back to the ol’ typewriter


I am working on one more essay for my book, to replace my ruminations on Cookie magazine. I wrote most of that essay before the announcement that Cookie was going out of business, but while those thoughts are very pertinent at the moment, they will be ancient history by next spring.

So this week, I’m working on a chapter about “Mommy and Me” classes. I took Connor to eight different classes before he was two years old. Seamus, two or three. Maggie? Her babysitter takes her. I assume this is a quite ordinary progression for families with more than one children. But I am wondering if the “Mommy and Me” class landscape looms quite as large in places that are not New York City. Here, there are hundreds of offerings, many just a short walk from our door. Some are great, some are pretty lame. But what they all offer is an overpriced way for a mother and her baby to get out of their cramped, dark apartment for 45 minutes on a wintry Tuesday morning. Mothers in New York City go to tons of these classes with their babies, but we don’t have yards, or basements, or dedicated playrooms. (We eventually created a playroom in our apartment, but that meant giving up a den.) We don’t even have superstores to drive to and wander the aisles thereof. Mommy and Me classes are where we have to go.

So I’m wondering: where you live, are Mommy and Me classes popular? Do you go to them? Do you feel the pressure to sign up so that your baby can keep up with the rest? Do you love them or dread them?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina October 16, 2009 at 2:26 am

Yes, totally agree on the overpriced factor. We have been in Singapore for a few years and now have a 13 month old. With the tropical searing sun beating down outside coupled with shoebox apartments, mommy and me type classes with their airconditioning are also immensely popular here. I for one think these classes are raking in lots of moola.

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Anonymous October 17, 2009 at 11:23 am

We live in rural PA about an hour outside of Pittsburgh and I dont even think Mommy and Me classes are offered anywhere near here…. our biggest pressures that are around here is to stay home with your children. So many women can stay home here and if you don't you feel guilty and that your priorities are not in the correct order…. I'm sure if there were mommy & me classes around here we will be pressured into attending them though!

Jessica Bish
Dayton, PA

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Kelly B. October 18, 2009 at 2:19 am

I'm just an hour North of Dayton, OH. There aren't any Mommy & Me classes around. I'll admit I desperately searched for anything similar in the first few months of my daughters life. MOPS is all that is around here and they meet in the evenings which wouldn't help me out any really because that's when my support team (aka my husband) was home and able to give me the mental break I needed from non-stop baby. It's funny that you mentioned department stores because that was my retreat during the day when I couldn't handle being home any longer, and when I didn't feel like taking one more lap around the block.
I never knew they charged to take those classes. I wouldn't have been able to do it. Not on my SAHM salary, haha!

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Anonymous October 22, 2009 at 4:20 am

Lots of Mommy and Me here in LA.

However, by choosing to be a one-income family and living on the very expensive and hip west side, we pretty much chose to not be able to afford any Mommy and Me stuff.

With my first child, with whom I suffered very bad post-partem depression, I did go to a Mommy and Me type group. I hated it because everyone else seemed relatively happy and I couldn't understand why they weren't as miserable as I was. I didn't realize yet that I had a problem.

That was my only real experience, beyond the music class my mother in law has taken both my babies too, and which I've visited from time to time. Awesome teacher with a very wicked sense of humor and quirky intelligence, but otherwise, what a bore: watching all those kids wander around the room obliviously while children's songs are playing.

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