Becoming a mom for the first time is both exciting and scary. On one hand, you feel as though you could sit on the couch and stare at your little one all day, every day. On the other hand, you feel isolated and insecure about your new role as “mom”.
Motherhood introduces you to an entire new world, with a whole new set of experiences. Some are fantastic while others you could do without. The good news is that you don’t have to navigate through this time alone. There are countless other moms, just like you, right in your own neighbourhood who feel exactly the same as you do.
So, how can you meet them? A great way is through a mommy group.
Mommy groups offer not only a terrific reason to get out of the house, but a network of local moms who are experiencing what you are at the same time. They offer structure at a time in your life when routine has gone out of the window. They allow you to interact with other women who understand when you arrive with breast milk stains on your shirt or with a baby and a diaper filled with poop! Mom groups may also introduce you to long-term friends; other moms who will be there once maternity leave ends and a whole new chapter begins.
There are many different kinds of mommy groups available. Some groups are casual, meeting at a different house each week for coffee and nibbles as the moms chitchat and the babies play. Others require a fee in exchange for guest speakers, classes, workshops and even samples.
Whatever your interest, there’s a mommy group available that’s right for you and your baby.
Finding the Right Mommy Group For You
There are a number of ways you can find out about mommy groups in your area.
Word of mouth is a fantastic way to learn about a mommy group. Ask your neighbours, friends and family members. Other people to ask may include your paediatrician, family doctor, lactation consultant, and public health nurse.
Join a Class
A variety of classes are available in your community for you and your baby to enjoy. These classes can also point you to a mommy group that is right for you. Visit your local library for story time, sign up for mommy and baby yoga and if you’re breastfeeding, take advantage of your local breastfeeding support group.
There is an abundance of online resources available for finding moms in your area. Type in a search in Google, or check out such social networks as Meetup.com or Facebook.
Start Your Own
If there are limited or no groups around you, why not start your own? First, decide what type of group you would like to start, whether it’s solely for socializing or more focused on a certain subject like breastfeeding, fitness or a hobby. Then get the word out through friends and family. Advertise through social networks like Facebook and Twitter or online mom forums and post to the community boards at your local library, fitness centre and grocery store.
Mommy groups offer a wonderful way to meet other moms, relieve anxieties and add a fun activity to your new schedule. Who knows, you and your baby might even meet a lifelong friend!