They say it takes a village to raise a child, but being a new mom can be isolating.

I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom, and when my oldest son was born I was more than happy to give up everything I had known up to that point to stay home with him.  Jack was a super easy baby, and I quickly fell into a daily routine with my new infant: feed, change, play, nap, repeat…. What I didn’t count on was feeling like I was the only mom on earth.  When Jack was about 6 weeks old I realized that I was suffering from the “baby blues”.  (Full blown post-partum depression would not arrive until after the birth of my second son…a subject for another day!)

I knew I needed to get us out of the house and around other moms and kids.  But where to find them?  Being the bookworm that I am, my first stop was my local library.  We checked out story time, and though he seemed to enjoy it from his little car seat I knew I needed something more.  On my way out of the library I spotted a brochure for something called MOMS Club….BINGO!

MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1983 by a stay at home mom in California, Mary James.  She wanted to meet other at-home moms and children for her children to play with. When she discovered there were no other organizations that met during the day and allowed her to come with her baby and preschooler, she decided to start a brand new organization just for at-home mothers, and MOMS Club was born.

MOMS Club believes that being a mom shouldn’t isolate you.  Each chapter offers a calendar full of activities for at-home moms and their kiddos every month.  Activities like playgroups, park days, crafts, and outings such as strawberry picking and trips to the pumpkin patch.  But my favorite MOMS Club activity is the one just for moms…MOMS Night Out!  Let’s face it, every once in a while we need to get out and have some fun without a diaper bag over our shoulder, right?

I joined my local MOMS Club chapter the same week I found that brochure at the library. I started getting out of the house with my new baby, joined a playgroup, and met other new moms.  Eight years later, I’m still a member!  I’ve served as playgroup coordinator, membership vice-president, and even started a fitness group for the moms in my chapter.

But the best part of being in MOMS Club is the lifelong friendships I’ve made.  It’s been a lifesaver having other moms to laugh and cry with, who don’t judge you for completely losing it after a long day of temper tantrums and dirty diapers, who celebrate with you when you FINALLY get your child to go in the potty, who cry with you when you drop them off for their first day of preschool…who “get” you.  Only other moms can understand.  Friends like that are priceless!

There are over 2,000 MOMS Club chapters in the US today.  To find a chapter near you, visit the MOMS Club website!

photo: google