Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Playcentre Mum, afterall?

Nearly two years ago, we started going to Playcentre.
It took a bit of convincing to get me there but, once we had had a few visits, it was clear that Otto is very definitely a Playcentre child. He thrives on the freedom of play and huge range of play areas, the social interactions and relationships and the general philosophy. He adores his time there, and the people we attend with. He was easily won over.

I, on the other hand, have always maintained that although I might attend Playcentre but I am NOT a 'Playcentre Mum'. I've never really felt like it was something I wanted to get too involved in. I have resisted the processes - delayed getting a 'role', put off creating a profile book and dodged any sort of education for as long as I could. I have attended the bare minimum of meetings, stayed out of most decision making processes and not really contributed in a big way to the session planning and activities. I'vebeen a total slacker, basically.
When I, lately, stopped feeling like our sessions were filling my social quota for the week (due to people leaving/relationships changing etc), I was even (selfishly) considering leaving altogether and putting Otto into homecare fulltime instead.
(Cause I mean, really, if I couldn't sit around the kai table and catch up on the gossip/bitch about not getting enough sleep, surely it wasn't worth going?)

These past few weeks though... I have felt an urge to dive, head first, into it all.
I think, maybe, the 'Playcentre Way' is slowly inching its way into my brain, turning me into far more of a traditional Playcentre Mum than I ever thought I would be.
I completed my course 1 (finally!) recently, and I have been relishing writing learning stories the past month. I am aiming to write at least two a week this term, and am well surpassing my goal! (Loving this, actually! I take back anything mocking I ever said about scrapbookers. Hah!)
And I've filled out my enrolment forms for course 2, with plans to start next term.

I'm not sure what has caused this shift.
I think, perhaps, it has a lot to do with accepting that I will be there for another 5 years. Accepting that this is not a 'in the meantime' thing to do before the kids head off to kindy/preschool. I think I've realised that this IS their pre-school education, and I want it to be the absolute best it can be.
I want them, and me, to get as much out of it as possible. And that involves me being as educated and 'into it' as possible. It involves me taking a lot more ownership and responsibility, and sinking in a lot more energy and emotion. It pretty much means I need to get off my butt, and really start pulling my weight and doing stuff.

It is both exciting and rather bloomin' daunting, but I can't wait to see what difference this shift makes to our Playcentre experience.
And I can't wait to see how much it, in turn, changes and strengthens my relationships with my kids. That, afterall, is the main reason and driving force behind it all.

Is your family a Playcentre family?


  1. Can relate to all that avoidance thing... spinning the first 'free' visits
    We went to Playcentre. I managed my course 1 pretty quickly but had trouble getting on with the course 2. At about the same time, Gil went NUTS and decided that his 'schema of play' would be the DESTRUCTION type. (knocking down stuff, swiping stuff off table, hiffing stuff around etc..Our playcentre was full of kids that couldn't relate and it was a very stressful experience for me in the end, so we left.

    I loved it. It's an amazing thing we have here - unique in the world. Such a great concept and can work really well.

    But Gil made up his own mind I believe. He followed his brothers and became a kindy boy and loved it. I think the structures suited him more. (although our kindy is a relaxed one)

    Learning Stories are fun and putting those little books together was really enjoyable!

    By the way, I have another similar pram.. I'll put it in a post soon.. It is sitting in my sister-in-law's garage and if you want to borrow it until you've finished with it you can (just got to pick it up from over here tho if you can) You don't have to, but if you want to you're welcome. I would give it to you but I like lending it out to peeps who need it/appreciate the vintage pram love!

  2. Oh Rhiannon, that's so cute. I am totes NOT a playcentre mum, but that might be because when my bubs were bubs...our playcentre had some very dominant families in charge ...who also are ruling our school so to speak. And I didn't want to spend time with them. however we have some excellent playgroups in our area that my kids thrived in til Kindy time.

  3. Hopefully one day we will be. We are very lucky to have two playcentres in our suburb so if one is not for us we can try the other one. The good thing about living in a place nicknamed nappy valley is theres tons of preschool options!

  4. I've been looking at getting a long to a play center... I have a friend who is VERY into it. She's kinda inspiring (and makes me feel totally slack and like my little girl could be having SO much more fun in her little life)


    So glad you're changing the attitude (and its changing you!) :)


  5. :) Love PC.
    I think North Island PC is different from South Island PC though, we have paid supervisers (all parents) who do most of the learning stories and lead the sessions, do planning etc...

  6. I'm gonna be brave next term and get onto the local PC wait list for Archer. It's totally not my scene (you can imagine what most of the mums round here are like...) but a friend of mine is right into it and insists I'll love it. we will see...