Playgroup: Your New Lifeline!

Like all young married couples, our marriage endured the typical trials of life. We married, we worked, we had babies, and we climbed the ladders of life together. Our first apartment was $165 a month and included furniture, utilities, and local phone service!

Our children were born in different cities. Kate was born during medical school in Boston, MA, Callie was born during residency, in St. Louis, MO, and John was born when we first started practice, in Charleston, SC.

In St. Louis, Missouri, during Jeff’s surgical residency, I made lifelong friendships. We were the only residents in our year with a child, so when Jeff was at the hospital 90 hours a week, I learned to knit, and I played with my darling baby girl. The other wives had no kids, but they had jobs and were busy during the day. A year into residency, I got a phone call from Beth, the wife of one of the other residents. She announced she was pregnant, and I was ecstatic! I would finally have a friend with whom I could share my daily life.

Beth and I were invited to join a medical residents auxiliary group, and through that group we found a group of young mothers with whom we became fast friends. “Playgroup” was formed. Playgroup was informal and we arranged our outings week-by-week. We met at parks, scheduled playgroup at our homes, or a local pool. Several times we met other mothers in the park and invited them to join our playgroup. We had birthday parties together and once we had playgroup WITHOUT our kids! That was fun!

I remember once when Carol (mother of four) said, “Okay everybody, empty your purses!” Every one of us had pacifiers, toys and other kid stuff mixed in with the wallets and car keys. Another time, we made a rule that to be a member of our playgroup, you had to still be wearing a nursing bra, even though you weren’t nursing anymore (It was a joke, but we all thought that was hilarious, because many of us were still wearing the old bras)! I think that was Carol’s idea, too!

Sometimes I would call Beth and say, “I have lettuce and tomatoes and cheddar cheese. What do you have?” We could throw together dinner based on what was in our refrigerators and have an instant mid-week party without spending any money!

We all had children who were one or two years old and we ended up all having our second babies within months of each other. At one time, we had six babies under six months old! The kids all spent their first five years playing together at least once or twice a week, and the mamas became “forever” friends.

When our residency ended after six years in St. Louis, we all went our separate ways, but we have stayed in touch through the years. That all happened more than 25 years ago. Now those babies are all grown up and getting married. It’s so much fun to go to their weddings and have happy reunions with our forever friends.

Playgroup was my lifeline in a hectic time of my life. If you are a busy mama and need a close group of friends, reach out through your children and form a playgroup. You and your kids will love it!

One Response to Playgroup: Your New Lifeline!

  1. Love this! Thanks, Sue!

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