Post # 1
Maybe I’m over-generalizing in my thread title — I hope I am and these are more common in the US!
After living abroad for the past ~10 years and having friends and family still far flung across the globe, it feels like new mom instructional and support groups are a way bigger thing outside the US. UK, NZ, Aus, NL, BE, Scandinavia – friends in all these places talk as if participating in a new mom group is the standard and is often arranged as part of their health system (i.e. through their mid-wife/OBGYN services). My friends abroad mostly loved their experiences and talk about how great it was to be connceted with other mom’s that were due around the same time – both in sharing symptoms/concerns pre-birth to having other people up all night and experiencing the same early months roller-coasters after birth.
In talking with a lot of my US friends, it seems most do a one-off class or two that are very instructional (versus interactice/social) and that’s it. I even tried finding similar groups in my area and while there are one or two private ones in the major urban center near me – that’s a 30+ min drive and it’s like ~$300-500 to join.
Now I’m not yet pregnant (still TTC) but just got back from NZ where I was chatting with some friends that just had babies recently and then this past weekend was with some US friends who have given birth recently and noticed how the NZ new-moms just seemed to feel less alone in it all, and that seemed to stem a lot from their mom-groups.
So why is this so not a thing in the US? Or is it and it’s just not a big thing in my area (New England)?
Post # 2
Maybe it’s just my area… but I see new mom groups EVERYWHERE. I also have a lot of friends in new mom groups on Facebook too.
Post # 3
If that’s true I would assume it is down to maternity leave. I’m in the UK and between me and my husband we had a year off on parental leave. We went to baby groups nearly every day. You wouldn’t get those same opportunities with just 6 weeks leave. All of the groups I attended were in normal office hours.
Post # 4
US Bee–The hospital where I had my children organized mentored groups of mothers who had children about the same time, my neighborhood community had a new moms group and a babysitting co-op, all sorts of baby and toddler classes where moms chat, preschool parent groups, there are social media groups galore–where do you live?
Post # 5
I see plenty of mom groups and play date groups on facebook and the like.
But I’m an introvert and a mom’s group sounds like torture to me though.
Post # 6
Because new mom groups are full of entitled bitches in the US. Literally, mom-shaming is one of the biggest societal problems this country has. It’s horrifying. I can tell you right now, when you’re a new mom, you will like NOT having their input a lot more than being part of a group.
I’m not even a mom and all I hear about from my newly-mom friends are how awful other moms are to them. That’s how bad it is – women who aren’t even moms yet are hearing horror stories.
(I’m in upstate NY, for context)
Post # 7
TravelingBride31 : I’m in New England and there were a bunch of new mom group options for me when I had my daughter less than 2 years ago. Several of them were breastfeeding oriented, but not all. I ended up clicking with one of the local breastfeeding support groups and still keep in touch with a few of the moms. Since I was really happy with that first group I found I didn’t end up making it to any others. All of them were free though! I can’t imagine paying for a moms group lol. We also have a mom’s facebook group for our town that is really active.
What’s your closest urban area? If you’re near me I’d have some suggestions for you!
Post # 8
megm1099 : Wow. Granted, my children are teenagers now but aside from an occasional raised eyebrow that I was a working mom that was not my experience in the few things I participated in. In fact I’m meeting two women I first met when our kids attended the same Montessori preschool for our monthly happy hour tomorrow–they have become great friends.
Post # 9
megm1099 : Because new mom groups are full of entitled bitches in the US
I’m truly sorry this is the experience your friend has had. I am a US Bee and have found a lot of positive resources both online and locally for new moms that have been so far from bitchy or full of bitches– I’m not sure what I would do without these mom friends I have found!
Post # 10
Could it be that you just need to actually seek them out in the US?
I’m in Australia and my child health nurse signed me up. I got a call to say where and when (and was of course given the option to opt out).
Post # 11
I’m in the UK and did NCT for my first which was an amazing mum group. I’m still in touch with the group.
im on mat leave with my second now and I go to a weekly bumps and babies group (it was today actually) and I love it. Lots of mums lots of chat, free tea and biscuits and all for £1.50.
I do wonder if the lack of mat leave does play a part in it. If you go back at 6 weeks you won’t have time to really get into a mum group
Post # 12
beethree : fromatoz : It really is so unfortunate. Maybe it’s just in my area. But it’s been more than one friend (three friends I’m really close to have had very negative experiences), and it’s definitely been exacerbated by social media.
In one instance, my friend posted a picture of herself breastfeeding with a caption somewhere along the line of “up all night hahaha” and the moms exploded about several things with the photo: how she was holding the baby, how she shouldn’t be feeding the baby THAT often, and there was even a comment about “why isn’t dad helping you he must be such a jerk” – a lot of very awful things.
Seriously, I have no faith in moms on social media. Other type of interactive, physical mom groups might be okay, I don’t know. But I’m never touching social media mom groups.
Post # 13
megm1099 : that stinks for your friends, but I definitely wouldn’t call that the norm. At least at the group I found no one acted entitled or better than each other. We were all there like “ok so I have boobs, and a baby, and they are supposed to work together somehow but I have no clue what I’m doing so can you help me?!” Lots of commraderie but we were also all like-minded moms. I know there was also a local formula-feeding support group, and religious groups, etc. You have to find your people and ignore the few shaming jerks.
Post # 14
Social media and parenting are a tough mix.
in my experience my mum groups have been a life line and a reason to get up and dressed some days. megm1099 :
Post # 15
I think it’s also more of a social context in other parts of the world.
Here most of us expats have no other network so we seek out mom groups. I have a pregnant mom group right now and we’re all due within 4 weeks of each other. We will then become a mom group. We’re all expats who don’t know any other pregnant women in the country. It’s so nice to have a supoort network like this.