I will start by saying, a lot of parents will probably hate me for this post.
To most, soft play is a hell hole of colourful equipment and screaming children, with bright lighting and terrible coffee.
I do actually agree with that but at the same time I have an overwhelming sense of ” Soft Play Mum Guilt”…. Because….. I can’t take my pre-schooler on my own.
“Oh boo!” “What an absolute shame!” I hear the parents out there cry. It genuinely does sadden me though.
Because of the issues I have with my back and mobility, I just can’t physically do it on my own. (Read more about my back issues here if you want to.) I need someone else with me so they can take him around.
I’m sure things will change in a year or so when my son decides he can adventure around these places on his own. But at the moment he still needs a helping hand and he doesn’t want to play on the baby equipment! Of course not! He wants to be in the main section with all the bigger kids… On equipment he is too small to climb.
I can’t lift or carry him any more so this puts me at a massive disadvantage. He needs help and I just can’t do it. If I do, the likely hood of me being bedbound the following day is too high to risk it.
He absolutely loves soft play and asks to go all the time. We have a full day off together during the week and I’d love to take him. Especially as we have zoo cards which means we don’t pay entry and they have a good soft play centre! (Even the coffee isn’t terrible.) But I just can’t.
The Mum Guilt has hit me harder through the winter as there’s only so much we can do. It’s too chilly to be down the beach for long and even riding the escalator in The Range gets a bit boring after the third week in a row.
How many parents ever say “I want to take my kid to soft play!”? Well this one does and I really can’t wait for the day I can… Though he’ll probably be at school by then!
So next time you’re sitting in that brightly lit, loud hell hole, enjoy your shit coffee and just think of me. I’ll be riding an escalator, looking at crap toys and telling a 3 year old he can’t eat pic N mix animal food.