Should I Feel Guilty About Having Never Gone To A Baby Group?

Should I Feel Guilty About Having Never Gone To A Baby Group?

Most likely, is the probable answer.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that the look of horror across other mother’s faces when I inform them of this fact (which is then followed by the seemingly forever creased look of dismay with an added hint of concern) is the female universal signal for CALL SOCIAL SERVICES NOW THIS MOTHER IS UNFIT. It’s as if having never attended an NCT class makes me the ultimate offender in the parenting world and I usually put my foot in it, like this:

**Note – names have been altered for anonymity**

Set scene – Friend’s house/Baby Clinic/Paediatric Waiting Room

Unknown Mother 1: Bougainvillea here just adores her sensory classes. We really feel that she benefits from being able to hear and see at the same time. Where is your nearest one, has the leader been Ofsted registered? Or do they not bother in your area. Where are you from again?

Me: I think there’s one in Surbiton.

Unknown Mother 2: Oh, you…think?

Me: We’ve never actually been to *i don’t really say this next bit but I often wish I could* an oity toity up your swany pissing overly pretentious full of disengaging mothers groups where I’d feel left out anyway because I’m 2/3 of your age and when you all find out you’ll start to blank me anyway and blame me for your wrinkles and then realise i exist again with a pitiful smile.

 

And then there’s the whole “Why don’t you go to any?” or “How come you didn’t do NCT?” and setting aside the extortionate costs in comparison to the Midwife-led antenatal classes, and then the whole point that we don’t particularly need to pay for groups when we do all the usual developmental activities and more with our daughter at home and then we do have several close friends with babies the same age as well…er well sorry rich mummies but we like to save our pounds and time for the important things in life like food and clothes and giving to The Dog’s Trust.

OF COURSE, preparing for parenthood is so important, especially when it’s your first time. But to accuse someone of not preparing enough just because they take a different approach? Not cool. We’re supposed to be in this all together, and to support each other. If there’s one thing I’ve found that’s really saddened me, is that no matter whether women are mothers or sisters or friends or even passing acquaintances, bitchiness never leaves and it’s like this insane competition to be the best at something. Parenting is NOT a competition. How dare there be this perception that money means that something – or someone – is the best. What gives anyone the right to sit there and tell me that I should be feeling guilty for not going back in time and attending classes that I can’t afford and frankly, don’t want to go to, because there are cheaper – and free – alternatives available, run by professionals who know what they’re bloody talking about. How dare, someone who doesn’t even know my family, make presumptions about our parenting routine. My baby is 5 months old today and she is happy, loved and developing extremely well for the circumstances. So back off with your remarks because frankly, I really don’t give a crap.

And yes, I’m happy waking several times a night still to feed and love my baby because i’d much rather do that than ram a routine down her throat before she’s ready and well enough to do so.

x

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2 Comments

  1. October 8, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    It’s a shame you’ve had this kind of experience and you’re so right that we need to be in this together and respect each other’s approach to parenting.

    I have a 5 month old and don’t take him to any classes either. They so don’t need that much at that age and I think you can overstimulate them. A lot of the people I met at NCT (I did it as I fancied trying to get to know a few people. Who I now don’t hang out with…) are meeting up and going to baby sensory, baby massage, baby whatever. I don’t think it’s (always) about money, I think it’s about THEM getting out the house and needing some kind of structure to their lives (which is fine too).

    I also have a 2 year old daughter and I tried to do a few things with her when she was a baby but it was just exhausting for her and me. It would always coincide with nap times so she could never enjoy it anyway. I think babies are happy exploring the world around them and figuring out their own bodies. My 5 month old has found his feet and wants to roll over. Obviously I do more than that with him at home, but it shows you don’t need to whisk them here there and everywhere to help their development.

    My daughter now loves getting out the house and going to playgroups etc, so I’m happy to do it for her. I must say though, it’s also good for me as I can get bored of my own company being stuck at home alone with a restless toddler and baby.

    Sometimes you see some lost souls at the play groups. It’s a shame you think they are judging you. I’d say half the time they do NCT/group activities as they don’t know what else to do, lack connection with others or are just extroverts who need to be around other people. I’m gutted you’ve had rude comments from others about your choices. So not cool. Try not to dwell on them, you’re doing an amazing job xx

    P.s just realised my comment is rather long. Sorry for the verbal diarrhoea! (must get out more)

    • crohnicmummablog
      October 8, 2016 / 5:20 pm

      Such a fab reply, thank you! I completely agree with you and I should have mentioned about the need to get out the house, I just completely forgot oops! Maybe it’s just the area I’m in and the fact that I am a younger mother but I think I’m just always shocked at the lack of polite comments as opposed to the judgemental ones. I really shouldn’t let it bother me and I’m glad I’m not alone in not attending groups! And thank you, we all do our best and I always tell myself that I’m the lucky one for the privilege of having a family Thank you again for such a great comment (and for reading more than a paragraph!) XXX

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