Networking 101 for Moms
Connecting with other moms for moral support is one of the most important ways to take care of yourself (and by extension your family), especially true for new moms. Here’s how to create a thriving social network to provide physical, mental and emotional support.
Join a Mothers’ Group
In the “Better Mom, Better World” research study commissioned on behalf of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International by the Barna Group, researchers found that mothers believe they are more optimistic and resilient to life’s daily stresses and occasional crises when surrounded by a community of support.
Shop around to find a group that fits your personality and parenting style. Ask the membership director questions like:
- How often does the group meet?
- Does the group schedule moms-only events?
- If mom-only activities are scheduled during the day, is childcare provided?
- What types of play groups and activities does the group plan?
- How does the group support members? (For example, educational speakers? Meals for moms of new babies?)
Losing yourself in the day-to-day rotation of feedings, naps, baths and playtime may be fine for awhile. However, injecting your calendar with a sprinkling of activities throughout the week for both you and your child will energize you, give you something to look forward to and help you feel connected to the world outside your home.
Not sure where to begin? Check with your local library and bookstore for story hours and seek out “Mommy and Me” groups which run the gamut from physical activities to musical education. If you work full-time, talk to other working moms about meeting up at the park or an indoor play area for a short weekend playdate.
Click into Social Media
Still in your pajamas at 3:30 p.m. after being up all night with your colicky baby or a sick child? During the toughest times of parenthood, we can find comfort knowing others can relate and that we aren’t alone.
Thanks to social media like Facebook, Pinterest, MeetUp.com and mommy blogs, you can click into the land of the living without feeling the need to put on clean clothes or even brush your teeth!
Schedule time for an exercise class. Not only are fitness classes a fun way to get in shape, you’ll feel mentally refreshed, more patient and more positive in general. And the more you go, the more you’ll get to know the other participants, which will make you feel more accountable about showing up.
You may feel tempted to push your personal interests aside due to overwhelming family demands. Negotiate time with your spouse to pursue your hobbies and other interests. Share your interests by inviting friends to join you for a gardening or cooking class or to start a book club.
Create a Calendar
You write everyone else’s appointments on your calendar. Take yourself seriously, too. Honor your personal needs by making appointments with yourself, including fitness classes, walks with friends, moms’ meetings, dinner with a friend, classes you’ve signed up for, and so on.
– Christa Melnyk Hines