The Playgroup

Some books are relevant regardless of when they were published.

When The Playgroup: Three Women Contend With the Myths of Motherhood, by Nina Barrett, came out in 1994, I was immersed in a life entirely different.  Grad school.  First in the building in the morning, last out, and research or writing late into the evening.  Ah, good times.

But then came motherhood.  And without good local friends and good blogging friends, I don’t know what I would have done!

The Playgroup is a great book exploring women’s choices.  Like The Other Mother, it explores the inner lives of three (the Other Mother was two) mothers who are at home full or part time with young children.  One is earthy-crunchy, one is mainstream and working part-time, and the third is trying to figure out what camp she really belongs in.  Their weekly playdates also serve as motherhood theory 101 discussions.  What’s right for the kids?  When do I start rice cereal?  How should the kids resolve conflict, and how much should we intervene?

There are few right answers, but Nina Barrett lays out the questions, and the answers for these particular women, very well.

The Playgroup is a great read for someone just entering the world of toddlerhood, or looking forward to a time when the kids are active, mobile … and very challenging!


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