Posts Tagged ‘mom groups’

Do We Need Playdates?

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

DO WE NEED PLAYDATESPlaydates. A chance to get out of the house and talk to adults for some parents, and perhaps an awkward or uncomfortable experience for others. If you’re in the first group, it can be pretty easy to find get-togethers for your toddler., local mom clubs (including fitness clubs like Moms RUN This Town or Stroller Warriors) or even the old fashioned way, chatting up people at the park, are some of the different ways to socialize your toddler (and you).

Depending on where you live though, if you are a working parent or a stay-at-home dad the playdate scene might be a little hard to break into. My friend was a stay-at-home dad and said women consistently assumed he was looking for dates, not playdates, and our local mom club wouldn’t accept dads or moms that worked more than part-time. He was persistent–I think he really wanted adults to talk to, and ended up finding some good matches for his family.

If you find yourself in the latter group though where you don’t particularly like attending playgroups, perhaps because you are an introvert or are very busy, it can be worrisome to think your toddler is missing out somehow because he’s not cruising the local playdate scene. Do toddlers need socialization via playdate or other organized activity?

Between the ages of one and two to three, children engage in parallel play, where they aren’t interacting directly with their peers (other than to steal toys or knock each other over). You may have seen your own toddler sit side-by-side with another child and not really see them interact like you would see with older children.

At this age, I think playgroups are perhaps more socially beneficial to the parent than the child. However, while the children may not be actively engaged with each other, they are still watching each other and starting to learn through observation about social behavior.

If you want your toddler to get have some play time with other kids, but aren’t or can’t do playdates, you can work around it. If you hire a babysitter, consider hiring one with a child near your toddler’s age that will come along. If you have a gym membership, the gym’s childcare facility may be a place for toddler socialization as well. MOPS or Mothers Day Out are also potential options. As your toddler gets older and more interested in playing with others, you might consider enrolling her in preschool as well.

Meaghan Howard is a mother to two young boys whose sanity was saved once upon a time by her local MOPS chapter.

Finding Mom Support

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Finding Mom SupportI became a mom in August 2012. My husband was in the Navy. We lived in Southern Georgia, and I had never been around babies. Fast-forward two months later: We move to Northern Indiana, 6 hours from any family or friends. My husband starts his new job, and I have a 2-month-old baby girl. It would be an understatement to say I needed mom support. A good friend once told me that finding other moms you can connect with was one of the most important parts of motherhood, and I have to say I agree.

Where to find mom support?

For me, the first support I found was in a local mom’s group called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I was fortunate that our realtor saw I needed some friends and invited me to her church to check out the group. Not only does this organization offer encouragement, it also offers free breakfast and free childcare. You can find groups in your community who meet weekly, monthly, or even bi-monthly.

If you are a stay-at-home mom, try to connect with your husband’s coworkers and their spouses. Check out websites like or Facebook has helped me find many connections for support. Local groups have pages on Facebook where you can ask questions, meet other moms, and even plan play dates with other moms in your area.

Benefits of Mom Support

I think finding other moms to connect with and support you is a vital part of motherhood. It helps to go to those who have been through this journey before. The support of other moms can also help you maintain your sanity. I know I cherish the times I have with other moms. We may just sit and talk while our kids play or go for a long stroller walk while sipping Starbucks. However, the adult conversation does me a great deal of good. Other moms can be helpful when you have questions. From nursing to potty training, most moms can be helpful and share a funny story or two to make you feel at ease.

Remember that you ultimately are the mom of your children. Don’t ever let another mom make you feel that you are inadequate or not enough for your child. Look for moms and groups that will build you up and help you along your journey. Sharing your motherhood journey with others help you through the tough times and allows you to see you are a great mom. I am lucky enough that  I have two lifelong friends whose children are a week younger than my daughter. They encourage me, laugh at my stories, and wipe away any tears I have. That my friends, is support.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way in Northern Indiana. She loves being a mom, but she really needs the support of others.