Friends: Playgroup—For Kids or for Moms?

Friends1Every week for the past two years, with few exceptions, I have faithfully attended…playgroup. Sure, my boys love playing with the other kids. And they learn valuable lessons in sharing and getting along with others. But most importantly, I go because of the moms. This group of women includes some of the most significant friendships I have. Not only can we share in the fun stuff, like couponing and hobbies, but we more importantly share with each other the trials and victories of motherhood and marriage. This is not the typical playgroup, where much time is spent complaining of daily chores and comparing our children’s talents and milestones. We encourage one another, not only in our hard times but also just to be more godly women, wives, and mothers.

Forming your own “mom’s group”

Gather some other moms. You need moms for a mom’s group, of course. Ask some of your friends if they’d like to join, but don’t limit it to that. Seek out a new mom at church who may need some encouragement, or ask a neighbor to join you. The group may work best with moms around the same stage of life, even if some are a little older or younger. Make sure you consider how many kids each mom has. If you have too many interested moms, you may need to split up and meet at two different houses or on two different days. Four to five moms and 8-10 kids is probably max—more than that can get a little crowded and chaotic.

Decide on a day and time. Once you have your group, get together and decide on a day to meet. Will you meet weekly? Bi-weekly? Moms with school-age kids may have more conflicts, or the freedom to come whenever. When you have a day, choose a time to meet. I definitely think that mornings are best. This is when the kids—and moms—are (hopefully!) well rested and in good moods. It allows plenty of time to be together before naptime breakdowns.

Friends2Plan the details. In my mom’s group, we have a schedule to alternate houses each week. The hostess always provides a morning treat and coffee for the moms. Decide whether the hostess will provide lunch for moms and/or kids, or if everyone will bring their own. Determine an approximate time when you will finish, or the kids will determine one for you (aka naptime breakdowns). Also, have a plan for the kids. Where will they spend their time? What are the ground rules? It may be a good idea to have moms take shifts to monitor the kids, or to keep kids in the same area as the moms.

Serve and encourage. The best part about the group is the encouragement and fellowship. We talk about everything! But the nice thing is that we hold one another accountable—we don’t come to complain about life, marriage, or motherhood. We encourage one another through tough times, and have a great time together. And we’ve recently started serving before we leave. In order to not leave the hostess feeling frazzled, we clean the kitchen and bathroom, and vacuum and mop floors. This allows the moms to host without feeling like they have to clean before—and after—each meeting.

After being in a mom’s group for more than two years, I can’t imagine life without this group of women who encourage and support me in so many ways. And as much as the play time is great for my kids, the far superior benefit for them is that I am gaining weekly encouragement and wisdom from godly women who desire for us all to have amazing relationships with our husbands, children, and God.

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.” Proverbs 27:9

– Lisa Grimenstein

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