Passionate About Columbia SC
and the Moms Who Live Here

How to Benefit the Most from a Moms Group

{Yesterday Sarah blogged about local moms groups in her post Looking to Connect? Local Moms Groups Offer Friendship, Fun. Today she is following up with information on what to expect, the good and the bad, when you become a member of a group.}

I have been part of several moms groups over the past 10 years. I started a group, made friends, lost friends, changed groups, moved states, hosted play dates, planned big functions, dealt with drama, considered quitting groups altogether, and ultimately ended up loving them completely.

Below are some tips on how to make the most out of a moms group … both the good and the bad.

Location, Location, Location

We all have our own lives. We are busy moms. Most of us want the same things — a support group, friends, an opportunity to get out of the house from time to time, and to find some playmates for our kids. Make it easier on yourself and find a group that has activities and members near your home. It’s difficult to make lasting friendships with other moms who live 30 minutes away. You will find yourself making up excuses not to attend activities that aren’t close to your area of town.

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Finding a moms group that has activities close to where you live is key. You are more likely to participate in events if you don’t have to travel too far.

Be Prepared for Rules

In order for any group to run smoothly, there have to be rules — whether it’s the number of events you have to attend each month/year, the amount of dues, the number of meetings, etc. Sometimes it can feel like a lot to keep up with, but keep in mind rules are in place to keep the organization strong and prosperous. They aren’t there to make your life more difficult. If you have a question about why a certain rule is enforced, ask someone in charge. They will be more than happy to help you gain a better understanding.

Activities

Look for a group that has lots of activities that fit with your schedule. If all the events are planned in the morning and your children at school, you won’t have many options to choose from. If the events are sparse, you won’t get the most out of your membership. Look for groups that host play dates as well as moms night outs and family events. It’s great for the kids to have someone to play with, but it’s equally important for you to have the opportunity to get to know other moms one-on-one (without junior vying for your attention).

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Make sure the group you join has diverse events. Play dates are great for socializing your little ones, but groups who host Moms Night Outs provide the opportunity to get to know people better one-on-one (without chasing around your kiddos).

Participation

Just like any relationship, if you don’t put a lot into it you won’t get a lot out of it. “You have to be a friend to have a friend”. If the group doesn’t have activities you are interested in or work with your schedule, think about hosting a play date. Whether it be in your home or in a public place, this way you can ensure it’s an activity you will enjoy — and you’ll meet other people who share your same interest.

Good Friends

These groups will help you meet people in your community you may not have the opportunity to meet otherwise. Some moms you will form an instant connection with, other relationships take time. Some people, you won’t jive with at all. That’s okay. Regardless, you will form a lot of connections and realize the mothering community is smaller than you think! You’d be surprised how many mom friends you run into while you’re out and about.

Also, always be willing to talk to new people at events. Remember, at one point you were that new person who didn’t know anyone. Think about how you felt and how much you appreciated people talking to you. I like to keep the golden rule in mind, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”. Plus, you never know if that person might be your new best friend.

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Mom groups allow you to meet other people who understand what you are going through as a parent. You’ll have the opportunity to make great friends!

Drama

Let’s face it when you get women together, there is bound to be drama. Just prepare yourself to “stay out of it” if it comes around. A good administration team will cut it out at the head and if you’re lucky you may never know there are issues. Each group should have a set of rules/guidelines regarding what will and will not be tolerated. Often times drama comes around from the the people not following the rules.

Don’t Give Up

If you find yourself in a group you don’t totally love, try another. Some groups are lax while others are super strict. Some have attendance requirements while others don’t. Some administrators don’t allow drama while others are fuel to the fire. Some cater to certain ZIP codes while others welcome all of Columbia and the surrounding areas. Don’t give up. Each group is different. I guarantee if you put some time into it and give it a chance, you will find a group that is perfect for you!

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Not every group is right for every mom. Find an organization you connect with and works for YOU!

Are you a mommy group veteran who has additional suggestions? Please share!

3 Responses to How to Benefit the Most from a Moms Group

  1. Zee June 20, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Loved it!

  2. Candi Ruffin June 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Just have to say how spot on this was Sarah – Thank You for sharing this on the blog! Each paragraph had me going-“Exactly!” Having a network of Moms and their support has been essential to my survival as a stay-at-home Mom! Playtime Pals appreciates your perspective and honesty!

    • Sarah Bradford June 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      I am glad to hear that. Thanks for the comment!!!!!

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