There is a belief that the older you get, the harder it is to meet and make new friends. When you have kids, friendships can change ... sometimes our best friendships get neglected, or we lose friends who may not understand the changes that come with our new family. Parenthood is a very demanding job with little to no pay (unless you are counting hugs and kisses), long hours and very little acknowledgement (again insert hugs and kisses here). A support group that gives you a safe place to fall and feel understood, and provides a chance to learn from others' experiences is a gold mine to any parent. It can be a resource and assurance that we are not alone and that we will survive. This month, we want to introduce you to a great place that offers all of those things plus friendship for you and your little ones - BORED MEETINGS, Regina Parent & Tot Playdates hosted by Ms. Kate Murray.
KB: What is the Regina Parent & Tot Playdate - BORED Meetings?
KM: Regina Parent & Tot Bored Meetings are weekly play dates for people who would like to play and share with other parents and caregivers. It is an opportunity to meet new people, forge friendships and have our children learn through play.
KB: The "Bored Meetings" is an interesting name, where did the name come from and how did the group start?
KM: You are right, it is an interesting name! The Bored Meetings started with two lovely ladies - Rita Holowenko (from KinderBuzz) & Cheryl (from Moms & Munchkins Blog). They would organize outdoor playdates with special guests such as a photographer for free family portraits or a baby sign instructor, and met at Candy Cane Park. I came into the picture last winter. I had moved here from New Brunswick and had wanted to meet moms and have my child meet some friends. So, I decided to email KinderBuzz to see if a playgroup was needed. Rita, Cheryl, and I met and from that meeting, we met Lynda from the Regina Early Learning Centre. And the happy marriage between Bored Meetings and the Regina Family Early Centre was made!
KB: Where does the group meet up?
KM: We meet every Friday at the Scott Collegiate location from 10:00am - 11:30 am. In the summer, we meet at various outdoor locations.
KB: Is there a cost to attend or join the group?
KM: There is no cost to join. Sometimes we do playdates elsewhere and that information is always posted on our Facebook page.
KB: What age group would you say the meetings are geared toward?
KM: The age group is 0 to 6 years old.
KB: How do you think it helps parents to have a support group?
KM: It takes a village, not only to help little ones grow, but for the parents and care givers too. We are all just people, and we all need support. Maybe it is that smile when you come into the centre, or maybe it is just the need to get out of our homes for a change of scenery. At any group, we want everyone to feel welcome, regardless how your child acts, you will not be judged. Kids are kids. And we are all trying the best we can.
KB: What type of activities do the playgroups offer?
KM: The playgroup is very much a learn through play enviornment. There are crafts, make believe, musical instruments, wooden toys, in truly is a wonderful place to have a play group.
KB: How did you get involved with hosting?
KM: Honestly, I just asked! I love to meet people and I hope my daughter does too. I enjoy new ideas and other people's points of view. It has always been my "MO" to just go ahead and do it. Some of the moms have lovingly nick-named me 'Cruise Director' (I hope).
KB: What is your favourite thing about the Playgroup and hosting?
KM: I think my favourite part about hosting is the ability to reach out and connect. I lived in Saint John, New Bruinswick for 15 years. Meeting new friends as an adult, reminds me a bit of dating in your 20's. It is scary, awkward and lonely! So, I thought, if you build it, they may come! And they did. I have met lovely ladies my daughter now has a great bunch of little people to call her friends. I am very happy with how things are progressing and can't wait to see what is next.
Kate Murray is a mom, host of BORED MEETINGS & a Stella & Dot Stylist (www.stelladot.com/katemurray).
For more information about BORED MEETINGS - Regina's Parent & Tot Play Group, please visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/regina.bored.meetings.