I have officially joined the local mothers' club. It felt so...well...weird doing it for some reason. I'm not a joiner, for one thing, and much prefer hanging out in my kitchen alone on the computer or else sewing or reading or some other solitary pursuit. Plus, I have friends already. They're good friends that I've known for some time and like very much. Most of them work, though, so it's all I can do to maintain those relationships. For that matter, it's all I can do to squeeze in things like sewing and reading and hanging out on-line, so why am I doing this? For baby Bean, of course. I'm doing it for the playgroups.
But I'm beginning to have the sneaking suspicion that there is a playgroup culture out there that I'm so not privy to. I never did join a playgroup when Sister was little because I was working and already had too much to do. So it was a surprise when the mothers' club sent out the roster of people looking for playgroups and attached articles about playgroups that we were supposed to read. 'Cause playgroups require research and preparation, I guess. And then there's the overachieving mom who called me at friggin' 10 p.m. last night because she's taken it upon herself to organize the roster into a spreadsheet with names listed according to different criteria. She's getting her master's in information science, she told me gushingly, and just hated to have a semi-functional system out there. I went to the open playgroup last week with Bean to meet some of the parents, and more than one mom gave me recommendations quoted from those articles or from the mothers' club meeting speaker about how playgroups are supposed to be run and who should be in them. It was a bit freaky.
I just can't bring myself to research how I'm supposed to be scheduling Bean's playtime for optimal fun and learning or whatever, so I'm turning to you mamas out there before I sign up. Have any of you ever joined playgroups? Recommended or not? Any words of advice? And how do you avoid the overachieving, uber-mamas and just find some nice, relaxed mamas with nice, relaxed kids?