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)
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