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The Importance of Mommy Groups...

>> Wednesday, March 16, 2011

...And Mommy Friends!
   As a mom to an almost 6 year old daughter, a 4 year old daughter and a son to be delivered in 15 days, I have no idea how I've made it this long without joining a mommy group. I think part of it was my thought that since I live in a small town, there simply weren't any. Well, there actually weren't for quite awhile, so I stopped looking.
   Right now my friends that are local don't have children and they work full time jobs and/or are students. Most of my friends don't have kids. My closest mom friends are two hours away and with gas prices...well, you know. I talk everyday to one of my mom friends who lives in another state and I can tell you now, that bit of adult conversation, even if we're both half talking to each other & half scolding the kids for being loud or getting into something, it's truly golden. She helped me survive when my hubby was away with the military. And of course I did join online mom forums from time to time and connected that way...
  But there is something magical about getting together with other moms in person that totally get EVERYTHING you're going through. As luck would have it, I was taking one of my sick children [I swear kids are petri dishes for any and all viruses] to the pediatrician, when I ran into an old high school buddy. I knew she lived in my town at one point in her pre-mommy days, but had NO idea she still lived here! Anyways, in our reconnection she told me recently about a local Moms Group. They plan activities and get-togethers. I squealed. No I'm dead serious. I couldn't BELIEVE there was anything to do here! [I transplanted to this small southern town from San Diego...]
  So I'm going to be joining for some MUCH needed mom-interaction. It made me wonder how many other moms need some mom friends. I can't be the only one! The rut that we moms can get in after giving birth & getting a routine down with our little ones can really take a toll on our mental state. Even if you work outside the home everyday, having conversations with adults, you need some mom friends! If you are having Baby Blues or PPD [Post Partum Depression], I think it's especially important that you reach out to other moms. Getting out of the house, connecting with others, getting a break, can all aid in your well being and health. Because let's face it: Healthy, happy mom = healthy, happy family!

  Starting Your Mom Friend/Group Search:

*Moms.Meetup.Com: This website has an interactive WORLD map to help your search in mom friends.
Just click on the link above and search for your area! With over 3,500 groups listed in 23 countries, I'd say you have a pretty good shot! Even my small town had one listed and I swore there wasn't one. And there are MANY types of groups listed. Some for moms under thirty with kids under 5, moms who work outside the home, scrapbooking moms, dancing moms, moms of multiples, moms with a Dugger clan...

*MomsLikeMe.com: This site has groups in many states. It's not worldwide like Meetup, but it's one site that runs mommy groups in several US cities [even in Hawaii]. 
  The groups share Pediatrician & Preschool recommendations, baby clothes/gear buy, sell, trades, contests and SO much more. Each has an online community also, so you can stay in contact even when you're not at a get together!

*StrollerStrides.com: This one is probably my favorite just for the fact that I LOVE any way to stay fit and healthy. If you haven't heard of Stroller Strides, it's basically where you take fitness classes that you take your baby and stroller to. They are held outdoors in neighborhoods and parks on nice days and indoors at places like malls when the weather in not so nice. You basically do an hour long workout that incorporates you, your baby or kids and stroller!  
  There are different types of classes, you just have to search for your area to see what's offered. If joining one of the fitness groups doesn't fit for you, they have LUNA mom playgroup that is FREE! They typically meet after the classes, have some weekends and mom's night out meetings! If there isn't one in your area, you can always start your own [that's my plan later this year or early next]

*Google.com: If you have checked into the above three and have not found something that works: Google is your friend. Google "Mom Group _______" with your city/town name in the blank. Hopefully something comes up! But if not...proceed to the next step...

*Self-Starter: Start your own Mom Group! Post fliers at the grocery store, consignment store, fitness club, Pediatrician's office, OB-GYN office, and anywhere else you can think of! If you're shy, know that there are other shy moms out there. You're not alone. You don't have to do the mommy thing without mommy friends. I definitely wish I would have joined up with one a LOT sooner!

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