Thanks to Neighborhood Parents Network for sponsoring this post.
The best thing that I did when my boys were younger was join a mom’s group. Though my oldest was just a few months old at the time, I still made it a point to go to every playdate that I could. The reason wasn’t so that he could play with other babies but because I, as a mom, needed that connection with other moms. I discovered that motherhood, especially in the early years, can be an extremely lonely time if you try to go on the journey alone!
Over the years since starting this blog I’ve heard from dozens of other moms who have felt the same way. Motherhood is isolating and developing mom friendships is so important! One mom, Sarah Dyer (founder of Shine On) shares how the mom’s group she joined was a lifeline when she needed it most.
(Pictured above: Sarah and her children)
Here is Sarah’s story:
I found out about Neighborhood Parents Network’s New Moms Groups from a girlfriend just before the birth of my first son in 2007, and it became my lifeline in the early days of parenting. I underestimated the value of having friends who have babies who are at the same age and stage as your own. Even though everyone has unique experiences and babies who go through different things, you relate on a level that no one else around you is experiencing. My New Moms Group met once a week, sometimes more. Sometimes it was the whole group, sometimes not. It was always whoever could make it and we all understood that.
Being a new mom can feel overwhelming, and it was nice to know that this was a group that wouldn’t care if I had showered that day or if my baby was still wearing his pajamas. Just showing up was a huge accomplishment! We shared the fun stuff, we shared the hard stuff, we shared our frustrations and the things we loved, and we supported each other. We talked about what worked and what didn’t work with our babies and which pediatricians we recommended, what classes people were taking, who had read what, who was trying what. Everyone had different ideas and you could take or leave whatever information you wanted to without judgment.
Soon we had first birthdays, we were going out at night as mom friends, our husbands met each other, people had second babies and third babies, and we all still kept on with our friendships. It has been 10 years since those early days, and in the last month alone I have gone to a dinner party with two of my NPN friends and our spouses, I have gone for lunch with third mom from the New Moms Group, and have run into another while out running errands and we’ve made plans to get the group together for drinks. These are people I truly enjoy seeing and with whom I am thrilled to be sharing life experiences.
Early parenting can be a rough go, or it can be super-easy—sometimes it just depends on the day. Having people along for the ride can help get you through your day, and sometimes you’ll be the one helping someone get through theirs.
(Pictured above: An NPN New Moms Group)
If you aren’t in a mom’s group yet I encourage you to join one. This parenting thing is hard but mom friends who can lend a listening ear, offer advice, and just be there during the hard times, are priceless. If you live in the Chicago area you should look into the new moms groups that Neighborhood Parents Network offers. Join NPN today to take advantage of all they offer new moms, including free playdates, childcare resources, online and in-person parenting workshops, and, of course, New Moms Groups. Now through Sept. 23, use promo code NPN15 to save $15 on a year-long NPN membership! Click here to learn more.