Mom’s are genius at weaving a network of friends to support their parenting skills. I swear it is instinctual. When I look back at how I created my mothering community, especially as a new mom that first year, it boggles my mind. I don’t believe any strategic plan to embark on such a goal or to recruit the people that joined me in my mission to be a good mommy could have been more successful. It reminds me of the song, “Cuz you’ve got to have friends, lalalalalalalalalalalalalala, friends …” I felt alone, like the song suggests, but thru my pregnancy and parenting a newborn, suddenly there was so much opportunity for an expanded group of friends and family.
Why is it that women work so effectively and easily in groups? Is it part of our nature, so that our babies will survive? As Hillary Clinton’s book suggest, “It Takes a Village” to unify, raise a child, support a family, and bond a community.
When I was pregnant it was pre-smart phone, so we weren’t texting or able to click on the internet to search for quick references and answers. Oh how Siri would have served me if I had her available back then! She would have certainly been one of my besties!
Technology certainly has made networking easier for moms. One could certainly argue that mom’s sharing their experiences with baby gear had a HUGE impact on the early success of social media: Baby Center, The Bump, etc. Now you can also reach to the internet for local kid friendly activities or pregnancy related event calendars, like Bump Club, Macaroni Kid, MommyBites, The Pump Station, to name a few.
Thinking back to what was most meaningful to me, it was all about sharing. It’s an instant bond moment. During our early evening walks with our baby (witching hour) we would bump into other newbie parents, literally on the sidewalk, and quickly exchange names and then jump into, “Is he sleeping?” “How much does she weigh?” “Have you started solids?” “What stroller is that?” First time old friends, sharing our knowledge.
My favorite places to recruit a mom resource:
2) neighborhood park either in the morning or around 4pm
3) Mommy Me Yoga Classes
4) RIE Class
5) Facebook, Twitter, Mom & Mom-To-Be Blogs
6) Any mom event or mommy-to-be event (especially an in-store)
7) Grocery store (usually for a quick answer – again I had a newborn pre Siri)
There is a method to this science. Some of your network is for quick answers, that is where the internet references and back in the day, How To Books weigh in heavily. There is the need to talk, which comes from the quick social connection: bonding on a walk or at the grocery store. And the deeper friend, someone you see regularly at the neighborhood park, or in a Mommy Me class, these can become lifelong friends. I have cyber mom friends that I IM with every morning, we check in with each other, most of them it took years to meet face-to-face. But they are a part of my A-Team
Part of PAM’s roots is from Anna and I, as first time new mom and besties sharing what we knew and creating support in our community through our mommy me yoga classes. On our blog we strive for the same goal. The resources we share and the topics we grapple with are personal. They are products we have used and they are people that we leaned on, and have developed relationships with. Tool around our site and meet our friends, let them be a help to you too.
Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW, Co-Founder of PAM, was once a new mom too, and still reaches out for support in her day to day parenting from all the amazing lovelies out there!
***PAM is not advising you to do anything, really. We are just mom’s that are sharing our experiences in hopes it will inspire and help. Always use your common sense, talk with your mate, and bring in healthcare experts whenever possible.