Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Have you joined a moms club?

Firstly, I want to say that my last post  was my 100th post! Yay me!

Now, onto what I'm really going to post about. Moms' groups, playgroups, playdates, mommy and me groups, whatever you want to call them,  are all over the place! It is almost like a secret group though, and you hardly ever hear about them until you are a mom. Even then, it wasn't until Bella was about 10 months old that I even found out about them! I only wish I had known about them when Bella was smaller, while I was pregnant even! Why? Well, because if you get into a good group, the other mom can become invaluable to you! They are there to help, offer advice, and keep you sane.

Mom's groups are like a whole different sub-culture. You are surrounded by different moms, from different backgrounds, who all parent differently. It is a great resource for people like me.. the first time mom. I have my idea of how I want to raise my child, discipline her, what I want to teach her, etc. But, having such a diverse groups provides me with many other ideas, when what I have been doing isn't working. In less than a year I have made some great acquaintances, and a few wonderful friends. For a stay at home mom, having other adults to talk to, other moms, is something that you don't know how much you truly need, until you have found it.

Not all groups are created equal, though, and that's where it becomes a matter of having patience and knowing what you want from a group. For me, I wanted a group that would allow for Bella to socialize with other kids around her age, and a group of moms who were laid back. The first group I joined was from Meetup.com. You simply put in what you are looking for - Moms Group, Stay at home moms, reading, poetry, pets, wine, anything! - and where you are from, and meetup will find groups in your area that match that. Some groups are public, however I have found that most moms groups or playgroups are private for the security of the kiddos, which I find so very important!  Just because it is private doesn't mean you can't join, it simply means they want to know who is joining, and who is viewing their info. The groups post playdates, park days, field trips, etc, on a calendar, and you can RSVP to whatever you want to go to. Most playdates are at another moms house, and that can be intimidating at first, but after you go to a few, you will find it second nature to walk into someone's house!

I just recently joined another moms group - MOMs Club International. This is a "corporate" ran club, with Chapters all over the nation and even in other countries. I joined this group because I am friends with other moms in this group, and this just allows me more opportunity for things to do.

There are dues to pay for each. Some are small, some are more. But I don't think any are unreasonable for all that you get. One of the big things I enjoy are the Mom's Night Out/In. It is a kid-free event for just the moms to get together and relax. I try to do one a month. Sometimes we all go out somewhere, other times we all go to someone's house. The last Mom's night In that I went to, was a wine tasting, which was super fun.  Nights out include a dinner, some drinks, and lots of girlish chatter and giggles.

I couldn't tell you how wonderful it is, and I highly highly highly suggest you try one out. Or, if you don't want a mom's group, search for another type of group (Meetup would be best for this!). As with any large group of women, there can be cliques, which can be frustrating, but you can't expect EVERYONE to be best friends. My advice - If you feel uncomfortable and are not happy with the group you've joined, simply contact the organizer and tell them you don't feel the group is a good fit for you. In most instances, if you've already paid dues, they may refund you full or partial. If it is a specific person causing problems, be sure to tell them. It is entirely possible that you are not the only one who has had issues with that person. At any rate, I think that all moms need a support group, people who understand and can relate to what you are going through (at least when it comes to your kids!)

So.. what are you waiting for? Go out and find a group and have some fun!

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