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Combat Depression and Isolation with Support Groups!

Stay-at-home moms universally report that the number one difficulty to overcome when making the decision to stay at home is the feeling of isolation.  One great way to combat this issue is to join a mother's support group.  There are many different support groups which have sprung up across the country.  Following is some information about several of them, as well as links to their home pages.  (I have personally been involved with both MOPS and Mothers & More and have benefited greatly from both organizations.)

Contact information regarding these organizations changes frequently.  Please refer to the web sites below to get more detailed information or to find a chapter near you.

Mothers & More
Mothers & More is a support and advocacy network for women who have altered their career paths in order to care for their children at home.  The organization is dedicated to helping women get more from their lives - more time with their children, more flexible work options, and more ways to combine career and family over a number of years.

For the mother who is at home with children, this organization creates a wonderful opportunity to meet a network of friends.  M&M provides many activities, including playgroups and mother/child activities during the day, moms only functions at night such as book clubs, moms' night out, and bi-monthly meetings which focus on topics of interest to the members.  The group also performs community service works and advocates women's issues.  Each chapter is semi-autonomous in the amount and types of activities provided.  The national organization provides national conferences and a magazine called Forum, which comes out every other month.  Most chapters also have their own monthly newsletters.  

Since its inception in 1987, Mothers & More has grown to more than 180 chapters across the country.

Website addresswww.mothersandmore.org

MOPS
MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers.  This international support group is unique in that it has a Christian focus.  MOPS organizations meet in local churches.  The goal of the organization is to nurture and provide acceptance to all types of mothers (teens, urban, suburban, etc.).  Other aims of the organization are to provide opportunities for women to attain leadership skills by volunteering within the group and to promote the spiritual growth of its members. 

MOPS meetings are unique in that they provide a full program for both the mothers and their children.  A typical MOPS meeting consists of the following:

  • A "teaching" segment, featuring a guest speaker or a presentation by one or more of the members which focuses on parenting, marriage, and other issues important to the membership
  • small discussion groups led by members
  • a crafts activity for the mothers
  • social time
  • MOPPETS, a preschool program for the children with a biblical focus

MOPS also provides leadership retreats and a monthly newsletter for members.

Website addresswww.gospelcom.net/mops

MOMS Club International
The MOMS Club (stands for Moms Offering Moms Support) is a national network of support groups specifically targeted to stay-at-home moms.  This organization currently consists of over 1,250 chapters with more than 63,000 members across the United States.  Unlike MOPS, this organization is not limited to only mothers of preschoolers.  All meetings and most activities of the group are held during the day, when at-home mothers need the most support.  Children are welcome at all activities.  Local groups offer many types of activities, including:

  • monthly meetings with speakers and discussions
  • play groups and a babysitting co-op
  • monthly MOMS night out
  • special activity groups related to members' interests

Website address:  www.momsclub.org

Attachment Parenting International
API advocates attachment parenting methods to develop and fulfill a child's need for trust, empathy and affection to create secure relationships.  There are currently nearly 100 groups in 27 states around the United States and several international groups.

The goals of the organization include the following:

  • To educate society about the psychological and emotional needs of babies and young children
  • To develop appropriate standards and guidelines to aid the judicial system, policy makers and child advocacy agencies in promoting the attachment process
  • To empower women in all societies

Website addresswww.attachmentparenting.org

National Association of Mother's Centers (NAMC)
NAMC is a non-profit umbrella organization which includes more than 50 Mother's Centers across the country.  Local centers provide a supportive place for mothers to share their experiences and learn more about their child's development.  The centers sponsor workshops, seminars, groups and special events and serve as a place where mothers can come together with other mothers and members of the professional community to explore the experience of becoming and being mothers. 

Website addresswww.motherscenter.org

La Leche League, International.
La Leche League International provides support and encouragement to breastfeeding mothers, as well as a wealth of information on the subject.  Meetings and get-togethers provide opportunities for support and friendship among members.  Membership in LLL provides the following benefits:

  • monthly meetings which are held in members' homes
  • bimonthly magazine, called New Beginnings
  • telephone assistance for mothers with breastfeeding questions
  • discounts on breastfeeding items and LLL publications
  • regional and international conferences

Website addresshttp://lalecheleague.org

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