Finding Your Local Group: Parents Need Other Parents

I promised a blog post about how to find your local group so I will try my best here to express my experiences so far. I have an amazing local group and I want nothing less for you moms than the happiness that I experience when I am with them. I truly take this seriously and believe that our success and happiness as breastfeeders, mothers and women come from who we surround ourselves with.

Some of you have asked me “What is a local group?” My local group was discovered through a Facebook group called “Breastfeed, Chicago!” They were there for me when I was harassed by women in another group for sharing my breastfeeding photos. That is when I knew that my place in all of this was bigger than I thought. My local group did that for me. They gave me my voice. They gave the women in that other group a virtual bitch slap for me. I felt for a moment like I was in the mafia. Woman after woman showed up defending me. Most of them I had never met in person. I have now. They made a point to bring me in and show me I had a home. Now it is my turn. I say to you “you have a home.” Your local group is out there. I am part of it, but you need to see moms face to face, meet their children, laugh, eat and cry together. These are women that you will text when your baby is nursing. You will chat with them when you feel overwhelmed. They will know how you feel and give you support. You will discover all the nooks and crannies of your city while you explore new places to have picnics. You will daydream about being pregnant together, taking care of their little ones while they are in labor and bringing your children over to play while they are recovering in the next room. When you begin to feel love for them and freedom from loneliness you will look down and realize that this whole time your children were getting to know each other. You will dream big with these women. At least I have.

I realized I was different from other mothers early on; when I began to throw out books about baby training, when I brought my baby into bed and when I was bullied for breastfeeding. I felt a deep sense of loneliness and isolation. I was afraid. That was a long time ago. The other day my local group came to my neighborhood. We went to the park, got dirty, ate a ton of food and stifled our laughter while the babes took naps. Back at my place Jack started to act different. This usually shy boy began yelling back to the two older children. He laughed, grabbed onto my hands and walked over to the moms and smiled. He reached out to touch the other children. My boy was playing with his friends.

Your local group is vital to your quality of life as a mother. They are like-minded mothers. They parent similar to you and share your values as a mother. You have a deep bond with them that didn’t take long to build. You are connected to them on a different level than the rest of the world. They give you the confidence to do what you truly want to do as a mother. They give you the motivation to work on yourself. They give you the inspiration to be an even better mother. They give you the clarity to always keep your goals in focus. You would leave your child with them in an emergency even if you do not believe in spending time away from your child. You would nurse their babies in an emergency and you know they would do the same for yours. They make you feel like you’re the center of the world even when everyone knows that it’s not really about you anymore.

Margaret Mead said “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” I met one of my closest local groups members at a Nurse-In. Since then we have only gotten closer and now our children are growing up together. Humans are social creatures. There is a reason why feeling lonely doesn’t feel good. And there is reason why when you are with like-minded people you feel like you can conquer the world.

Now you ask me “How do I find my local group?” Well, that’s more complicated. I live in a big city with lots of people. I am much more likely to find like-minded moms than some of you. However, I want to help. I can help. Since writing this 5 years ago ago thousands of women from my page have been brought together around the world. I will show you how to find them. 

Inside the group linked below you will find a document called the “Local Group Finder” (located both in the pinned post and in the Files section) with hundreds of local local groups around the world. Join us now. And please read the entire pinned post (including the link) once you have been approved and before you post in the group.

JOIN GROUP BY CLICKING LINK BELOW

Local Group Finder-The Badass Breastfeeder (Headquarters Group)

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Other ways to meet like-minded Moms in your area are:

-Approach people-if you see a Mama in the park go up and talk to her.

-La Leche League Meetings or any breastfeeding support group-You can find these all over the world. http://www.llli.org/

-Place an ad in the newspaper-you think I’m crazy? Like a classified ad for a date, but instead for a playdate! You can also do this on Craigslist.com too.

-Locate Attachment Parenting Meetings in your area-or start one!

-Baby Boutiques-they often have classes and meetups.

-Shop around the internet on pages for your local area (midwife pages, mommy group pages, local businesses, etc.)

-Create a group on Meetup.com.

-Do searches on Facebook and the internet for Mommy groups.

-Hang flyers at the local hospital, baby boutiques, businesses geared for Moms, etc.

Make it your business to find new Mamas so that they do not have to be lonely. You are an agent of change. You are, simply by being here, reading this and wanting to be active, a force that can change the world. Don’t take that lightly. Go.

Abby Theuring, MSW

Comments

  1. Or consider starting a Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network, a 501c3 non-profit organization working to help mamas find their tribe!

  2. I wish we had a Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network here!!

  3. I love this “idea” of a mama tribe. I have two children one is 25months old and one 3months old and I can tell you this it has changed my world! No friends because they don’t understand the life of a mama, that being home alll day with my children trumps going out to a club. I really need tofind my mama tribe because it would be nice to have friends who understand me and to open my mind to “your beliefs” and to show me how to follow/achieve these beliefs because they are amazing and as you’ve said in other posts its not easy to transition. And I just thought while I’m writing to you id let you know I found your FB page through a friend who has the same beliefs as you and then found your blog and haven’t been able to stop reading your posts they have my mind racing and rethinking everything I LOVE IT. THANK YOUU!!!!

