Welcome back to Best Case Parenting. If you are a parent (and especially a mom) you have probably heard on the grapevine about mom groups!
In this article, we hope to tell you all about them, what they are and if they are any good??
Starting with a brief summary, a mom’s group is a gathering of like minded mothers. A place to discuss about and arrange events around your new babies! They are a good way to meet others who are excited to talk about “baby stuff.” However, they can turn sour if there are some particularly strong minded members!!
Different Types of Mom Groups
Moms groups have changed a lot over recent years. They used to be strictly local affairs, but with the advent of the internet you can group up with other moms from all over the world if you want!
I would encourage you to try and find face to face mom groups if you can, because human contact can be very helpful at this time( for both mom and baby.)
Offline in your Local Area
Just as it sounds, you can try to find Mom groups that you can become a member of in your local area. Ask around or look on community boards to get an idea.
You can even try to find local Facebook groups or other online forums on the subject as a starting point. As the members are in your local area, this usually leads to meet ups.
It still amazes me the extent of mom groups you can find online. I am sure if you look hard enough you can find a group to perfectly suit your needs.
Probably the most popular place to find mom groups, as most people already use Facebook and can be signed up for mom groups in only a few clicks.
I would encourage you to apply for a private group, rather than a public one. The public ones, in my experience, are too open and can be abused by spammers. They usually have more people in them, so the admins don’t usually have time to police them properly.
You usually find that when a Facebook group is private and requires an application, the owners want to control the members and the content. This is a good thing, as it will give you a safe and spam free place for the moms to get down to discussing!
Reddit is another great place to start a mom group. It is very similar in style to a Facebook group. They have sections on the website which are called subreddits. These subreddits are started by reddit users, who decide what the topic of the Reddit will be.
As with the Facebook groups, you might want to find one that is private rather than open to the public. Although Reddit is trying hard to get rid of spam, so you might not find them as bad as public Facebook groups.
You could even start your own subreddit if you wanted, make it private and then simply invite the parents you would like to join. You would need some basic technical knowledge for this though. Reddit is not exactly user friendly.
I am sure we all know what forums are. These are your bog standard ‘I feel like I am back in the 90’s’ ways of grouping people online. Simple text based platforms for parents to discuss.
If you want to find these simply Google ‘best parenting forum’ and you will be golden!
Whatsapp groups (or similar)
If you don’t know what Whatsapp is, where have you been?
Most people have used this simple (mainly phone based) messaging service. You can create a group of people on here if you know all their phone numbers. Therefore, this is more if you want to keep in regular contact with moms you already know in the physical world.
What are the Pro’s and Con’s of Mom Groups?
You can find like minded friends!
It is a sad fact that quite often after you have a baby you will loose at least some of your friends.
Why is this?? Well, I always relate this to my experiences with hobbies growing up (although of course having a baby is much more of a life changing experience!!). I was always the kind of person that really got into my hobbies. This meant I would read magazines about the subject, find websites online about it and basically live and breath that hobby.
The problem would arise when I was excited about something within that hobby. I would try to talk to one of my family or friends about it. About halfway through the discussion I would realise that actually the other person couldn’t care less about what I was talking about!
I learned quickly to not talk about these things we just anyone, only people that showed actual interest in the subject.
I can see it from their point of view, I really can. Imagine you have a friend that is really into fly fishing, and you really have no idea or any interest in what that is. If your friend kept bringing it up in conversations, you would probably quickly get bored and want to change the subject.
This is just a part of human nature. After you have a baby, you will find that your other friends that are mothers will be more likely to stick around. As they have been through this life changing experience themselves, there is a common interest.
However, if you have a lot of friends without children, you will probably find that a lot of them start to drop off. They now have less in common with your core interests and now might even resent how you have to bring your child every time you meet!
That was a rather roundabout way of saying it, but being in a Mommy group has the potential of helping you find opportunities to get new friends or acquaintances, that share your same interests.
Excellent reference point
This is especially true for new parents that haven’t had previous experience of the key milestones and events that might happen to a young baby. Being in a mom group will give you a great outlet to discuss these key moments with other mons and find out if what you are seeing in your baby is comparable.
This alone can put a lot of new moms at ease and be a major reason for joining a mom group.
Valuable Socialising Time (for mom AND baby!)
Naturally, a mom group is a great place for a mother to socialise. Maybe some of your regular socialising had to be put on hold due to the increased commitments of having a baby. Being in a mom group could help you get some of that socialising time back!
However, don’t underestimate the importance of helping your child get valuable socialising time too! Just because a baby can’t verbally communicate or play complex games, they still benefit a lot from being around other babies.
You will probably stay in this group, or at least meet up with some of the members you make a special connection with, right up until your child is a toddler. This gives your child a great opportunity to get experience being around other children.
That one “crazy” Mom
Unfortunately, this is a situation that can often happen. You have been in a Mom’s group for a few weeks and are really enjoying it. But then you have contact with one or several….errr…. let’s call them “passionate” mothers.
Usually, they have a bee in their bonnet about something and feel the need to express these views (and even scold others) if they don’t share these views.
One example would be that a mother uses cloth diapers because they are worried about the environmental damage regular diapers (or should I call them nappies!!) are doing. This is of course a valid concern and most people are able to discuss the topic in a civil way.
But some feel a passionate need to raise the point at every opportunity and look down on those not towing the line.
These are exactly the type of Moms that can ruin the dynamics of any Mom group!
To generalise, there will probably be drama in every mom group, usually caused by a minority!
Be careful with online mom groups!
Having access to the internet ,and all the social platforms it brings with it, can be an awesome thing in many ways. It enables you to quickly find a wide range of information from other moms.
Although this convenience does also have a downside. For me personally, I find this happens more with Facebook and chat based groups (such as Whatsapp), more than simpler forum based groups. Or that could just be me!
What I am talking about is mom group addiction! OK, maybe addiction is too strong of a word to use, but it’s not far off and can be very damaging if it gets out of control.
When a mom group (or any group for that matter) is easily and quickly available on your smartphone. It becomes a habit for you to regularly pull it up and check what other people are writing.
This in itself is not a bad thing. But if you find yourself becoming more obsessive over this, it might be time to take a break. Some parents might start comparing themselves to other parents in the group, and think they are a bad mother if they don’t follow all of the advice.
Having a reference point to compare your parenting experience with others is good, as long as you don’t get paranoid and obsessive about it!
Daunting for shy moms!
It can be quite overwhelming if you have a naturally shy or withdrawn personality. Walking into a crowded room with lots of other moms and babies may seem like a lot of effort and potential struggle.
I urge you to try to push through this. A mom group holds a lot of potential benefits for both yourself and your baby, so give it a try before you dismiss the idea. And if you really can’t handle it, you could always fall back to the online mom groups.
What can you do if you struggle finding a Mom group you like?
It can be hard finding a Mom group you like. There might be a few members that just grind your gears and make the whole thing not fun! If this is the case, don’t be afraid to start your own Mom group.
This is more viable when talking about offline Mom groups. It is also possible with online groups, but you would probably have to somehow promote this new group to find members, and then you might end up back at square one with certain members you don’t like.
If you have tried out different Mom groups in your local area and find members you like, but the groups are tainted (usually by undesirable members), you could simply invite the people you like to a new group. Or at very least have the odd coffee morning with them!
If you are feeling annoyed about certain members of a group, chances are they are too!
The end is near….
Thank you for taking the time to read our short article on mom groups. Hopefully we have answered any questions you may have had about them!
I love the idea of mom groups, you just need to find one that suits your needs!
If you have your own story or experience with mom groups, we would love to hear all about it in the comments section below.