My little man is finally getting old enough to start going on playdates and I have been on the search for a great mom group. Moms groups or small group playdates are very important for your sanity as a mother as well as your child’s social development. It can certainly be intimidating looking for a good fit for both you and your child, but it can be a lifesaver once you find the right group.

Here are some tips that I used in my playdate search:

  1. Focus on your interests: There are groups that are simply a motherhood focused conglomeration, but you can also get involved in groups that are tailored to specific interests you may have. Look for a group of moms who like to go walking/running together, or join a mommy and me yoga class if you want to squeeze in an exercise session. There are groups that do more outdoor activities, just as there are groups that like to do arts and crafts or baking on a regular basis. If you browse around a little before you decide on a group, you can find one that you look forward to going to, and therefore you will be more likely to attend functions and get to know the other mothers in your group.
  2. Go on a few first dates: Feel free to try out a few different groups. You are likely to spend quite a bit of time with the members of your group, so you want to make sure that the fit is good. Just as there are different types of groups, there are many different mothers in the group, and you are less likely to participate in activities if you don’t get along with most of the women.  You are choosing who to surround yourself and your child with so don’t be afraid to be a little picky.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: How many and what type of outings do you do as a group? What is the typical age range of the children in the group? Any concerns or questions you have should be addressed by either an informed member or the leader of the group if it has one. The more you know about the group the more likely you are to find the right one for you and your child.
  4. Don’t go too far out of your comfort zone: You want to push yourself to branch out a little so you and your child meet new people and experience new things. You don’t, however, want to be so far out of your comfort zone that you don’t feel comfortable attending your group. A mom’s or playdate group should be a joyful and relaxing experience, a break from the everyday life. If you don’t care for big groups, get together with one or two other mothers from time to time. If you are new to fitness join the walker/jogger group, not the hardcore mountain climbing mommas. Again, you want to find the group of people that you truly enjoy being around and the activities you enjoy participating in.

There is such a diverse selection of mom and playdate groups, you don’t have to settle with a group you sort of like. The activity and interaction in the group will enrich both you and your child’s life if you let it so take the time to find a group that is right for you. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with it, you deserve the break!

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