It takes a village to raise a mom, or at least to keep her sane. We all know that motherhood, with all its joy and love and homemade macaroni necklaces, also comes with trials we couldn’t comprehend before these tiny dictators came into our lives—tantrums over which bowl is presented for breakfast, seismic meltdowns in the middle of the checkout lane at Target, and sleep deprivation tactics that would qualify as war crimes. Raising children may be our life’s greatest achievement, but the daily grind makes the task seem less than glorious. As mothers, partners, and simply as human beings, we need the support of a community—other moms that encourage us in our difficult moments, challenge us to grow as individuals, laugh with us when our children decide to explore their private parts while in public places, and share a cup of coffee with us when caffeine is the only way to get through the day.
Moving to a new town when my youngest child was less than a year old meant finding my mom community all over again. I moved frequently as a child and in my early adult years, but this time my move was daunting because I wasn’t working outside of the home. In the past, all of my friends have been people I met through work, so I didn’t know where to begin making friends when I became a stay-at-home mom.
Luckily for me, my mom community found me. I was playing at the park with my daughter when Sarah, who is now a dear friend, invited me to come to Fit Moms of Wellington. This group has become my saving grace. Sarah leads Fit Moms, which is officially a kid-friendly exercise class for moms. Unofficially, Fit Moms is a public service for the moms of Palm Beach County. Where else can you go to get play time for your child(ren), a workout for yourself, and a built in network of other moms who understand when you haven’t showered in three days and all of your clothes are smeared with your child’s breakfast? Fit Moms is not just a group of women doing lunges in the park (though we do a good bit of that). We have moms’ nights out, playdates, trips to kid-friendly destinations, craft days, parties for the little ones, and we participate in local road races and triathlons together (for those with a competitive streak!).
When I left the working world, I prepared myself for feeling isolated. What I’ve found instead is that my Fit Moms friends are even better friends than I’ve found in the workplace. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that we have more in common than just sharing a space during the working day, or maybe it’s because we are bonded by the common struggles of lost shoes and dirty diapers, but my Fit Moms friends are some of the best there are. Their children are friends with my children. They give me advice when my children are sick, and they listen to my frustrations about potty training and toddler attitude. They encourage me to be a better wife and mother, and they challenge me to grow as a person. My youngest child even names all of her baby dolls Sarah after the fittest mom of them all.
I’ve found my village that’s keeping me sane. If you’re in the Wellington area, we’d love to have you join us. We have classes at local parks and at the Wellington Green Mall. The first class is free, and after that classes are only $5.00 each (a true bargain!). You can find more information about Fit Moms, including the group schedule here: http://meetu.ps/c/1MBHz/2hmGQ/a
If you’re not local, search Facebook and Google for moms’ groups near you. I promise you’ll be glad you did.