October 18, 2018 By Angela Borders Domestic Violence Awareness This October is the 31st Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we at SacWellness want to take this time to help spread awareness of this issue and offer resources in the Sacramento…
By Angela Borders
September 3, 2018
Places to find your Mama Tribe in the Sacramento Area
So over and over again, new moms are told how important it is to find their “Mama Tribe”, and for good reason! Finding other mom friends, and the support and reassurance that comes with having other new moms around you while you are trying to navigate this whole new crazy life is incredibly helpful. But the task of finding said “mom friends” is daunting to say the least. To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of some mom groups in the greater Sacramento area along with some info on how and why they are a great place to find your mama tribe. There are definitely many more besides these, but these are some that Angela personally attended and found to be helpful. -SacWellness is not sponsored by any of these organizations….we just like them :-p
Fit4Mom, Also known as Stroller Strides
Ok, so we have to list this one first as it’s hands down the best group Angela has been in. Fit4Mom is a company with franchises all over the Sacramento region (Fit4Mom Placer is the specific franchise we have experience with), and they offer multiple different classes. The main class for new moms though, that you may have heard of before, is Stroller Strides. This class offers cardio and strength exercise, while also entertaining your little one with songs, stories, puppets and more. The best part is that it is dang fun.
The biggest reason why this group is so great though? FIVE classes a week. Plus play groups, PLUS moms’ nights out. Being around the same group of women so consistently really helps to build fast friendships. One of the hardest things about making new friends as an adult is scheduling and all the complications that come with juggling life, possibly work, naps, and more. But Fit4Mom offers so many classes and events that it is much more easy to check in at least once a week. With some of the other groups, that is just harder to manage
Cost. Memberships range and there are options like class passes and downgraded memberships, but when there are a lot of other ways to join groups for free, the cost can be a bit of a bummer. But it is so worth it.
Great exercise, LOTS of events and fun for the kids, and again, *frequency*
Another group that has the benefit of being exercise focused is the Moms Run this Town group. This is another large organization with local chapters in many different cities and neighborhoods, but one major difference is that it is FREE! Angela found this group via facebook, and attended multiple running (though she mostly walked) meetups in Lincoln and Roseville. The actual meetings vary greatly, but the women in the group are super supportive, train together for marathons, and have a very uplifting vibe.
This group is perfect for those who already love running, but we are not those people. There isn’t as much of a regular schedule of beginner friendly *daily* activities, and there are not as many set up plans for play groups, moms’ nights out and all the extras that come with being in a paid regular class.
If you love running, this group is fantastic. A go to resource for running partners, play dates and maybe even a new best friend.
Keeping with the trend of exercise focused groups (last one though!), Herself Moms is a great place to connect with other moms. They offer classes for new parents, a support group led by local therapist Catherine O’Brien, and pre and postpartum yoga.
Again, just cost. Also, a note: they recently closed their Roseville location. However the Sacramento one is still going strong.
The consistency of a regular class schedule and of course the health benefits of yoga. The indoor environment is also nice for those with babies still nursing/needing diaper changes (not that that can’t be handled out and about, but it sure is nice having a bathroom right there…)
Support Groups Through Your Medical Provider
The first mom group Angela ever attended was the Kaiser “Baby and Me” class, and it was crazy helpful. Every week this support group met to discuss everything from latching to family struggles, to what TV shows everyone likes. The fact that it was led by a seasoned counselor and lactation specialist, and that everyone there was in the same boat (Kaiser’s group is for all Moms in the first year of parenting) made it a place that felt safe to cry, vent, and laugh all at once sometimes.
There aren’t really any here. We want to say “you have to be a member of the hospital/insurance” but we’re honestly not even sure if that’s the case. If so, then that would be it. Well, and maybe that they only met once a week. However, because this group was pretty intimate, organic play dates and meetups outside the group often occurred.
Support and a counseling like environment, advice from a veteran mom/counselor/lactation specialist and room full of other moms also in the thick of things.
Baby Wearing Groups
Being able to wear our son was hugely helpful and a real game changer when it came to being able to get things done around the house and do naps while out and about. Angela attended baby wearing groups in Roseville and Sacramento, but there are many more. The meetups were super helpful as the women running the group were able to teach us new ways to wear and we were able to rent carriers to test out before making the investment in one of our own. Also, the Roseville group was a great weekly hang out where Aiden made some of his first friends since he was old enough to start connecting with other kids.
