Gone are the days when extended families lived nearby, offering an automatic circle of support to new mothers. Stay-at-home moms may face times of loneliness and long for adult interaction. They may wish for the company of other moms to get questions answered, share stories, and find friends for their kids. Moms who work also long for support and friendship as they seek to find balance between family, work and friendships.
Although online forums and Facebook groups offer a valuable means of support and an avenue of connection with other moms, nothing replaces the satisfaction of face-to-face contact and interaction with other women. Many communities have a variety of new mom groups, from intimate playgroups among friends, to chapters of national or worldwide organizations. New mom groups can be social in nature, with a wide range of moms and parenting styles. Other groups focus around a parenting style, a medical condition, a particular faith or belief system, the age of the child, or other unique characteristics of the mom, child, or family.
If you are looking for one of these new mom groups to join and can’t find one that is a good fit, you might feel inspired to start your own group. The easiest way to start a group is to begin with people you know, perhaps with women from church, work or your neighborhood. However, you might not be a church member, you’re new to the neighborhood, you just became a stay-at-home mom, or you are the first in your group of friends to have a child. Here are some tips that can help you find your tribe.
What Will Be the Common Bond of the Group?
When creating a new mom group, what common thread will bring new members to the group? Some ideas include:
- Moms who were in your childbirth education class or who had the same doctor/midwife/doula
- Moms who live in your neighborhood
- Kids born in the same month or within a range of months; toddlers, preschoolers, etc.
- Moms who are part of the same faith; church, synagogue, congregation
- Moms who love Starbucks (or baking, or wine, or Zumba, or marathons, or any kind of activity)
- A walking group that meets at a local park
- Moms of kids who go to the same school or play the same sport
- Moms of multiples, only children, large families
- A support group that is a chapter of a formal organization
Consider a Format for Your Meetings
Your group can be a social affair or there can be topics of discussion, guest speakers, field trips or activities. It can be an evening or Saturday morning group just for moms, or it can be a play group for the littles with social time for the moms. Your mom group can be informal, where members take turns hosting meetings in their homes or meet at a park or coffee house. Perhaps your group will meet weekly for a small playgroup or monthly as a formal group. If you are creating a support group that is part of a large organization, you might need to find meeting space at a library, church, community center or business.
Getting the Word Out
While a personal invitation from you is an effective way to let other moms know about your group, you may need some methods to broadcast your group’s existence and reach out to women. Use as many of these outlets to give moms a way to find out about your group.
Contact businesses and professionals in your community who work with women and kids. Birth and postpartum doulas, childbirth educators, midwives, pediatricians, birth centers, yoga studios, maternity stores, and kids’ consignment shops are just a few suggestions. Create an email announcement about your group that business owners can send to clients, or make flyers that businesses can distribute to customers.
Add your group to Meetup.com or create a Facebook Group and share it with everyone you know. Make sure you have the web address on your email announcement and flyers along with your contact information so your group is easy to find. If your neighborhood has an email list or participates in a private social network like Next Door, send out an announcement.
Many cities have local bloggers who write about family and mom-centric events in their communities. If there are family bloggers in your area, reach out to them and see if they can either write about your group or add your meeting to their event calendar.
Get Business Savvy
Find businesses that have community bulletin boards and put up flyers announcing your group. Some community centers may also have a bulletin board or area for flyers available.
If you create a chapter of a large organization in your community, you should have a lot of marketing support from the main office. Larger organizations often have printed materials you can tailor for your group, a group web page you can manage, and a master list of all their groups.
You’ve found your niche, made a plan, set a date and put the word out about your mom’s group. Now it’s time to get together and connect with your tribe. Don’t be discouraged if your initial turnout is smaller than expected. Have a consistent meeting time, be sure to answer emails and calls about the group, and your connections will grow over time. Members who attend and enjoy themselves will spread the word to other moms they know. Soon enough, your new mom group will flourish. Over time, you may find that your group is a catalyst for bringing together women and kids who will bond and become lifelong friends. Enjoy!
So sadly there are no mom groups I can find in my area and I would really love to have some mommy friends. I live in Northern Nevada. Any other moms? Or any other mommies wanna trade emails! I’m 21 years old and have been with my husband for over 6 years. Pregnant with our first at 39 weeks!
Ok so I left California and moved back to Missouri to be close to my hubby’s family. Our son is the first grandchild on his side so wanted to be closer to his parents but now that he is 2 and getting back to a normal social life I really realize how alone I feel here. Most of my friends are back in California and the mom groups I join only want to do kid-friendly activities. Help!