I'm that mom who was terrified to join a mom's group for an entire year after my daughter was born. I was simply intimidated by the whole thing and wanted no part of an afternoon sitting around talking to other moms, all of whom would be complete strangers. Now I'm that mom who gets totally grumpy when her daughter is sick and she can't make it to mom's group. I'm so glad I joined a moms' group after all, and can't imagine parenthood without the support of the women I've had the pleasure of befriending.
I'm sort of the prime candidate for a moms' group: I moved to a new city five weeks before my daughter joined our family and, as a result of that new move, I knew virtually no one in my community. Because my daughter joined our family via adoption, though, I had some hang ups about hanging out with a bunch of women who had given birth to their daughters. I didn't want to show up and feel more insecure about being a new mom than I already did. Needless to say, and thankfully, my moms' group makes me feel the opposite. I don't think I've ever been more relieved to be wrong.
I'm a big advocate for finding the right moms' group for you and joining when it feels like the right time. For me, I needed a year with my adopted daughter and several foster babies to feel comfortable enough to join a moms' group. For others, the time might come much sooner, or not at all. You do you when it comes to moms' groups, or any other parenting decision, but I'm so glad I eventually made the jump.
Because It's Like Free Therapy
Spending two hours every Friday morning while my daughter is watched by lovely daycare workers 100 yards away is like free therapy. I mean, it's no substitute for the real thing, but talking about mom life and woman life with like-minded women, and enjoying a laugh (or a cry) in the process, is great for the soul.
Because I Found My Kind Of Moms
I think finding a group of people you relate to is the key to moms' group happiness. I think every mom interested in the moms' group life should feel free to take her time, try a few groups before picking one, and asking a slew of questions.
I hated the first moms' group I tried, simply because I felt uncomfortable and out of place with women who were all long-time stay-at-home moms. I knew that wasn't going to be my experience as a mother, and while their experience is valid, I wanted (and needed) advice and understanding from working moms who would be going through and dealing with the same difficulties I was sure to face.
Because I Can Ask Real Questions
Rather than posting to my entire Facebook feed whatever latest mom question I have, I can ask real moms in real life who are far less likely to go ahead and judge me behind the comfort of a computer screen. Plus, in a group of at 10-20 women, someone is bound to go through something I'm currently experiencing, so I know they'll be able to offer me advice or at least help me commiserate.
Because Free Daycare 100 Yards Away
I'll freely admit that I would not be nearly as enamored with a moms' group that involved watching my child like a hawk for two hours to make sure she didn't steal someone's toy or trip over some other kid's leg. My moms' group offers free childcare and it's the most glorious gift.
All those random pieces of baby gear that moms need, but don't need for too long, get passed around. Anyone babywearing? Anyone have ridiculously cute pajamas their kid no longer fits into? Anyone have a stroller they no longer use?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Because It's Better Than Amazon Reviews
You'll get a range of real reviews from moms who actually used and tried a whole lot of baby gear. My moms' group is made up of more than brand new moms, which significantly increases the knowledge base I can draw from.
Because It Has Foster & Adoptive Moms
I do think I hit the jackpot on moms' group, only because my moms' group even includes two foster and adoptive moms. I instantly knew there would be two people who would "get" me. We've had many awesome conversations about foster care, to the point that other moms in our group are considering becoming foster parents. That's, you know, awesome.
Because It Offers Support
My mom friends are different than my friends who aren't yet moms, and the support they can give is different because it requires less explanation. I know they're coming from a place of earned knowledge, I know they don't judge me, and I know I can talk to them about the "unspoken" parts of motherhood and they'll completely understand.