Let’s play

I am currently helping out at our local playgroup, and learning alot about childcare. It’s a huge industry, and has alot of red-tape, bureaucracy like any other, and the focus on safeguarding is of course key. We run sessions in a church hall and we met this week with the vicar to discuss the rent, and had a committee meeting to look at our next fund-raiser. We are currently looking at changing the legal status of the organisation to reduce the financial liability for parents who are trustees and it’s really busy getting things finalised.

The actual business of looking after the children seems to be the easy bit, and the part that we all enjoy the most but somehow isn’t what we discuss that much. I think it’s the same for parents, the opportunities to play seem almost decadent at times, when there are so many chores and jobs that need doing. We all need time to play though, even grown-ups, and I feel a million times better for spending time with some friends last weekend.

The key issue seems to be that if we have the boring rules and regulations in place, and everyone is safely cared for, then the structures around us make us all feel safe. If the trust is breached for any reason we can’t enjoy life’s experiences.

For many people who didn’t have an easy time growing up, childhood was a missed opportunity, and it’s hard to recreate this for your own family if you didn’t experience it yourself. Feeling safe is a key issue. It’s also about forgiveness for me, as a mum I now understand how hard it is to raise a family, and find myself constantly climbing down from my high horse, and being less judgmental about other people, especially myself, my husband, my own lovely mum, who did her best for us all in really challenging circumstances. Forgiveness to me seems like an onion, it’s just layers that seem to go on and on and on.. you just think you’ve forgiven someone enough times, or put to bed enough “issues” from the past, when another one pops up.

I am having counselling at the moment, and it’s quite exhausting to go through this process of picking up something difficult, examining it, and then putting it down again, without throwing it at a wall in frustration. I’ve been watching Comic Relief does Strictly and one of the contestants spoke about not trying to avoid the storms life throws at you, but rather learning to dance in the rain and enjoy it. This is not easy to do! There is an art to jumping in puddles rather than raging at the sky and asking it not to rain!

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