Let’s be honest; making “mom friends” is hard. After you have kids, your life may revolve around your children, but it’s also important to create a network of your own. As they say, raising a child takes a village. (And so does keeping your sanity while potty training.)
But if you are new to the area, working full time, or even just an introvert, it may be difficult to make new friends as a mom. Here are ten opportunities to find your tribe in the Quad Cities.
United in Motherhood is both a small business and a plagyroup, with the objective of, of course, uniting moms. Their mission is to “form a united community of support, encouragement, and persistence among mothers across all races, nationalities, ethnicities, generations, and socio-economic backgrounds.” The group generally meets on Tuesday mornings at parks, museums, or toddler-focused events.
My friend Deb Emde said this about her experience in the playgroup:
“As an older mom, I didn’t have any friends with little ones when my son was born. The women in this group have become lifetime friends and an awesome support network. I am now more comfortable meeting new people, plus my kids think it’s an adventure to play with new friends!”
(Private Facebook group for safety, referral needed.)
Holly Kube founded Walk and Talk in the spring of 2014 to join working and stay at home moms together for chit chat and exercise.
The group generally meets Monday, Wednesday, and/or Friday mornings at different parks and paths.
Holly says, “the relationships that have been built are amazing. We do all types of events around the area each week, bringing the moms and kids together. I’ve had over 200 members in the group since it was started three years ago and am blessed to have other mom leaders that help with the events each week.”
Megan Hein McClimon joined the group when she moved to town two years ago in the middle of the winter: “I felt like I was isolated on an island, not knowing anyone. But as soon as I reached out and joined the group, I met moms in the same phase of life. It’s wonderful friendships, exercise and playgroups!”
(Private Facebook group for safety, referral needed.)
La Leche League is a nonprofit organization to help mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement and information. The Quad Cities chapter hosts two monthly meetings: the first Monday night and the second Tuesday morning of each month. Five local leaders facilitate each group, where parents have the opportunity to not only ask questions and learn tips and tricks for nursing, but also connect with other young families.
“We have done quite a bit of moving in the last five years, and the last three times I have headed to a La Leche League meeting as soon as we were settled, because I knew I would find the mom tribe I was seeking. Each time, I have made at least one great, lasting friendship that I know I would not have had without LLL! In fact I wouldn’t have any new friends if not for LLL!” explaind Becky Majewski.
- Plan your own Block Party
Want to connect with your neighbors (especially those with kids at home) but don’t know how to grow your relationship beyond waving? Plan a block party!
This idea totally inspired me and I am now hoping to host one in my neighborhood this fall!
“We went low budget and simple: I whipped up a flier with the date and asked the odd houses to bring veggies or dessert and the even houses to bring meat or fruit. People brought grills, games, ice, and BYO drinks and chairs. We hosted on our lawn and I supplied plates and silverware” explained my fiend Kate Thode.
Bonus, use this party to facilitate planning for future neighborhood playdates: “I had a sign up sheet about a neighborhood mom Facebook page for organizing playdates and asked for names, emails, and phone numbers!”
Fit4Mom is a local mom-owned business focusing on fitness for motherhood. The Quad Cities franchise, operated by Chelsea Schroeder, has four types of classes: Stroller Strides (with kids), Body Back (without kids), Fit4Baby (for pregnant mamas) and a running training group. Plus, Fit4Mom hosts free Friday morning playgroups and monthly Mom’s Nights Out.
“Fit4Mom was the best of both world for me because I was able to meet new people and workout at the same time; both things that are essential to figuring out my new ‘norm’ aka motherhood. I get a great workout, discuss new parenting ideas and have a great excuse to get out of the house and have some non-baby time at the monthly Mom’s Nights Out!” explains Amanda Seibert Allison.
- Organize your own rotating playgroup
Did you meet some nice moms while attending a local music class or hanging out at the children’s museum? Unsure how to advance your new relationship from acquitance to mom-friend? Make the first move and invite them over!
