Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Start your own Cloth Diapering Moms Group!

I know from personal experience that when you start cloth diapering you sometimes get the feeling you're all alone. Maybe that's why there's such a great following for cloth online. But we could all use some support locally and believe me, you may not think there is anyone else near you who uses cloth but I bet you there are more than you think.

I just wanted to share how easy it is to start your own local Moms group. Over two years ago I decided I'd try and start one, I wanted to meet like minded moms, not necessarily only moms who use cloth, but moms who were into the same sort of things I was and whom I could learn from and share with.

I started by posting an announcement in a free local event calendar I found and asking a local Natural/New Age store owner if we could use her yoga room for our meetings. Often you'll find that business owners who would benefit from the exposure, who'd like to attract the type of customers you'd be inviting, will offer their space for you to use for free. It works out nicely for all involved.

So I scheduled the playdates for twice a month and went to my first one wondering if anyone would show up. Believe it or not, moms did come. However, since I imagined the group to be a playgroup where we hung out and chatted while our kids played, I think many expected organized meetings, topics, etc. Not my style, but in hindsight had I scheduled more I feel I would have retained more repeat interest.

While I did attract and keep some of the original moms I eventually ended up turning to Meetup.com for more organization and tools necessary to keep the group running and meeting regularly. Once I started the group on Meetup the membership began to skyrocket. Members were able to connect and chat on the message board, schedule and RSVP to playdates, creat user profiles and add pictures, and much more. Meetup really proved to be an invaluable tool in helping our group blossom.

So what was originally called "Brevard Natural Parenting & Cloth Diapering Moms" became simply "Brevard Natural Moms." We no logner use Meetup but do use and maintain our own forums and we all still meet on a regular basis and have really gotten to know eachother well over the forums.

Not everyone in our group uses cloth but we all know how addictive it is and the number of us who do is qucikly growing. If you have the time or the desire I highly recommend you give Meetup a try or see if you can advertise locally and start your own group. I wouldn't doubt it if you find people practically in your own neighborhood who share your love for cloth and more!


Attila & Tamara said...

This sounds so great. I would love to be part of a group of like-minded moms in my community who I could share my passions and thoughts with! I have so enjoyed the blogs (like this one) that I've found but it isn't the same as being face-to face!

Mindy said...

When I first read this, I thought, "I'd like to do this," but I worry sometimes that we limit ourselves by creating groups of like-minded people. I participate in a local "lap sit" group open to caregivers in the community and feel that I've benefited from meeting moms/grandmas/dads with different parenting styles and interests. I like to talk to other parents, gather in what I like and incorporate it in. While I breastfeed and use cloth diapers, I'm not sure I actually fit into the category of "natural mom," so maybe that's why I feel this way. Thanks for sharing this resource!

Julie said...

Mindy I totally get what you're saying and agree.

Although we're titled "natural moms" we are all in various places on the spectrum of natural living. Some grow their own food, some are vegan some are not, some vaccinate some do not, some co-sleep, some babywear, home-birth, breastfeed, etc. We are still quite a diverse group of moms and have leaned a whole lot from each other. But I must admit that having so much in common has surely helped us build stronger connections and friendships that will hopefully last a long time.

Annie said...

I love this idea! We already have an attachement parenting group and I want to go more to it - it is full of older children, I'd love to see some younger babies :)

Crissy said...

I am lucky enough to be apart of a local mom's group. We all share a lot of interests (cloth diapering, babywearing, crafts, etc). It's so great to have a group where I can socialize myself as well as my DD.


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