How to Meet Other Parents
Archived Q&A and Reviews
I am a stay at home mom of a nine month old and am looking to meet other moms with kids in a similar age group for day time activities (hiking, play-dates, coffee, projects etc.) I am curious to know how others have gone about making such connections. Many Thanks!
Kaiser and other hospitals have ''mommy and me'' groups that tend to kick you out when your kid is 12 months, so you have until then to organize your own group. (ours has been together for 9 years now) Our group met in parks, went to free days at the museum, practiced nursing at restaurants, etc. Things that did not work were: trying to avoid driving too much, trying to do it at my home, trying to incorporate babysitting coop. What did work was mom's having mommy friends (with kids). We used a yahoo group.
Also, if I didn't have my mom's group though Kaiser, I would have paid the $60 to join East Bay Moms or Castro Valley Moms. You don't have to pay the first meeting either. Also they refer non-members to playgroups. I didn't join at the time because I didn't realize it was well worth the $60.
I've also heard of posting a flyer in your neighborhood as a way to start a mom's group. La Letche League is a way to meet moms having babies about the same age as yours. Adult ed in our area offers mommy and me classes, where you would meet mommy friends.
I only met one neighbor mom friend at the local park, but on weekends working parents make friends in parks. I met nannies and (perhaps wrongly) wasn't interested in making nanny friends.
It's hard because you really need new mommy friends, and some people you would ordinarily like are people's whose parenting style you can't stand. Or who can't stand mine. Keep at it, it's very important to have fun mommy friends as a SaHM.
You'll find other SaHMs are also rather desperate for SaHM company, which makes it easier.
The good part about this time: When the kids get older, they have their own friends and you don't necessarily like those parents as well. So enjoy it now when you get to pick their age-mate friends.
- hope this helps -
Check out www.strollerstrides.net/eastbay You get to work out with your baby, outdoors with lots of other moms. Most are SAHM, and there's a lot of gabbing, sharing and friendships being made during class. There's a playgroup once a week, lost of the Stroller Strides Moms get together on their own, and the best part is; you are working out too! There's a class almost every day of the week, reasonable rates and certified instructors. Leslie
Hi, My husband and I are in our early 30's and live in Montclair. My husband and I decided that I could stay home when we began trying to conceive. We are now 17 weeks pregnant with our first child and I am beginning to look for ways to network with other mothers in Montclair or close by. While I enjoy being a stay-at-home wife, I fear that I might begin to feel isolated once the baby arrives. Part of that has to do with my personality. I'm outgoing in situations where I feel comfortable, but tend to be shy in new situations. I am looking for suggestions for ways I can meet others while I'm pregnant and after. Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated
Take Music Together classes at St. John's church in Montclair. YOu can sign up at eastbaymoms.com. Go to Montclair park and hang around the tot park, you will meet a ton of moms. post on BPN! you'll find moms in your area who have kids around your age, i did it and met a few great moms that i'm still in touch with 2 years later. Gymboree in rockridge when your kid gets older is a great way to meet moms in the rockridge/montclair neighborhood. Also, MCPC (Montclair Community Play Center) on thornhill is a great place for toddler classes and preschool, and you will meet a lot of moms in the area. Good luck! anon
Lucky you to get this time to yourself before baby comes! If i were you, I'd take this time to do whatever YOU want, not baby related, although if you are doing day time non work activities, you will probably meet some other moms without trying. You can meet people due at about the same time as you by enrolling in a good childbirth class. When baby comes it will be easy to meet people through baby activities like hanging out at the park, gymboree, swimming whatever. not in Montclair, but still
I'm on my second kid in Montclair, so here are a few tips - some of them will become more relevant as your child gets older, some are applicable right away: Sit outside Peets with your child and schmooze with other moms. Chat up moms at the toddler play structure in the park. Take a Music Together class at St. John's off Thornhill. Do a session at MCPC (Montclair Community Play Center). Advertise in BPN for a playgroup or moms group -- this is the idea I found hardest to implement (hard to find a committed group of moms with kids the same age as yours) but the most important to my sanity! Just remember that almost all the other moms are in the same boat as you, looking for grownups to talk to, reassurance about parenting, praise about their cute kids, etc. You'll find that kids are a great conversation starter. I'm not the most outgoing person, but I find I talk to other moms all the time - you just say, ''How old's yours?'' and take it from there. :) JP
