Finding Your Tribe: Why and Where to Find Mom Groups Near You
Motherhood is exhilarating and exhausting. It can also be lonely. For many moms, joining a mom group is the answer they need. Being a new mom can be scary, but finding your tribe can make all the difference.
What are the benefits?
The Real Experts:
Finding moms dealing with the same questions about sleep training and what exactly normal baby poop looks like is invaluable. Once you have a baby, even reading all the books on parenting you can find likely won't be enough. Moms going through the same things as you can be the resource you need for guidance and peace of mind. Let's face it – the real experts on being a mom are other moms and it's priceless to have your own go-to group.
For many moms, the moms in their mom groups become the friends they can lean on for babysitting exchanges or a night out without the baby when they just need a break. Many moms form babysitting swaps within their moms group both for date nights and daytime swaps so you can go to the doctor alone or just get some “me time” to read a book or take a nap!
Keep Your Interests:
Finding moms who can also recommend the best shows to binge watch during cluster feedings and who share your interests outside of motherhood will save your sanity and help you navigate how to hang on to the person you were pre-motherhood while raising a baby. Some mom groups incorporate the interests of the moms in the group, whether it's organizing baby-friendly hikes, crafting, or checking out museums with strollers in tow.
Many moms find that the friends they make in their moms groups become lifelong friends and that their kids become friends as well. There is no bond quite the bond you make with other moms in the trenches during the infant stage. For kids, there are few things as special as having friends they made before they could walk.
They Get It:
Every mom could benefit from a moms group, but this is especially true for moms of children with disabilities, adoptive moms, single moms, or any mom facing additional challenges. Finding a group of moms dealing with the issues as you might be the best thing you will do for yourself.
Leave the house. Guaranteed:
As an overwhelmed mom with a young child or two, getting out of the house may seem like an insurmountable task. Knowing your mom group is meeting is a great motivation to get yourself and the kid(s) ready and head out for a few hours.
So, a mom group sounds great, but where can you find one?
- Go the Facebook search bar and type in the name of your town and “moms.” Chances are no matter where you live at least a couple of groups will pop up. Join them and see where local moms hang out. Introduce yourself and ask questions about where to find the park with the best baby swings and suggest a playdate.
- If you are nursing seek out your local lactation center. Many run moms groups that provide more than just tips for nursing but also offer room for moms to ask any questions that are on their minds.
- See if the hospital or birthing center where you had your baby (or one nearby) has any new mothers groups. Many offer groups led by a nurse who will give advice about everything baby-related and also provide a safe place to talk about any concerns you have.
- Check with your church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship. Even if you have not been very active in the past, you may find your mom tribe with those in your community who share your faith. Many groups encourage moms to organize weekly playdates outside of the regular group meetings as well.
- Even if you find it hard to get out, you can still find your tribe online. Many moms find Facebook groups where they can connect with moms like them, whether their focus is on holistic health or meeting other Mocha Moms.
- While not technically moms groups, classes like Mommy & Me yoga or baby tunes can be a great place to find your mom tribe. Some outgoing moms will make an open offer to any mom in the group to go out for a walk or coffee after the class while plenty of other moms will approach one or two other moms they click with to make plans outside of class and form an informal moms group this way.
- If you love babywearing or are a working mom and want to connect with those who share similar interests do a search on Google and on Facebook to see if you find any groups near you. These can be very helpful in helping you find your tribe. Babywearing groups usually offer opportunities to try out new baby carriers and a group for working moms will schedule playdates on the weekends and mom-only meet-ups after work hours so you won't have to worry about missing out.
- Still can't find your tribe? Start one on your own. Pick and time and place and post an announcement of the first meeting of your new mom group on your neighborhood listserv, local Facebook group, and anywhere else you think local moms are likely to see it. Be sure to specify the target ages of the kids, how often you think you will meet, and whether you will have any moms night out events. Chances are there are other moms out there looking for their tribe too!
Some moms who don't join a mom group early on regret it later when they see the strong bonds other moms and kids have made. Keep in mind that it may take a couple of tries to find the group that's right for you. Don't feel shy about “shopping around” for a group that is a great fit for you. It's worth the effort!