Playgroups are not the best way to socialize either yourself or your child. Playgroups come in a wide variety of forms from structured craft mornings and musical sessions to meetings at the local park. They generally all have two things in common, a dozen or so mums who struggle to remember each others names and at least that many little ones attempting to play nicely together.
Playing nicely together is the first hurdle. Much poking, pushing, taking, snatching and crying ensues. The problem stems from the uncertainty about parental duty. Every parent has as slightly different view about what constitutes socially acceptable behaviour. Just how much clumsy pushing and touching is okay. If these concerns seem silly they are only proven as you watch other mums apologise to each other as one clumsy baby pushes too close to another.
The next hurdle is that generally anyone is welcome to turn up. Now I am not saying mums should avoid new people, just that when a dozen relatively random mums turn up it is pretty likely that the baby will be the most they have in common. Making small talk with a mum who has completely different parenting ideologies is tedious at best, at worst it leaves you feel like a crap mum.
Instead of trying to super-socialise our children in a playgroup environment, mums should just be looking for a small group of similar and likeminded mums. A handful of mums that know each other well, that have enough things in common that it is easy to accept the differences.
Playgroups are one of many ways to meet other mums, like a dating pool for new mums. However once the friends are made, and the group is formed they really do not need revisiting (until the next time you are stalking for a mum to join your circle!).