Make the most of new moms’ group

When Kiwi was three weeks old, I packed a diaper bag, strapped her into her car seat and drove to a nearby new moms’ group. I felt shockingly good for being just a few weeks postpartum. I had put on mascara. My nursing tank was clean. I felt ready to meet new people, build a village in a relatively new community and offer the wisdom I’d already gained, having done this whole newborn thing once before.

In the coming weeks and months, though, that I can do this! attitude crumbled under the weight of sleep deprivation, Kiwi’s silent reflux and my own postpartum depression.

In those months, the new moms’ group became a lifeline.

Joining a new moms' group can offer support, ideas and the amazing friendships that will last your kids' entire childhood. Here's how to make the most of it. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Why join a new moms’ group?

A friend of a friend who was expecting once scoffed at the idea of a new moms’ group. “Why would I ever pay to join a group where people would tell me what I already know?” she asked. I didn’t know her that well, so I kept my mouth shut.

But here, I’ll tell her what have gained going to a new moms’ group, both with Kiwi and Peeper. I got:

  • Unconditional support. My fellow mamas were there every week, and they listened to me no matter what.
  • Ideas. I have a new question nearly every week, from how to transition a baby out of a swaddle to how to make sure your cruiser doesn’t faceplant in the tub. Brainstorming ideas with a room full of experts—aka moms—gives me more tips to try.
  • A chance to help others. Especially now that Kiwi is older, we have been through much of what moms with younger babies are struggling with. I, then, can chime in with what worked for us.
  • A reason to get out of the house. Having a newborn can feel like living under house arrest. It feels good to leave the house—and even better if you get to interact with people other than the checkout lady at Target.

Joining a new moms' group offers a lifeline in one of the most challenging parts of your life. Here's how to make the most of it. Ten Thousand Hour MamaThe families you meet at new moms' group will become your village—and your baby's besties! Make the most of the group you join—here's how. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Win at new moms’ group

Not all new moms’ groups are the same, but I have been unspeakably fortunate to have found the communities within the moms’ groups for Peeper and Kiwi.

That said, it takes a little effort to make the most of a new moms’ group.

New moms group night out

Based on my experience, I offer these suggestions to connect deeply and build your village.

  1. Be vulnerable. Motherhood is not easy. No one expects you to be that uber together mom. (Does she even exist? I don’t really think so.) And, as the wonderful facilitator who runs my new moms’ group says, “Being vulnerable is a gift. By opening up, you allow others to be vulnerable, too.”
  2. Start a Facebook group. Crises always seem to strike at 3am, and having a place to vent/ask questions/post a picture of your baby’s weird poop—at any hour of the day—helps you stay sane.
  3. Don’t leave without getting someone’s number. Exchange numbers with at least one person each time you go to new moms’ group. Then don’t be shy to text.
  4. Keep a standing date. Every week after new moms’ group, a handful of mamas and babies go to lunch together. There’s no strict commitment—we attend as our schedules (and kids!) allow—but we know the option of grabbing a bite or heading out for a picnic is always on the table.
  5. Plan play dates. Every so often, one mom hosts a play date. The get-together gives our kids a chance to play/poke each other’s eyes and gives us a chance to catch up.
  6. Introduce your families. In new moms’ group, we see our mom friends and their tiny babies. Most of us have a partner, and some of us have older kids, too—none of whom come to group. Meeting the whole family, like we did for a holiday party and a giant brunch potluck, strengthens our ties. Some of the dads are becoming friends, too!

All the babies! Joining a new moms' group will build your village when you most need it. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

I’m still friends with many of the women I met during the new moms’ group I attended when Peeper was born. It’s been a beautiful experience watching their babies grow from tiny peanuts into preschoolers.

I feel so fortunate to have built this community—this village—of moms. But don’t take my word for it. If you have a new baby, test out a new moms’ group for yourself. It’s in your power to create a nurturing, supportive, loving and fun community to raise your baby—and yourself as a new mama.

Did you find a supportive community when you were a new parent?

7 thoughts on “Make the most of new moms’ group

  • July 1, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Yes, yes, YES to all of this! Reading this honestly brought tears to my eyes thinking about all of the moms groups I have been in throughout the years (because you still need them later when the kids are older, trust me!) and they were and still are a total lifeline. The first one from when my oldest was born kept going for several years, until the kids started elementary school and then living in different cities and with kids in different schools & activities, we don’t see each other nearly as much as we used to, but those ladies and kiddos will always hold a very special place in my heart. I agree with you: new moms shouldn’t shy away from joining a new moms group. If one doesn’t mesh with you, try another. There is nothing in the world like the village, especially during the baby & toddler years! Thank you for writing this post!

    • July 1, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Marlynn, nearly everyone I know who has been in a moms’ group echoes what you’ve said here. I still keep in touch w/ the moms from Peeper’s moms’ group, and I *still* go to them with advice. Because you don’t somehow stop needing answers and crowdsourced ideas when your kid graduates from group!

  • July 1, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I was terrified when I found out I was expecting twins. On top of that I moved 3,000 miles across the country, to a city where I knew absolutely nobody, before my boys were born. So the first thing I did when I moved was join the local chapter of Mothers of Multiples. I wanted to be surrounded by other twin moms, feeling like they would have a deeper understanding of what I was going through, because no matter what (and this rings true 5 yrs later), twins are very different than people who have 2 kids of different ages. That group was a complete godsend to me!!! I loved them. Even when I was too exhausted to go to our meetings and gatherings I did it, and never regretted it. I moved back to Oregon when my boys were 3 yrs old, but I still keep in touch with the women I met in my group. So, totally agree, moms’ groups are a-mazing!!!

    • July 1, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Let me start by saying how impressed and humbled I am by moms of twins! (My mom is a twin, so my grandmother is in that group too!)

      I also found that moms’ groups were vital when moving to a new community. I moved from Tigard to West Linn when I was pregnant with Kiwi—certainly not cross-country like you did, but far enough that I knew very few people in my new town. Now I have friends who also have families, even a few who live literally down the street!

  • July 2, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Great post listing all the reasons to be part of the community and tips on how to stay engaged in that group so get the best experience you can. Great tip especially on having another way to talk to each other like Facebook and texting for times outside group get togethers!

  • July 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    As I remember back on the years when my kiddos were little, I don’t know what I would have done without my circle of Mommy-friends for support. It makes me teary just thinking of how much we’ve shared over the years. Now the youngest of our children is my 15 year old, and yet we meet up often – for birthdays, or to plan our children’s wedding receptions, or welcome our newest grandchild. These women mean the world to me.

    • July 9, 2016 at 6:07 am

      I’m so grateful to have these friends, too – for the support they lend me now, and the support that is to come!


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