There is a music class I took my older daughter to quite often that I think I will take the baby to soon but I don't think I will be filing up our precious mornings too much.
The routines of my older two children impose a structure on our days that never existed with my eldest when he was the only baby. That changes things, as so much of my day with the baby revolves around drop-offs, pick-ups and activities that the older children do. Consequently, I like to have more relaxed mornings with the baby. She has her nap and I get a few bits done around the house. She wakes up and we play and get lunch ready before picking up my older daughter from nursery. Our morning time together is brief as it is and I am all too aware of how fast the sweet baby stage flies by so I want to make the most of it.
For those of you with two or more children, did you do less of the playgroups and baby classes with your younger children? Do you think it's inevitable that we do less activities (for want of a better word) with subsequent children or am I just being lazy about not taking her to more groups?!