Persistent playgroup attendance has a protective factors for moms, says science.
It's been about a month since the most famous new mom in the world, the former Meghan Markle, told the world that she is not okay. When she opened up to ITV News at Ten anchor Tom Bradby that the reality of early motherhood is harder than people realize, moms around the world nodded in agreement.
Now Markle is meeting some moms IRL who will understand what she's going through. The Duchess of Sussex has been taking baby Archie to a local playgroup and has stated publicly that the little guy loves it.
In many ways, Meghan Markle's experiences of new motherhood are magnified—her parenting choices are judged on a global scale and her fame isolates her. While most of us can't relate to the extreme wealth and privilege that are ever present in Markle's life, we can certainly relate to the feelings of isolation and judgement.
Playgroups can be an antidote to these feelings but only if moms give them a chance by continuing to attend and try different groups, even if the first time or two is awkward.
As now-retired parenting author Kathy Lynn told Canadian Family magazine back in 2012, "sometimes it takes a few attempts before you find a good group and personality fit. The key is not to give up too easily."
A study released in 2015 proved Lynn right, concluding that playgroups can act as a protective factor for socially isolated mothers, but only if they attend persistently. Playgroups help moms make connections with other moms, which is so important, and they also help moms learn new parenting strategies and ways to communicate with their babies.
We also love to hear that Prince Harry recently started attending the playgroup with Meghan and Archie because just by being there Harry is helping normalize dads being involved in childcare. Sometimes mama needs to go to a playgroup and chat with other moms, and sometimes she just needs some time to herself—time she can have if dad takes the baby to playgroup.