guides

It Takes A Village: Local Moms' Groups and Play Groups Guide

By Melissa Alcorn January 16, 2017

You know the saying: "It takes a village to raise a child." It's so true! Whether you are a new parent, a soon-to-be mom, or a mother of 3 like me, at one time or another we all need advice, support, and friendship to help us navigate the roads of parenthood. Here's some information on local moms groups and play groups. If any sound like your kind of "village" reach out and learn more about joining. All are currently welcoming new members like you!

MOPS

For over 40 years moms have found community through MOPS. MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers (and preschool means prior to school, ages 0-kindergarden). MOPS warmly welcomes any mom that has at least one child age 0-Kindergarten. By joining MOPS you will find friendship, community, resources and support for you as a woman and mother. Our children ages 0-5 are cared for in an affordable on-site setting while we listen to speakers, do crafts, talk about parenting issues, and eat brunch together!

When is the last time you had an uninterrupted cup of coffee? If you’re looking for friends for you and your preschooler, as well as encouragement to be the best mother you can be, please come visit us. Our meetings follow the ISU school calendar, and we host play dates at local parks during our summer break.

Interested in joining?  Email MOPS of Bloomington-Normal by visiting

www.mops.org  and typing in your zip code in the “Find A Group” tab. You’ll be connected with our current leadership team. We’re all volunteer moms so the contact person occasionally changes as new moms step up to lead this group! No local membership fee, but an optional MOPS international member fee of around $25 per year gets you a one-year subscription to a MOPS mothering magazine, weekly email messages from the national MOPS nonprofit and the MOPS theme book of the year. Childcare fees are $5/week for first child and an additional $1/week for every additional child.


Lexington Mothers of Preschoolers

Lexington Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs) welcome mothers who are pregnant or have any children aged Kindergarten or younger. We meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month (September-May) at the First United Methodist Church (108 S. Cedar St. Lexington, IL 61753). We are a non-denominational group of women that share advice and enjoy Christian fellowship with each other while our children are engaged in Christian learning activities with volunteers.

If you would like any further information or have any questions please email lexilmops@gmail.com.


Connections

Connections is a monthly group that meets every third Sunday of the month from 2-3:30pm at The Birth Center: 6 Westport Court in Bloomington.  Come as you are!  It doesn’t matter if you are showered, what you are wearing, or if you are running late.  We would love to see you!  This group is open to all moms, no matter where you gave birth, what kind of birth you had, or if you are an adoptive or foster parent.  The babies roll around and play together while the mamas chat with guest speakers and discuss anything and everything related to motherhood.


Mom2Mom

Mom2Mom is a ministry that strives to build a community of mothers united in the mission of raising the children God has entrusted to our care. We'll be meeting Friday mornings, 9:00 - 11:00, from September 12, 2014 - April 24, 2015 at Calvary Methodist United Church in Normal (corner of Raab and Towanda - close to Prairieland School).

We are a mom’s group that started in 1989 in the home of Jill Savage, a stay-at-home mom who wanted to connect with other moms. As the group grew, it became housed at Eastview Christian Church, where it remained many years. Mom2Mom moved to Calvary United Methodist Church in the fall of 2012.

A typical month of meetings includes 2 speaker days and one Care Circle day and Mom's Connection Time:

  • Speaker Days - A speaker will give a presentation for about 45 minutes and the remaining time will be spent discussing the topic and engaging in care circle time.
  • Care Circle Days - A brief topic will be introduced, but the majority of the time will be spent visiting with the moms in your care circle.
  • Mom's Connection Time - This is a time of getting to know your moms and their children at a location to be determined by your care circle leader. We believe stronger relationships can be facilitated in a less structured environment. MCT can be during the typical Mom2Mom hours, in the evening or whenever is most convenient for the moms in their care circle. MCTs usually occur on a Friday where Unit 5 is off school.

In addition to Friday mornings, Mom2Mom offers other activities that are open to any mom who would like to participate in them, such as book studies and Mom's Nights Out.

Yearly dues are $20/mom and $50/child wiith $120/yr maximum fee. (There are about 22 meetings at Calvary, which averages to about 44 hours of childcare for $1.25/hr). For moms, the fee covers the cost of speakers, programming expenses, & paper products. For children, the fees cover supplies, snacks, & weekly childcare fees in Lamb2Lamb.

For more infomation find us on Facebook:

Mom2MomCalvaryMethodist or email Tirza Wolf at tirza_1@hotmail.com.


Mom's Morning Out 

Mom's Morning Out meets at St. Patrick's of Merna Catholic Church (at the corner of Rt 9 and Towanda Barnes).  All moms are welcome and childcare is provided. We do a variety of activities throughout the year including a home business expo, trick or treat activities, and have a variety of presenters. (Please note the group is currently not meeting in person due to the pandemic.)

For more information please contact: Jana at jana@stpatrickmerna.org


MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support)

MOMS meets the first and third Fridays of the month (September - April) at East White Oak Bible Church in Carlock from 9:30 to 11:30 AM in Room 172. Calling all moms of infants through elementary school-aged kids...come be recharged and encouraged!

Visit our Facebook page for additional information and for invites to upcoming meetings.

Childcare is available $2/child/week with a maximum of $8/family/week. For more information, contact: Jessica Mann at jessicamhatcher@gmail.com.


Surviving To Thriving

Surviving To Thriving is a free, peer-led support group for moms experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like postpartum anxiety and depression. This is a safe, nonjudgmental place where moms can hear that they are not alone,  be directed to resources, and find hope for healing from these mood disorders. Geared toward pregnant and new moms up to one year postpartum, we can also recommend resources for moms with older children. Group facilitators are trained and certified by The Bloom Foundation.

Surviving To Thriving meets the first Saturday of the month from 9:30-11:30 at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center Business and Conference Center Room 3. Free childcare is provided. Find more info HERE or email Nicki and Gina at s2tmoms@gmail.com


Mothers of Beautiful Babies (MOBB)

Mothers of Beautiful Babies (MOBB for short) meets Tuesdays from 5:30pm-7pm and Wednesdays 10am-12pm at the St. Joseph Business and Conference Center -- a stand-alone building adjacent to the hospital. Lactation Consultant Sarah Musselman is present at almost all of the meetings (if she is unable to attend another staff member is present) to offer new moms the opportunity to ask for help with breastfeeding or discuss any other issues they are having. But mostly, MOBB is a social network for new moms with babies as young as 6 weeks up to toddler/preschool age. The group is very casual. You'll find moms sitting on the floor in a big circle (bring a blanket to lay your baby on!). Get out of the house and make some new mom friends!  New moms may also join the group's very active private Facebook group where moms can ask for advice, recommendations, etc., as well as discuss things happening in the community.  Find the Facebook group here: facebook.com/groups/OSFMOBB/.  Questions? Email Heidi.Kim@osfhealthcare.org.


For more information about any of these groups please visit their respective websites. If you know of a group that would like to be featured in this guide, please email the information to melissaA@macaronikid.com.