Ever since we starting TTC, I’ve wanted to join a moms group. Well, I wanted to join one back when Kiddo1 was Baby1, but that didn’t really pan out. You see, I’m kind of an introvert, so social situations make be feel a bit awkward. But I do understand the power of a special group of ladies that can support each other through the crazy time of pregnancy and beyond. So I’m willing to put myself out there in an attempt to reap the rewards of social interaction and contribute to others’ well-being.
I couldn’t find a group that really fit what I was looking for: ladies who are pregnant with similar due dates, within a least a couple months of each other. That way we can share pregnancy stories, dish on the gear that seems worth it or not, experienced moms can guide us a bit, inexperienced ones can remind us of the joys of discovery, we can celebrate and learn from each birth in succession and then share the amazing growth and development of our little ones.
So, I started my own little group. That’s like extra putting myself out there, right?!
Here are the steps I took to start my group:
- Decide what you want out of the group. Do you want people with similar lifestyles or situations? Such as SAHMs, working moms, single parents, environmentally conscious, attachment parenting, etc. For me, I just wanted ladies with similar due dates so we could share developmental milestones – both with our pregnancies and our babies.
- Find an online host. Meetup.com hosts my group, which is really helpful because it’s an online “home base” where we can keep our member’s info, meeting schedule, send messages, etc. Meetup does charge a fee but there are several ways you can approach this.
- You can pass the cost off to your members by charging a small fee to join the group. I didn’t go this route because I was afraid it would deter people from joining the group.
- You can get businesses to sponsor your meetups. There’s a link on your group’s main page – just click on the sponsors you want, fill out their form and they’ll let you know… I haven’t done this personally but I’m kind of interested in seeing what it’s all about.
- Eat the cost. This is what I’m currently doing. Not because I have tons of money to spend but because I figured gaining a few more friends and positive experiences might be worth the cost. We’ll see how that pans out.
- Plan some events. My group has a regular schedule of bi-weekly sit-downs at a local eatery. They’re at a set day and time so everyone remembers. On the “off” weeks we’ll be doing other random stuff like classes, baby expos/baby swap meets (luckily there are a lot of these in my area in the Spring), a “field trip” to the baby big box store to dish about necessary/unnecessary baby gear and, this May, a screening of the new “What to Expect” movie.
- Get some members. I started advertising on some of the pregnancy forums like thebump.com, babycenter.com, etc. I started the group in late November and as of late December I had already accumulated 25 members just by using this method. My back-up plan was to post flyers at places like the local library, community center, etc, but I don’t think I’ll have to take that step.
- Get people to show up. Holy moly this is the most difficult step. So far my group has had only one meeting (with the holidays and all I haven’t scheduled anything else until this next weekend). Seven people RSVP’d and, get this, three showed up. Including me. Ouch. In my defense, the event was set up a couple weeks in advance and, other than the automatic meetup-generated reminder, I didn’t send any follow-up notifications. So maybe people forgot. In the future I will send my own personal reminder to everyone a day or two before the event. Also, I think having them at a eatery/hang-out will help because everyone knows pregnant ladies need food. Often. Lots of it.
My group is obviously in its infancy, but it will grow. I’m sure of it. I will force it to grow! And as it does I will post more updates about successful and unsuccessful techniques. I am determined to have a support group and provide support to others during this pregnancy because it is something I really wish I would have done last time. So I will make it so!