Four years ago, I became a mom to a baby girl. It was a beautiful time, but it was also scary. Much of the time I felt lost, alone, and truly unsure of what I was doing as a mom. I was able to find the community I needed through being surrounded by other moms who were in the same position as me or moms who had done this before.
Truth is, I had a hard time finding this community in Hamilton and many of my mom friends came from outside of our city. I wish I had known more of the mom groups that do exist in Hamilton. I know this would have saved me driving out of town simply to meet other moms, bringing on a feeling of isolation.
Throughout the years I have come to discover mom groups and resources right in Hamilton that are worth investing in, in order to find that community and support that all of us moms are in need of. Here are some of my top finds.
Mom-and-Baby Fitness Classes
If you are looking for an active group to join, a mommy-and-me fitness class is ideal. Groups like Strollerfit Hamilton, near me, allow you to take walks through parks, trails, or malls with your baby while chatting with other moms is a great way to take your baby on an outing while giving some self-care to your soul at the same time. Another example, MumNet, in Toronto, is unique because it combines a fitness class with a social meetup afterward—all while your child is being minded onsite by experienced, trained, and police-screened caregivers.
Social Media becomes the go-to for moms looking for advice, tips, and solidarity. Often we are up at all hours of the night feeding or rocking baby and it is our virtual friends on social media who keep us company in the wee hours. In my area of Hamilton, Ontario, Club M.O.M. (which stands for Meeting Other Moms) is a group that I particularly love because its focus is on meeting other moms in person. Moms meet up for a walk, at an EarlyON centre, or even have a moms’ night out. The goal is to create long-lasting friendships. Do some searching for Facebook groups in your area and suggest meeting up in real life.
Village Mommy is an online resource that allows you to find other moms within walking distance who have kids the same ages as yours. Much like a dating site, this site will match you with moms who are similar in parenting styles, interests, etc. If you are looking to meet new mom friends in more of an intentional manner, this is an excellent resource for you!
MOPS is a Christian organization with locations in churches across North America. It’s open to everyone, and in the group I attended, there was absolutely zero pressure to join the church itself. The beauty of these groups is that you leave your little one(s) in a nursery with other adults who love on them while you get to sit, enjoy a hot cup of coffee, yummy treats, chats with other moms, and either listen to a speaker, discuss a specific topic, or even create a DIY project. It is such a treat to have an hour-and-a-half of kid-free time with other moms!
This Canada-wide organization with local chapters brings moms together in their neighbourhood or town to connect with one another and get valuable information about parenting at each stage from 0 to 4. Classes are divided into Mom To Be, Mom and Baby, and Mom and Tot, and are offered in six-week sessions (one class per week) and generally consist of 12 to 20 moms. Expert presenters share information on a relevant topic, with time to socialize afterward. The bonus of Mommy Connections is that you’re with the same group of moms for six weeks, which give you a chance to form bonds.
Local Library Story Time
While this isn’t technically a mom group, library story time has become an extreme love of mine in the past four years. They are a good way to dip your toe into “mom groups” without committing to something big. If you don’t feel like being social yet are in need of an outing with your babe, you have come to the right place: you can arrive right on time for your little one to enjoy the stories and songs and leave right after. But if you have something on your mind you want to discuss with other moms or just want to meet some other parents and be social, you can arrive early to chat and stay late and let your kids read and play while you get in some adult social time yourself. Most cities have something happening at the library almost every day of the week!
The truth is, we don’t need to travel far to find our mom community—a community we desperately need at the infant and early childhood stage. Challenge yourself to start with one of these options for meeting other moms and see where it brings you. You might even meet that mom friend you’ve been searching for.