I was in your boat a few years back...new to the area and knew only one or two people with kids. My life completely changed with the birth of my first child due in large part to joining one of Sherry Rheinhardt's new moms groups. http://www.supportgroupformothers.com/index.html Through this group I met women in my neighborhood with children my child's age (almost to the day). The support and friendship I've gotten from this group has been a godsend. Honestly, I felt no community here until I found this group. Our children are now almost 5 and we still get together. In terms of things you can do before the birth of your child, check out some of the parenting courses at Alta Bates, join a prenatal yoga class or pick up a copy of Parent's Press for listings of other classes you can take. You can find copies of that in your doctor's office or any business establishment that caters to babies Esther
I'm looking for advice on how to meet other stay-at-home-moms. I have met alot of moms with new-borns who are the same age as my baby (aprox. 3 months), but most of these moms are going back to work. I'd like to find out how to build a community of other stay-at-home-moms (preferably near my home by the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland) so that I don't become isolated. mary
Hi, I cannot say enough about how important it was for me to meet other SAHMs when I first started out. To that end, here are some resources to look into: Mothers and More - they have monthly meetings at Zion in Montclair (though it is not strictly for SAHM) Neighborhood Parents Network (P.O. Box Berkeley, CA 94707 / (510) (510) 527-6667) - they have many support/play groups and if you don't see one you want, you can start your own group! Birth & Bonding Center - a store on Solano ave that runs new mother's groups upstairs (Patty was the group leader I'd recommend) Sherry Reinhardt runs new mother's groups .and of course, this UC list....you can always post an announcement that you are looking for other SAHMs (and don't forget dad's too.....a growing demographic) in the Grand Lake area. good luck! lucia
Go to a park! Go to several parks. Spark a conversation. See what happens. I have never been a member of any of the for-a-fee mom's groups in the area (and there are a few), but have managed to build up a respectable network of mom (and nanny) friends (and, importantly, friends for my kids) just by going to the park. There are so many around here, and even during the winter there are enough good days to get outside and play and meet people. Our faves are Thousand Oaks park, Terrace Park (in Albany), Aquatic Park, the Frog park in Rockridge, and the Little Farm in Tilden. Good Luck! Donna
Check if your local library has a ''lap baby'' period every week. Many do and it's a great place to meet other SAHMs anon
Check out the Jan. issue of Bay Area Parent (coming soon), which will include an article I wrote on new moms' groups. There's also a sidebar listing numerous local moms' groups. One of them, MOMS Club of Oakland, is for stay-at-home moms, so you might want to check them out. They're at www.momsclubofoakland.itgo.com. Lisa
Does anyone have any recommendations for local resources for adoptive families? We recently adopted a baby and would like to meet other families in the area with adopted children. I'm sure there must be mother's groups, play groups, and other organizations (formal or informal) for adoptive families but don't know where to look.
For the persons looking who newly adopted a child. Neighborhood Moms is a monthly newsletter put out by fabulous volunteers and is loaded with all kinds of information. In particular there is one support group called, Adoptive Family Network. For more info you can call Carol, Michael or David Katz at 528-7136. I strongly recommend subscribing to the newsletter as a way to support the organization and to receive endless information of tons of kids related subjects. We've been members for 5 years and have used it to find our first childcare and are now researching kindergartens with the Neighborhood Moms information nights. Call 510-527-6667 for a $35.00 year subscription. Diana
We live in El Cerrito hills (Arlington/Cutting) with our 9 months old daughter. My wife took the decision to take a long leave from work to stay with the baby full time. All is fine but she has always been active and now she resents the cultural inactivity: she was a high school teacher in Switzerland for 10 years and over here she has been teaching Italian to adults in the Bay Area for 3 years. She now misses contact with people and the live cultural exchanges she is used to. She speaks fluently French, Italian and English. With the baby is now difficult to go as before to concerts, theater, social eventsand this adds up to a bit of frustration which my wife dismisses with: Sometimes I feel a bit bored. She is wonderful with the baby and my daughter is raised wonderfully, healthy and happy and alive in all respects but I understand perfectly my wife position and I would like to help her on this. Now I come to the point after this long digression: is there in our area other young mothers sharing the same 'lonelyness? There are playgrounds not far from home but we did not check them yet. I've heard of mothers group but have no idea where to look for. Any help will be highly appreciated. Massimo
