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Time for Parenting...

...because raising children is a full-time job

Summer 2005 Newsletter

From the Chair; A Family Party?; The politics of motherhood; A New Arrival - starting a local group

A New Arrival! - The birth of a local support group

Starting a new venture of any kind can be much like having a child. Well, that's how it has felt for my sister-in-law, Davina, and me starting a local full-time parents' group.

The Pregnancy

For quite a while we had been thinking about doing something based in our church for local parents, but never quite sure in which direction to go. There seemed to be plenty of parent and toddler groups, so that didn't feel right.

Gradually the idea took shape that a support group specifically for full-time parents would be a great use of the facilities we had and our way of championing something we are passionate about, being full-time mums. Also, whilst I had been going to local parent and toddler groups over the last two years I had began to meet several other full-time mums and I was able to sound them out as to what they might like in a group.

We decided on meeting once a month, providing play activities for the children, having plenty of time for a chat over a brew and including some time for discussion or a guest speaker. One of the dilemmas we faced was what to call it. We settled on "full time parents" group, as I was aware of there being quite a few full time dads locally whom we would welcome.

The Birth

We began meeting in January of this year with a core group of six mums. Some came with children, some without as they were at school or playgroup.

We soon found that the chance to get away, relax and chat was so valuable and our first meeting revealed straight away that we have all faced similar struggles and joys. In March we had a speaker from Tearfund to mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight. Tearcraft, Traidcraft and Achky goods were available to buy as well as various fairtrade foods for sampling, mostly chocolate!! It was great to be a bit more outward looking as well as focusing on our own job as fulltime parents.

The Future

The group has already grown to about eight mums and we are hoping that an article in a local free magazine will attract more support. We would like to have more guest speakers and a special visit from "The Animal Man" is planned for the summer. Some of us aren't looking forward too much to the possibility of touching the snake but the children will love it, we hope!!

Just as I would heartily recommend having children, especially being a full-time mum, I would also recommend taking the time to start a group like this. Any extra work it may entail is well worth it. So have a go!