Any new mom knows, the postpartum adjustment period is intense. In an ideal world, you'd have a stable of people around you to help you manage the transition.
So to that end, when I had my twins last summer, I felt beyond lucky to be on the first-time mom journey surrounded by so much support: the babies have four doting grandparents right in town, and I have always had a treasured group of friends around me.
But then and even still now—nine months later—sometimes I need a more specific network of support. I need the ear of someone who is going through the same thing at the same moment and totally gets it.
So while I was still pregnant, I went looking for some parenting groups filled with people who could offer just that. Right away, I found a pair of heavily populated Facebook mom groups comprised of fellow Los Angelenos. While I got some decent data from these boards—maybe a product referral or service-provider link—and while I did derive some general sense of community, I eventually needed out.
Amid all the smart and compassionate users, I also found too many of the posts appeared rooted in paranoia, pseudoscience or judgment—or all three. And those are my absolute no-nos when it comes to parenting and community. So I fled what I considered toxicity.
Instead, I settled into a much smaller group that felt way more accountable (no trolls!) as well as specific to my parenting niche: my local parents of multiples club. This group offers some really special things: First, after my babies were born, the club organized three weeks of volunteers to send meals to our home! Deliveries ranged from store or restaurant pickups (gladly devoured), to intricate and homemade ethnic dishes that were modified with minimal spice for a nursing mom. And with each dropoff, I got to meet another local multiples mom face to face. I picked up pearls of wisdom from each of these visits that inform and comfort me to this day.
Beyond that, the group divides its members into subgroups based on our babies' ages. So I have a small private Facebook group to lean on, as well as in-person connections to parents of babies' within a few months of my own kids' age. The resource—and the support—is priceless.
Then just a few months ago, serendipity led me to a second group that really fleshes out my need for support and understanding—and offers a dose of fun and glamour, too. I'd heard a local fashion editor was launching a new mom group for people working in related industries. Given that I write frequently about style, the group's founder extended an invite to the launch event, which happened to be the very next day and walking distance from my house. And ever since, I've been so glad to be connected.
This group includes all working mamas—another niche that can create a gulf of understanding for those inside versus out of the category—and ones who frequently travel and attend events like I do. The women still consider personal style a key component of their lives (and baby style too!), and I find that element both relatable and aspirational. It's a dynamic that I find inspiring, like working out (as I do!) at a super fancy gym filled with fit people.
The group also hosts its own events that are really fun and different—think meditation sessions and kids' fashion fairs—as well as offering the chance to connect and even network with other members.
So all told, now that the dust from the search has settled, I'm thrilled—and feel so privileged—to be where I am. After a hunt for empathy and understanding that recalled shades of Goldilocks and the three bears—too warm, too cold, just right!—I now feel surrounded by all the support I need as a new mama.