A mother in the Richmond View area has been helping to organize mothers in that geographical area. Call Neighborhood Parents Network: 527-MOMS. Sherry
Try calling Sherry Rienhardt. SHe has been coordinating Mother's Groups in the North Berkeley/El Cerrito/Albany area for over 20 years. (see recommendations ). Also recommend going to parks and chatting with other moms... odds are, your wife will meet some people that are looking for the same connection. Good luck and good for you for helping her out and being in touch with her emotions. JThomsen
Many first time moms experience these same feelings of isolation. Some things I have done and things I have heard from others: 1) Find a mothers' group. This might be tough since they usually form at about the time of the baby's birth, but ask your pediatrician for advice on this. Others on the list have recommended a mothers' group facilitator - I don't know her name, but that person could also help you find a group. There are international mothers' groups that meet in the late morning at Totland (see #2) - Japanese moms on Monday, German moms on Wednesday - there may be others I am not aware of. 2)Totland (at Virginia and McGee in Berkeley and worth the drive) is a great playground and you and your daughter will love it even though she's not walking. On a beautiful day she'll love watching the other kids and the birds and trees and crawling around. There are always lots of kids there and lots of parents and it is generally an extremely friendly place - you start to see the same people with kids your age and develop nice relationships. 3)Check out the gym classes at University Village a block off San Pablo on Monroe Street (more or less) in Albany. I don't recall at what age they start, but if they have classes for 9 mos. kids, I'd highly recommend it. The kids love it and again, you meet other parents with kids about the same age. I also find that it is helpful to have to be at a class or some scheduled activity (a mother's group or meeting up with friends) at a certain time several times a week - I like the little bit of structure that it adds to our mornings. As your child gets older there are other kinds of parent participation classes in the area that are very good - my 2 yr old and I are currently taking an animal class at Lawrence Hall of Science that we like. I know some folks who enjoy some of the music classes in the area. 4)Go to Cafe Roma on Hopkins. You'll see other moms there. Enjoy the outdoor patio and strike up a conversation. At this stage it really helps to be outgoing and talk to strangers with children - I don't know if that is done in Europe (even in some parts of the US people think it's a bit strange to strike up a conversation with someone until you've been introduced), but I think it is really helpful. You'll pick up tips on all sorts of things and you may bump into the same people again and again. Full-time parenting is tough work - physically, emotionally... and it can get very lonely. I found the 9-12 month stage the toughest with my first for the very reasons you suggest. But, just wait... once they begin walking and talking and become little companions, it is so wonderful you'll be grateful that you took the time from work and gave her all your time and attention. Cheers to dad for understanding and for being so supportive. Laura
I've just had a baby and I'm on leave from work for a while. I find myself spending a lot of time alone with her, and I am really craving adult companionship. Where can I meet other mothers in my position? a new mom
Maybe try some of the mailing lists geared directly to pregnant women such as babycenter.com? They have bulletin boards -- maybe you could list your interest and area and other moms could email you. Ann
Believe it or not, I met some great friends through the internet. I was a participant in a listserve that consisted of women due in August. I've signed off of it now, since my baby's been born and I don't have the time, but there were several women also on the list who live in the Bay Area. We had a local get-together, we clicked, and we've now formed a new mom's group. I also met some people through my childbirth class. You can go to http//:www.pregnancytoday.com/lists to sign up for a listserve pertaining to your month, if you're interested. You also might want to go visit the Student Parent Project if you're a student. Laurel
I am an SF new mom, and met other moms through a great organization called Parents Place on California street near Presidio. It is attached to the JCC, but is not really a jewish organization. They run great mother's groups, and have all kinds of info on activites, child care, etc. definitely check them out. Also, CPMC has classes and mothers groups too; you can access them through the CPMC lactation center. You don't have to deliver at CPMC to take advantage of these, they are just harder to find out about if you don't. (I delivered at UCSF, which was great but had none of the support group info that CPMC does) Ann
In regards to meeting new moms--if you are breastfeeding or pregnant try a La Leche League meeting. These are informal gatherings but very supportive. It's also so much fun to visit with new and older babies each month. You can see what you have to look forward to with your child! Our current Mom's group started there and it has been invaluable. Heather