Thursday, June 11, 2009

Find Your Best Friends in a Playgroup

From board meetings and deadlines to board games and diapers, I transitioned from a public relations professional at a university to a full time stay-at-home mom. Quicker than I expected, isolation and loneliness set in as I spent my days at home with a toddler and a preschooler. Realizing that I had to find other children and at-home parents nearby, my solution was to start a playgroup.

Since then, I have had two more children, founded three more playgroups and a homeschool group, and have written a book. But I would have to say that the most important result from my early playgroup efforts is that my children and I have made lifelong friends! You, too, can find your best friends in a playgroup and enjoy getting out of the house. Picture weekly playgroup sessions and impromptu playdates, someone to talk to about parenting issues and something to do besides sing nursery rhymes and change diapers!

So what are we waiting for? Let's get started!

To save you some time, you may want to look for an existing group in your area first. Contact local churches, libraries, YMCAs and hospitals in your area. Most support groups for parents meet in locations such as these. Surf the Internet for an existing group. Web sites such as, and feature directories of playgroups and parents' groups sorted by city and state.

Check the community calendar of your local newspaper. Many groups advertise their meetings. Join a local chapter of one of the many national organizations for at-home parents, such as MOMS Clubs (Moms Offering Moms Support), MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) and Mothers and More.

There are also organizations for at-home dads, working parents, parents of multiples, etc. Although many of them require fees, they are nominal and they cover a variety of services, such as playgroups.

If you can't find an existing group to join, start your own playgroup. Follow these steps and soon you and your child will be making new friends!

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