  4. This is such a wonderful post! I recently moved and felt like my current friends and I were not matching up parenting-wise. I created a “crunchy mamas” group on meetup and found a little group of fantastic like-minded mamas. We are still all getting to know one another but I think I may have found my tribe and its wonderful feeling like I finally belong somewhere where my parenting ideas and values are accepted and encouraged. We do all need our own tribe. 🙂

  5. Ashlea Blumenshine says:

    Thanks Badass! This post made me teary eyed and gave me goosebumps just reading. I live in a VERY small town and do not drive, so making friends is really hard. I have some friends that I have met through work over the years, but when it comes down to parenting we are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. My DD is 15 months old and only plays with 3 year olds (which is what all my mommy friends have) and I would love to find a mommy tribe where she can have friends of all ages and some close to her. I feel lonely and bad all of the time because no one understands me. I mean if I bring up an issue about nursing I am usually encouraged to wean. If it is a behavior issue (biting, hitting, ect.) I am encouraged to hit. Both are things that I am NOT okay with. So I am hoping to find my mommy tribe through this page and the ideas you gave. I am actually about to put an add up on Craigslist looking for a playdate. 😀

  6. Believe me, Mama Tribes continue on through the tumultuous teen years. Just when you think you’ve lost touch with your Mama Tribe from when you all went to the park together and shared baby food recipes, you’ll soon be swapping stories about pulling all nighters waiting for your teens to come home from their first drive alone. Mama Tribes stay with you for life as there is no other bond like it.

  7. Windi Hornsby says:

    An alternative to LLL is Breastfeeding USA- you can find a local chapter here: https://breastfeedingusa.org/content/article/find-breastfeeding-counselor

  8. It would also be nice to have a group for ap mamas who struggle with special needs as well.

  9. Love this! I actually started my own mom group a few weeks ago and its called Like Minded Mommas! Its the best <3

  10. I love this but i have to admit that i feel excluded from being part of something like this after reading the disclaimer at the bottom as i don’t do everything that is defined as AP.

    • Which is why I add that not everyone is in the same place and that everyone is welcome. But it is important for people to know that these are things that most of the Moms find they have in common so there are no surpirses.

  11. Inge van Neerven says:

    i’ve found my mama tribe in my country online. When I wanted to be pregnant I became a member of zwangerschapspagina.nl a site with (wannabe) moms. I got pregnant and started writing with a group of women who, like me, were due in september 2008. We shared and kept sharing after giving birth (and sadly enough. .. losing some) to our baby’s. We learned. .. We grew. ..
    Now. … almost six years later we still write with each other in a group of 14 mothers. We all are breastfeeders and we helped each other in difficult times. Although we don’t live near each other. .. we are connected every day. We share thoughts on raising our children and accept that we all do that in our own, different and unique way.
    I have a mama tribe and I love them. In about two weeks we meet in a group accommodation with our five-year olds and some of their siblings. I look forward to it!

  12. Love this post. Gearing up for finding/gathering a Mama Tribe south of Seattle, WA area. (I’m getting a really early start. Just starting my 2nd trimester.) Thanks for all the how-to-find ideas! Makes it feel doable. 🙂 I was having a mild, unsubstantiated worry about not finding other crunchy/AP mamas outside of the city.

  13. Any badasses in Perth Western Australia? I’m in the bassendean area and am desperate for a tribe to join or start

  14. It started just over a month ago on a local beast is best group. I put the call out to anyone who identifies AP. And slowly the Attachment Parenting Parents of my city is growing. Its walks and icecream its pool dates and coffee time. Its frusterations about night time nursing toddlers and one year olds givig up a paci. Its becoming my happy digital place with friends in he real world. I am so happy to find my tribe, my village,, because as much as i love my family and friends not all my parenting wishes are seen in their eyes as something i should or shouldnt do. No it wont always be easy but i didnt sign on for easy.

  15. Cassie from Wisconsin says:

    I am from a VERY small town in northern Wisconsin (around 900 people) and finding it ever more difficult to find moms who breastfeed, babywear, and gentle parent. I stay connected through Facebook with some other moms, but don’t even have a clue how to get started finding mommas in my area. Sometimes it is depressing!

  16. Hi there, I’m Claudia, I’m from San Antonio, TX and I started a group over a month ago, “Breastfeeding in Public Support Group SA” you can find us on Facebook we are slowly growing, we are 140 members now. We did a Nursing in Public Photo Shoot a month ago and we plan meetings twice a month!
    If you are from San Antonio, TX and support Breastfeeding in Public, please join us.
    Thank you!!

  17. I find that so many of my old friends don’t understand my AP lifestyle. They point out things like there really is no scientific evidence for it but I don’t follow science I follow my heart. I think that they all realize that I am morally superior now and a better mother and it threatens them. I have a friend who didn’t breastfeed because she had a history of depression and she felt like breastfeeding would send her into post partum depression. I pointed out to her that if she was putting the mental health of herself she was very selfish and shouldn’t have had babies.

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  1. […] like-minded Mums to be around (aka your Mama Tribe) whether that be in person or virtually.  For me, this has been Sheffield Slings, most especially […]

  2. […] available for moms with newborns who need support and resources, even if you didn’t birth there. The Badass Breastfeeder also has a Facebook group where you can find your local “mama tribe” of moms who are looking […]

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