Over the past few days, you’ve been reading our posts about mom’s support groups. We are committed to providing important information to moms throughout the Charlotte area and we feel strongly about mom’s support groups, big and small. I’m excited to present an incredible article written by Sterling Oliver, Social Chair of the Stonecrest Moms Club. Sterling and her team put together a comprehensive list of moms clubs/support groups throughout the Greater Charlotte Area. But first, you should read about her personal experience with her club.
“Whether you are new to Charlotte or new to the stay-at-home gig, nothing helps you acclimate like connecting with those in the know! When you leap from college frivolity to business savvy you hear it again and again, “It is all in who you know.” Well guess what? The same adage holds true for this chapter in your life…
What pediatrician to visit? Weekend kid activities? Best deal on diapers? Which coffee shop has an enclosed play area? Parks with shade? Who do you lean on after a horrendous night of 7 wake-ups? Who wants to talk output /consistency /when it comes to potty training with genuine interest? How do you find a playgroup? Best haircuts for infants? Heck, the cheapest quality hi-lites for Mommy is some much needed info as well! How do you get the scoop?
I am happy to report that the answer is EASY. Immerse yourself in one of the many groups created exclusively for moms in our area. OK, I will admit it – some days nothing is easy with a child or two or three in tow! Let me see if I can convince you it is worth some of your overtaxed time…
I moved to Charlotte nearly two years ago from Minneapolis with my two-year-old son. We knew no one at the time and I desperately wanted to get out of the house and escape the loathsome act of unpacking, but where to go? My son needed some folks his own height to interact with and I was looking for camaraderie from those a bit taller. What does anyone do nowadays when they need information and they need it quick? Yes, I went online. In addition to search engines I scooped up every magazine, flyer and pamphlet that mentioned kids and/or parents all over town. I sent emails and made calls a lot that week trying to find out where I best fit.
I discovered a strong online community that sounded appealing. Now here is the tricky part – you have to show up! Yes, you have to wrangle the wee ones, put on a clean shirt (well this is optional on certain challenging days or if your infant has acid reflux!) and get out there. Yes, go to an outing where you know no one and talk, smile, listen, mingle, investigate, etc.
I went to several things those first weeks, trying to find a good balance between activities with kids and some without. We hit the Nature Museum with about 7 other Moms and the next week I went to a chic flick with more than ten Moms. It was fabulous! I felt a connection with several folks on those first meetings and exchanged phone numbers and emails. It is through these gatherings that I was exposed to even more support groups. I joined a local Moms club and jumped right in. There were so many things to go to. The Moms Club offered a nice balance of day and evening activities and the online community was a great place to vent or ask for information when I had a free 5 minutes.
Last fall my son had emergency surgery and the moms in the area really came to my rescue. We were in the hospital for about 2 weeks. It was horrendous and no mother should ever have to go through it but my new friends, acquaintances and even some moms I had NEVER met aided me in this difficult time. Meals were brought to the hospital, as were balloons, stuffed animals and calls of encouragement. Back at home I didn’t have to cook for nearly 3 weeks! Each group had created a rotation and supplied meals for the entire family just about every night of the week.
The generosity brought tears to my eyes. How amazing these women (a lot who did not know me at all) took their time and spent their dollars to help my family. This is when I truly knew Charlotte was a great area for families and how lucky I was to be surrounded by such wonderful moms!
So that is my testimony as to why you should take the time to get involved somewhere. Many options are there for you, whether you want to go for religious affiliations, online communities, area clubs, online chat rooms or monthly gatherings based on theme I guarantee there is something out there for you.
We’ll try to mention all the support groups we can think of following this article, I am sure we will probably miss one or two and for that we apologize. On the flip side, it is a wonderful thing that there are so many out there we just can’t keep on top of them.
If you see me on the playground, introduce yourself if I do not beat you to it!”
Mom’s Support Groups in the Greater Charlotte area and outlying regions including Charlotte, Concord, Central Piedmont, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Hickory, Lake Norman, Lincolnton, and Monroe:
–Charlotte Area Dads is a place where fathers and fathers-to-be can connect. The main focus of the site is discussion forums where you can ask and answer questions about being a good father, raising great kids and about being a better person. Their members work full time, stay home full time, work part time, represent many races, are expecting for the first time, are adoptive dads, were adopted themselves, recently moved to the area, have lived here all our lives, have twins, are happy with one, are single dads, are searching out schools and have watched their kids graduate.
