Being a stay-at-home mom is a fulfilling and rewarding full-time job, but it can also leave many moms with a feeling of isolation and loneliness. One of the best ways to insure that moms are getting enough adult interaction and stimulation is to join a “playgroup.”
A playgroup, sometimes referred to as a “moms group,” is a great way to connect with other moms who are in the same position as you. Groups are usually formed based on the age of children, the part of town one lives in or, perhaps, by one’s faith. Nevertheless, there are playgroups in almost every city, and Santa Cruz is no exception to the rule.
When I had my first son, I joined a moms group that was organized by the hospital where he was born. Mothers were encouraged to join the playgroup at six weeks post-partum. Of course, it wasn’t really a “playgroup,” because the infants were too young to actually “play.” The gathering was more of a support group for new moms. My son eventually got to the age where he could actually play with the other little munchkins, and that was a blast. I got to see him take little steps of independence, while giving my arms a much needed break!
For me, this group of women (sometimes dads, too) was a lifesaver, and I formed lasting friendships. The group provided a place for me to share my excitement that my son was a nursing champion (and was finally using both sides)! But also my fears of—will my son ever sleep more than three hours straight, and will he eventually sleep through the night!
Not only do playgroups provide an opportunity for mom to mingle with her own kind, they also provide a chance for infants and toddlers to interact with children of their own age while developing those much-needed social skills. You see, joining a playgroup is a win-win for both mom and baby. So get out there and go for it!
In Santa Cruz, there are plenty of playgroups to choose from. From the West side to the East side, surely, you can find a group to meet your needs.
Here's a list of playgroups and opportunities to connect with other Santa Cruz families:
- Together in the Park (LOFRC and Santa Cruz Adult School)
- Friends Together (Valley Resource Center)
- Santa Cruz Mother’s Club
- Play & Talk Toddler Playgroups (LOFRC & Santa Cruz Adult School)
- Meetup Moms (online resource)
- (Dominican Hospital PEP Program)
- New Parents Support Group (Sutter Lactation Center)