I have had a really hard time finding a mom group that I mesh with. I've joined three - maybe four - and nearly 14 months later I think I might have found a good fit.
I met all these groups on MeetUp.com. Most playdate groups are private until you join, which means you can't see their schedule or rules until you apply and are accepted to join. Because of this, I've had a lot of my time wasted and joined a lot of groups that were... well, horrible.
Problem One - Impersonal Locations
The first mom group I joined was a large group with frequent meetups all over town. Each meetup had a different cliche that RSVP'd yes, and the locations were always crowded museums or busy coffee shops. As a newbie it was hard to figure out which group of women I was there to meet, and it was impossible to supervise Hannah and be attentive during the conversations. They eventually kicked me out of the group because I never attended any meetups, when really I just never could FIND the other members and NO ONE was friendly. FAIL.
Problem Two - Flakes and No Shows
The second group was full of moms that would RSVP yes and then slowly change their response to a No the day of - sick, naptime, chores, relatives in town, zombie apocalypse, you name it, they used the excuse. This happened weekend after weekend, monday morning playdate after playdate. I chalked it up to a busy summer, but the straw that broke the camels back was when 30 mom & baby duos were supposed to meet at the zoo. Hannah and I waited at the entrance for nearly an hour but no one showed. When I got home my inbox was full of excuses. I silently flipped them the bird and left the group.
Problem Three - Unfriendly to Working Moms / Just Plain Rude
The third group had a consistent Wednesday morning meet up that I couldn't attend, but I DID enjoy the weekend play dates. Eventually the group admin stopped posting new meetups because the Wednesday group was happy with their cliche and they didn't care about the rest of us that met up on the weekends. Rude.
Problem Four - No Men Allowed
Back when Chris and I stayed home on Fridays with Hannah, we liked to go out and do things as a family. The playgroup I was apart of at that time had fun meetups on Fridays but had a strict policy that fathers were only allowed to attend events on Saturday or Sundays - no men during the work week. WTF. No thanks.
But now I've found a group that feels like it might be a good fit. The parents are older, the dads are invited to the meetups, they schedule outings for JUST the adults as well as playdates. Most importantly I get a good vibe from the group's leader - she's been burned by other playgroups as well and seems to be open and accommodating. The kids are all close in age, and most of the parents seem to work so they understand the balance of work/home life. Hopefully this will continue to be a good fit for my family.
Are YOU part of a playdate group?
Have you been burned by a Mom group in the past?
Share your horror stories as well as tips & tricks for finding a good fit.