–Charlotte Mommies is a free online community for moms in the Charlotte area. Over 2,000 moms meet online and face-to-face for playgroups, outings and nights out without the kids. All moms and moms-to-be are welcome. This is a free resource and a chapter of The Mommies Network, a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping moms find support and friendship in their local community.
–Charlotte Mothers of Multiples is a non-profit support organization for parents of twins and higher order multiple birth children in the Charlotte area. If you are a mom of twins or more, this support group is a MUST!
–Lake Norman Mothers of Multiples is the group for you if you are expecting twins or more and live north of Charlotte! Serves families in the Lake Norman area (Huntersville, Cornelius, Mooresville, Davidson, Denver, University area, Statesville, parts of Lincoln/Rowan/Cabarras counties.
–Charlotte Newcomers is a club whose social purpose is to extend a friendly and neighborly hand to all newcomers by introducing them to others and starting them on a new social life in their community.
–Greater Charlotte Play Group is a group of fun, mostly stay-at-home moms, who enjoy some adult time while the kids play. They are a diverse group and range in age and background with children ranging from zero to four years. They offer outings, family days, home play dates and much more.
–Mothers & More is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of mothers through support, education and advocacy. They address mothers’ needs as individuals and members of society, and promote the value of all the work mothers do. (South Charlotte, Greensville, Lake Norman, Wakefield/Raleigh, Cape Fear chapters).
–MOMS Club (Including Stonecrest MOMS Club!) is an international nonprofit organization with 1,500+ chapters in seven countries. The organization was designed specifically for the at-home mother of today. They offer fun activities for moms and their children, like lunches, trips to the zoo, holiday parties, and tours of local businesses. They have a variety of interest groups such as book discussion, walking, and scrap booking, where moms can enjoy their hobbies while the kids play together. You can also join a playgroup where you will build a close support network of moms who have children similar in age to your own. There is also a well-deserved MOMS Night Out each month and periodic family events on the weekend or in the evening.
–University Area Moms is a group of great moms with children from 0-5 years old. They have a monthly calendar filled with age specific play groups, outings and gatherings, moms night out, Bunco, book club, parties and much more.
–Mothers Unlimited is a support group for moms, no matter your employment status. Members are stay-at-home parents and grandparents, moms who work full-time or part-time, and moms who own their own businesses. Activities include playgroups; day trips to parks, museums, and the zoo; family activities; Mom’s Night Out; Men’s Poker Night; scrapbooking club; and book club. (Chapters throughout NC).
–Central Piedmont Mommies is a club for moms living in the Central Piedmont area of North Carolina, (including Rowan & Cabarrus counties and portions of Davidson & Stanley counties). The Online Community Includes: Message Boards, Chat, Photo Galleries, Recipe Database, Private Local Forums, Local Area & Specialty Support Groups. Events include: Mom’s Night Out, Family Events, Playdates & Park Days, and Fun activities for Moms & Children.
–Hickory Mommies (a chapter of The Mommies Network) offers free membership to any mother within the community who wishes to join. Members gain camaraderie and support through an online forum that is available 24 hours a day and events around the area where mothers can meet face-to-face and develop real friendships that can last a lifetime. Serving Hickory, Bethlehem, Granite Falls, Hudson, Lenoir, Newton, Claremont, Catawba, Maiden, Lincolnton, Conover, Valdese, Vale, Rutherford, Icard, Connelly Springs, Morganton and Drexel.
–SW Piedmont Mommies (a chapter of The Mommies Network) is a community of moms in Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland Counties – all types of moms including those who work full-time. They chat online in a private forum – discussing everything from the best photographers to the worst temper tantrums and all that lies between – and meet-up regularly at member-driven events around the area.
–Lake Norman Mommies (a chapter of The Mommies Network) is a free community for moms in the Lake Norman area of North Carolina. They offer a simple way to connect with local moms for friendship, support and fun.
–Our Mommies Group offers a free place for moms to come and be supported no matter their race, financial status, parenting style or personal belief system. They offer online forums for SAHM, working moms, single moms, moms with special needs kids, and many more.
Remember, this is a comprehensive list that can and will evolve over time. If a group you know of is not included, please add it under the comments section. This article will be filed under “Mom’s Support Groups” on the blog. Thanks, Sterling and to everyone for providing this fabulous information to our fellow moms!