Not really anything other than not meeting more than once a week. Like the Kaiser group though, this group was more intimate and led to people setting up play dates on their own pretty quickly too.
Learning to babywear! Very friendly group, generally pretty progressive bunch of people.
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)
MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers, is a huge religious-based group that runs out of churches all over the world. Different MOPS groups meet on different exact schedules, but the one Angela attended, Granite Springs MOPS, met twice a month. Unlike the other groups mentioned here, MOPS provides childcare, and moms potluck so everyone can have some time free of kids to eat a hot breakfast with other grown ups. It. Is. Nice. And we want to stress that you absolutely do not need to be religious or a member of the church to attend. There are activities that involve prayer or discussion of religious topics, but no one is forced to participate or carry the same views themselves. Another important note is that your child does not need to be preschool aged. This may vary from one group to another, but our MOPS had childcare for kids ranging from infant to post pre school, and some moms of older kids came without their kids.
Only meeting twice a month. Missing a meetup meant only seeing the group once in a month and that was a bit tough. Also, the religious aspect could be a problem for some if you are not comfortable discussing religious topics.
Such a warm and inviting group, and did we mention there was HOT food, and COFFEE, and CHILD CARE. Plus, with play group meet ups every here and there and Facebook discussion, we were able to make up the difference in scheduling problems.
Speeeeaking of Facebook, oh my gosh are there a lot of Facebook groups for moms. We would be here all day if we listed even half of the ones just in the Sacramento region. Suffice to say, if you have an interest, any interest, there is likely a Facebook mom group related to it. If you are looking for an online mom group, try searching on Facebook for something you are interested in + “mom” or “parent”. This is how we found groups on everything from birth to moms in our area, dads’ groups, craft moms, geek moms, attachment parenting, plus size moms, activist moms…you name it.
This is probably a good place to mention that all the other resources we’ve mentioned thus far have Facebook groups connected with them as well. This was very helpful as it made it easy to connect with others in the group and organize additional meetups.
Belonging to a social media group, whether it’s on Facebook or some other platform, can be a great resource for connecting with others, finding support, and getting advice; however, of course it goes without saying that you should exercise caution when “meeting” people online and that online social connection differs pretty drastically from face to face interaction. One other note is to not get too sucked into such groups/spend too much of your time on them. Internet addiction is a real thing, and with so many conversations going on all at once all the time, Facebook can be quite a time suck. Angela used to struggle with this, and belonged to wayyyy too many of these groups (all those late night feedings meant she needed reading material though!). Now she just sticks to a few, and often only checks ones where she can talk to people she actually connects with in real life.
Getting overwhelmed. This is why we recommend limiting how you use these groups/how many you join. Know yourself and your habits though of course. Also, like we said above, the connections made online are just not the same as in person. But many of these groups can lead to in person connections too.
So many people! It’s so easy to find so many people, and what’s more, so many people with similar interests and ideas. This can be really great, especially when it’s 3am and you are just looking for someone who can tell you that YES your child WILL sleep someday….eventually.
We’ve said it before, and will keep on saying it: Meetup.com is a great resource for finding all kinds of groups, parenting and otherwise. We met some really cool people who had a group that was just centered around the timeframe of our son being born, and there are a bunch of hiking and geeky groups for parents on there we keep meaning to check out (Work and Stroller Strides have got us pretty busy for now though).
All the same problems as Facebook: it’s an online resource, which comes with all those same concerns.
All those same benefits of any online resource too! Lots of groups and likeminded people, lots of events and fun things to check out.
And last, but certainly not least….
Get on Out There! (Meet people the old fashioned way)
Of course, the park, library, tumbling classes, or whatever other activities you do with your kid/s are also excellent places to meet other parents too. It means putting yourself out there quite a bit more, and can feel pretty daunting, but for lots of people, that works great!
But it’s so much easier when you don’t have to put out all the effort/organize all the things. Being able to just attend something, something regular and orchestrated by others, is so so much easier. That’s why we wanted to compile this list and offer our experience up for others to benefit from. If even just one other mom finds a mom friend as a result of this blog, we will be ecstatic. Because, as you may have guessed by this list, it took Angela a …while… to find her mom tribe. But once you have it, it is such a wonderful source of support and sanity, friendship and just HELP.
Best of luck to all us moms, just trying to find our tribe.