I vividly remember the first six months of my firstborn’s life. There were the moments of wonder and incredible happiness as I marveled at the new life I created. But with the peaks came the valleys. The feeling of being overwhelmed and under qualified. The feeling of isolation. I was not used to staying at home all day and definitely not used to “showering” being my number one accomplishment. Ok, so it wasn’t like this everyday but some days. I don’t know if the difficulty in my transition to “motherhood” was increased by the fact that I was new in town and adjusting to my new role at the same time or if all new moms felt the same isolation that I felt.
I remember talking to long-distance friends who would say “But it’s so much easier to make friends when you have kids,” or “I bet you’re making a lot of friends through playgroups,” and I would smile and nod and feel a bit of internal shame that I felt the opposite.
Then one day a neighbor of mine invited me to a local Christian group for moms called MUGGS (Moms Under God’s Grace and Strength). It is a mom’s group in Marshalltown that gets together a few times a month. This group (which I will talk about it more in depth in another post) was so life-giving to me in the first year of my firstborn’s life.
I met other moms who were going through or had gone through what I was. Some moms were new to town and some moms had been born and raised here. Some were new moms and some had five kids. I didn’t make friends right away — I’m a bit of an introvert even now — but I knew I had a place I could go and have people relate to me…even just a couple times a month.
Equally important, I found resources, other moms who could point me to parks and activities and doctors and things going on in the community that I would have had no way of knowing about without them. Sure, the Facebook groups are a great way of getting to know about upcoming things going on in the community but sometimes you need another mom to just sit down and tell you her experience. That’s what the site is aiming to be. That’s what Marshalltown Moms is.
We want to share mom’s perspectives on the parks, the restaurants, the shops, the activities, the events… anything moms might talk about on the playground, at work, or on playdates.
If it hadn’t been for that neighbor across the street, my experience here would be so different. I never want a negative and isolated experience for any mom who lives in Marshalltown or is thinking about living in our town (or any mom really). I want moms and families to know that we are a vibrant, thriving, diverse community with a wealth of things to do. And now hopefully they (you!) won’t have to look so hard to find them.