My friend Stephanie explains how we started our own rotating playgroup with some moms and kiddos we met at a Scott Community College class: “After meeting in Music Time for Toddlers, some moms and I did a playgroup rotation in our homes. Each week, at the same time the class had previously met, we would all get together at one mom’s home, and we switched every week for 6 weeks. Moms who I didn’t know well before, became friends who I can relate to, rely on, and bond with. It helped having kids of the same age who were going through similar milestones and doing the same insane things. I wasn’t the only mom tackling potty training or handing out thousands of different snacks in order to find the one that would satiate my toddler’s ‘refinded’ palate.”
Fellow QCMB writer Sheri Zeck also started a mom’s group 16 years ago and is still friends with some of those ladies! “When I quit my job after having my first baby to because a full time at home mom, I started a moms group. I went through a national organization called Moms Club. They offered tips and ideas on how to get the word out, but word of mouth was the most effective method.”
Meetup.com is a national website that features local get togethers. Just create an account and start browsing. You can find local play groups (Moms Club of Davenport and Bettendorf & Quad Cities Stay at Home Parents group are the first two that pop up on my account) or browse by your non-parenthood related interests. The are local book clubs, language groups and even a meetup to watch Game of Thrones!
This is a great option for moms who are new to the area or looking to expand their tribe. Marcy explains how she uses the website: “As a mom who moves a lot, Facebook-based playgroups have been a lifesaver. Also, when my son was little, I used meetup.com to find area playgroups!”
- DISH at Hy-Vee
Looking to meet some mom friends while making life easier for your family? Look no further than DISH at Hy-Vee. DISH stands for Dinner Is Solved at Hy-Vee.
In as little as two hours, you can prep freezer meals for your family, which can be thawed and cooked when you are ready to eat.
You can start your own group, join an exisiting group, or check out the periodic Open Class DISH event that Hy-Vee offers.
My friend Katie is passionate about the DISH group I started last year:
“Nothing brings women together like cooking for your family, sipping wine, and NOT having to do the dishes! DISH Night at Hy-Vee takes all the stress out of preparing meals and allows you to relax and enjoy your company. I’ve been able to really get to know some of moms in our group! It’s easy to chat while you’re cooking, so we’ve been able to discuss everything from job frustrations, to parenting issues, to college antics, and everything in between. It’s always nice to know that someone else is going through this season of life right along with you and can be there to give you a high five or pour you another glass of wine. I can count on this group of moms for support in whatever way I need it!”
2. Mom’s Morning Out or MOPS
The Quad Cities boasts many church-based playgroups and mom groups for those with pre-school age childen. One example is Mom’s Morning Out , hosted at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Bettendorf on Tuesdays from 9-11am during the school year.
Michelle explains why she loves this group:
“Two lovely ladies from the church watch the children in the nursery while the moms get to share food and friendship. It’s been a nice way for me to get to know other women at my church and share parenting experiences with them; they are a great support group. It has also been a great way for my son to interact with other children his age and prepared him for being away from me when he started preschool.”
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) is another church-based way to meet new mom friends. Fellow QCMB writer Michelle Borchers Crawfod explains why her MOPS group was a livesaver for her:
“Being introverted and a SAHM, I have struggled to meet friends. I was totally uncomfortable introducing myself but MOPS had a great format and most of my mom friends I met through there.”
A quick search of the MOPS website netted me 10 active MOPS groups in the Quad Cities alone.
Quad City Moms Blog is all about encouraging and connecting moms. Our online community is great but we want to help you build lasting friendships by getting offline and out into our community. We host Playgroups, Moms Night Outs, Date Nights, and Family Nights. Check back often to find details and registration for upcoming events. Plus, check out our Community Events calendar and add your playgroups, classes, and mom-get togethers!
What are some other local mom-friendly groups in the QCA? Where did you meet your mom friends?