This is my first post in the new section of my blog called IMHO – In My Humble Opinion. In these posts I’ll be sharing my thoughts on different topics, some of which may even be a little controversal. I appreciate all positive and constructive feedback so after reading, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, on my Facebook page or on Instagram!
In My Humble Opinion…
Moms, especially new Moms, need a Moms group in their lives.
Before I became a Mom, I met someone through Facebook who was having a baby a few months after me. She added me to a group called “Edmonton 2015 Babies”. I was active on social media, but didn’t really have a concept of a “Moms group” or what it entailed. In my third trimester, four of us in the rapidly growing group decided to head out for dinner. I didn’t know any of them, but I thought it would be fun to meet some new people.
You see, I’m one of those girls that didn’t have a lot of close girl friends while I was in school. When I got married in 2014, two best friends came to mind to be my bridesmaids. Growing up I was a bit of a tom boy; I loved sports, rarely wore dresses, skirts or make up, and didn’t really want to deal with drama. After high school I guess you could say I found my feminine side; I started to wear make up and dress more girly but I still continued to have more male friends than female.
In our small group of four that went out for dinner, I was due first. We had great conversation, had some laughs, and I was happy I went.
Just over three years later I still talk to all three of these ladies, and one has become one of my good friends. Who knew?
As the Edmonton 2015 Babies group grew and grew, about 20 of us separated into a smaller Moms group so that we could plan hangouts at each other’s houses. We’d meet up a few times a month with our kids and go swimming, do gymnastics, and have pot luck playdates. It was fantastic. We were all first time moms so we could vent & brag about what our kids were doing, but also get advice from each other as we navigated our way through our first year of parenthood. Now that a lot of us are back at work (or like me, are on maternity leave again) we don’t gather as often but still try to get together when we can so the kids can play and we can catch up.
I hear it all the time.
- “I’m not a moms group type of person.”
- “I have friends on maternity leave, I don’t need to meet new people.”
- “Moms groups are full of drama.”
Fair enough. Some of this is true. I didn’t think I was really a Moms group kind of person either. But when I met the three ladies for dinner, I didn’t know anyone else who was pregnant at the same time. It was really nice to learn together and meet people who were going to have children around the same time. It was nice to bounce questions off them to see who else was dealing with the same things, and to share tips and tricks on how to handle things as they came up. I’ll be honest, I’m glad I gave it a chance!
This maternity leave I do have more friends that are having babies at the same time, which is really nice! But it’s also nice to have a variety of people to do things with! Between my friends with babies and my Moms group friends, my boys and I keep ourselves busy during the week (which makes bedtime for the toddler go a lot smoother!) and it leads to less boredom.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say Moms groups don’t have their fair share of drama. It would be impossible to get hundreds of women in one group WITHOUT having drama. For the most part, I choose to stay out of it. Sometimes though, I have to admit it IS kind of amusing to be a spectator…
That being said, there is also a lot of support in these groups! When a Mama posts that she’s having a bad day, or that she didn’t get enough sleep, or that her toddler is driving her bonkers, many Moms will respond with virtual hugs, kind words, inspiration, kindness, jokes to get smiles and pump up messages so that they feel better.
Don’t Knock it ‘Til You Try It!
The saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is very true in this situation. Whether you’re a brand new Mom or a seasoned Mom, I definitely recommend joining a local Moms group in your area or online. Sure you might have friends who are pregnant or have kids with a similar age. But life gets busy and they may not always be available. Making Mom friends is similar to dating – it can be hard to meet the right person! Being exposed to large groups of women all raising children in the same area gives you a better chance of meeting someone you may connect with!
I had such a good experience in my 2015 Moms group that I decided to make my own group when I was pregnant with my 2018 baby (who ended up coming with four days left in 2017…oops?). The group now has over 800 members in the Edmonton area, and I’ve gotten such positive feedback about how it’s helped other Moms (especially from new Moms) that it makes me super happy! I try to lead discussion 4-6 times a week, and women have the opportunity to ask questions in a safe place (noting that this is the internet and they should only post what they are comfortable with) and get advice from other Moms. Are you a Mom in the Edmonton area who has had/is having their baby in 2018? If so, feel free to check out the group here!
The most important part of this whole experience is that I made new girlfriends! When you’re in your mid-30’s good friends aren’t exactly easy to come by anymore. I’ve often heard that meeting new Mom friends can be compared to dating – it’s hard to find someone who you get along with, have fun with, and has a similar parenting style to you (or at least when you disagree you know when to give your two cents respectfully and when to keep your mouth shut).
If you don’t want to join a Facebook Moms group, there are other things you can do to meet other Moms and provide your child with some socialization and a chance to meet new friends. In the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada area specifically (where I’m from) the New Moms Network with Alberta Health Services is a fantastic inexpensive six week course for new Moms to learn the ins and outs of being a parent! Not only do the public health nurses give you tips and answer your questions, but you will also meet multiple new Moms from your area as they are run out of the public health clinics all over the city!
You can also search online for Mom and baby classes near you! There’s Mom & barre, Mom & baby yoga, Mom & baby HIIT classes, just to name a few! There’s so much more! Not only is it a great way to meet other Moms and babies, but you can get fit at the same time!
What about you? Are you in a Moms Group? How do you feel about them? Would love to hear your thoughts!