The year was 1995…seven moms and their tots gather in the modest living room of a Racine north side home. The hostess scrambles to clean up and make her house presentable for the once-a-week-on-Thursdays-at-9am event. It’s her week to provide the play space and snack spread for the lively 2 1/2 hour mess fest. Another “Playgroup” is born! Read more…
Not sure when the first of such social events took place, however, they are organized either formally or informally for moms and preschool children to gather for the purpose of play and companionship. I was fortunate, as a new mom in more than one sense (1st baby and newcomer to Racine), to have linked up with two of such groups back in the mid nineties.
The first came together because this mom’s husband worked with this mom’s dad, and had a sister-in-law who was also a new mom, who knew of…and so on. And the other one, was arranged through an organization called Racine Newcomers Club, which provided many social opportunities for women, moms or not.
Being new to the area, I quickly built a network of friends and acquaintances. With the informal playgroup, comprised mostly of born and raised Racinians, I got to know Racine pretty fast…probably more info than I should’ve gotten to know, if you know what I mean! My daughters (as #2 came along shortly thereafter) met their first friends, as did mommy. With the RNC group, I got to help them know more about Racine and the area, sharing places and events I learned about from my other playgroup moms. How fun was that? I was already becoming a source of info for things to do, places to go with the family and kids (and moms only, too!)
So where are you at? Are you a mom (or dad) with young children wanting to connect with other moms (or dads) to find friendships and support? Here are a list of some formal/public opportunities to do just that:
Kenosha MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meets every 1st and 2nd Wednesday from (September – May) from 9:30-11am at First Christian Church, located at 13022 Wilmot Road, Kenosha. Come to entrance F and you will be greeted and welcomed in!
MOPS of Grace Church meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday from 9-11a.m at Grace Church, 3626 Highway 31, in Racine. They also meet September through May, starting on September 15th. Next Thursday, on the fifth of September, they will be hosting a Drive-Thru Registration, from 9:30-11am at Grace.
There are additional MOPS groups that meet in SE Wisconsin and N. Illinois (and across the US). To find additional groups, click here.
Racine Area Moms Meetup is an active membership group available to Racine, Caledonia, Mount Pleasant and neighboring community’s moms who like to get together, talk over coffee, and let the kids play. The group welcomes moms of all kinds. Join and meet up for a small fee of $10!
Kenosha Moms Network or KMN is a group for stay at home moms who live in Kenosha and the surrounding area. This is a group for moms who are serious about attending play dates to get out of their house and meet new friends. Moms can join this group for $10 annual membership fee.
Rockin’ Mommas is mainly local to Racine, Kenosha and Oak Creek formed as a place for mommas to meet new people, make new friends, explore the city, unwind, laugh, learn and grow. It’s core is a social group online, at the same time, offers a myriad of events including play dates at area parks, gymnastic clubs, etc. and momma’s nights out.
Mommy and me Playdates is a moms group in Wisconsin for Racine and Kenosha county areas that cater mainly to families with kids ages newborn to 9, yet open on that policy. With a focus on family, if dad has off, by all means, bring him along. The group schedules play dates and mommy nights. While more active during the summer, events are planned throughout the year.
So, let’s address the dads, now. Just Add Kids is organizing a group of dads on Facebook called JAK Dads. This is an is an exclusive group of “Stay At Home Dads” (SAHD’s) or other dad’s (ie: divorced) who reside and raise their children in Racine, Kenosha, and the surrounding communities in SouthEastern Wisconsin and NorthEastern Illinois. This group was created for SAHD’s to connect, support, and socialize all for the benefit of their children. A playgroup would be a great part of JAK Dads! Any interested dads, can request to join the group on Facebook, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can tell you from my experience in a playgroup, moms that play together, MAY stay together. The Racine Newcomers Club has long disbanded. It’s been 18 years, since my other playgroup organized. New moms and tots came and went for different reasons. We weathered some tumultuous, dramatic times, though a core of five of us moms (and tots) survived. That core group experienced an additional 14 births, totaling 19 kids among us…one of which is now starting her sophomore year in college. Wow!
I can’t quite remember when we quit meeting as a “playgroup” on a weekly basis, mostly because our socializing did not. Early on, we started scheduling in “mom’s nights out”, at the very least around each of our birthdays. Then it became even more frequent than that, and the “guys” were brought into the fold with our annual couple’s Christmas dinner outing. Finally, there were the trips, perhaps not all attended each : San Francisco, Orlando, Las Vegas, to name a few. The playgroup, sans kids, was now dubbed “The Momtourage”. As it is, “The Momtourage” gets together less frequently than ever. With that said, when we do get together, we have some awesome stories….I’ll just leave it there. Oh, the benefits of playgroup!
If you are part of, or know of a playgroup that is open for new participants, please post to the Just Add Kids Facebook page, or email email@example.com, so JAK can help connect groups to moms and their tots.
We’ll update this post and publicize that fact, too.
Have fun! Play nice!