How long have you been attending Playcentre?
“My oldest is about to turn 13 and I started at an infant programme at Playcentre [with him] when he was 6 months old. I carried on having babies and they all came through Playcentre. So around 12 years. I couldn’t count the amount of people I’ve met through Playcentre!”
What’s your happiest moments at Playcentre?
Those moments when your kids reach something. Like, Angus was very shy and reserved and would cling to me. This year he suddenly opened up and is making little friendships. Just seeing him in the sandpit with his wee mates, for like half an hour and not even come to me. It’s amazing being able to witness that. Playcentre enables you to be able to see those things that you wouldn’t otherwise see.
Do you ever have times when you just think ‘I can’t do this today’?
Absolutely. Especially when Eliza was little. It’s so much harder with a baby and a pre-schooler. Incredibly hard. But, I know that the fruits are coming in; it’s going to get easier. That keeps you going. Plus, I’m better for the contact with other people. Everyone understands. There’s always someone else who’s been through something similar. Everyone’s been there!
What keeps bringing you back?
“That adult contact, because I don’t have a lot of family. My Mum had motor-neurones disease, she passed away 2 years ago. She was diagnosed in 2000 and within two or three years she was in a wheelchair, so she didn’t get to come to Playcentre, she couldn’t come be the grandma, so I had to go visit her if I wanted to have that contact for the kids. I didn’t have sister’s either; I only have three brothers. I was kind of alone but not alone, as a parent, if you know what I mean. Since then, my brother has had lots of kids but he lives out of town, so it’s a little bit hard to have that consistent contact.”
Eliza is my only girl. I had 5 boys and then a girl. My mum knew we were having a girl, it was our little secret. She passed away in the July and Eliza was born in September, so she never got to meet her. Eliza is kind of like that little blessing that’s kept me going. So she’s very special. She’s named after my Mum – Mum was Mary Elizabeth, and she’s Eliza.
Who is the most supportive person in your life and how do they support you?
My husband. Totally. He absolutely understands me and no matter what my crazy idea is, he’ll support me through it.