Today is Friday – Babycircus Day! The little one enjoys it more and more…by now, she is laughing out loud when I hold her upside down or roll her over and she is really enjoying the company of other babies.
We have only been here for four weeks, but I already know that this is something I am going to miss when we’ll return to Switzerland. Here in Finland, we joined a baby swimming class, once a week we go to a musical playschool and then on Fridays the babycircus. The latter two take place at an adventure park with so many great offers for kids – spending a summer day at the playground must be heaven for children! All of these courses are really affordable. We paid around 80 Euros for the swimming course, and if the little one is indisposed one week, we can simply come on another day. The two courses at the adventure park cost 2,50 Euro each time you go. So you can come whenever you feel like it and don’t have to worry about missing it.
In the town we normally live in, there is a baby massage for free once a month. That’s it. Oh yes, and two afternoons where you can meet other families and have some coffee and cake. There are toys for the children, but basically they play on their own while the parents have some time to relax and chat. Which is nice, undoubtedly , and I might happily take that offer in the future, but right now it is not what I am looking for with a baby that just started crawling. I am looking for these typical baby courses with singing, games and stuff like that. And I am not the only one – most of the mums that I have met in our town said that they don’t really know any songs or games to play with a baby and that they would love to learn some.
There are courses in Zürich, yes. I found one course where the children can try all sorts of different fabrics and toys while the mothers carefully watch and instruct them. Doesn’t sound too bad, but it costs 175 CHF for 7 times. That around 20 Euros for each time!! The baby swimming that we signed up for in spring costs 250 CHF for 10 times (30 minutes!) and if you miss one class, you are not allowed to join on another day. I am very well aware that the cost of living is extremely high in Switzerland since most of the people receive a high salary as well. But we only have one income and it’s not that much since PhDs are not known for exorbitant salaries. So for us it is a whole lot of money, and I am wondering when raising and supporting children became such a business. For me, right now, joining Swiss baby courses or even playgroups seems to be a very elitist thing to do. Before I had a child, I wasn’t aware that there are such big differences between European countries in terms of childcare.
Then again, I am wondering whether I really have to join a baby course or not. I am convinced that it is not just good for the mothers to meet up with others, but that the baby benefits from it as well. But is my child going to be shy, mum-focused and socially incapable if she is not used to being around other children? It’s my first child, I have no idea. I hope not. I am probably worrying too much. But I think maybe I should just start my own little, private baby course….