Family & Pets

Best Parent Groups in the Bay Area

September 14, 2011 2:40 PM

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credit:  www.pampclub.org
Parenthood is incredibly rewarding, but can be so challenging at times. No one should have to do it alone. It helps to have the benefit of a supportive community and human connections. Parent groups provide such opportunities to meet local moms (and dads) who completely understand. These groups are often nonprofit, organized by volunteers, and offer monthly meetings, regular play dates, nights out, speakers, babysitting co-ops, and much more. Most groups also have an active online community, which is a much needed touch point when you can’t quite make it out of the house or just need to quickly exchange information. These are my top picks for parent groups in the Bay Area:

Las Madres Neighborhood Playgroups

Las Madres Neighborhood Playgroups

Built around the concept of the neighborhood playgroup, Las Madres uniquely organizes its large network of playgroups by city and child’s age. This comes in handy when it comes to getting recommendations on schools, local finds, doctors, and services. However, parents are welcome to join any playgroup in the area. Las Madres has been serving Santa Clara County for over 50 years, which makes it one of the most well-established parenting organizations in the Bay.

MOMS Clubs

MOMS Clubs

Mothers Offering Mothers Support (MOMS) is a national, nonprofit organization supporting the choice of mothers to stay home and raise their children. Visit their website to find a local chapter, including San Francisco, San Jose, Los Gatos, Oakland, San Ramon & Dublin, Sunnyvale, and beyond!

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)

Mothers of Preschoolers

Don’t let the name mislead you! This organization is open to all parents. MOPS strives to provide friendship, community, resources, and support to mothers and children, from babies to kindergartners. Visit their website to find a local chapter near you.

The Parents Club of Palo Alto and Menlo Park (PAMP)

PAMP

This club describes itself as the largest mothers’ group serving the peninsula with members extending from San Francisco to the South Bay. PAMP provides a supportive community to a wide variety of moms (and dads) and their young children. Some of the playgroups and specialinterest groups include over-40, working and stay-at-home parents, and adoptive. They also offer a babysitting co-op, community service opportunities, and an active online community. Most of their activities take place in the Palo Alto/Menlo Park area, but any Bay Area parent of a
child age 5 and under is welcome to join.

MUMs

MUMs

MUMs, Mothers Uniting Mothers, a little-known gem found in in the rolling hills of Los Altos, is a fellowship group for mothers of young children at Los Altos United Methodist Church. Open to mothers of all faiths and walks of life, MUMs meets every other Wednesday morning. Free, on-site childcare is provided, allowing time for a much needed break for mothers to enjoy wonderful speakers, small group discussions, and refreshments. For more information, view their welcome flyer and 2010-11 registration form here. Or check the LAUMC website.

Berkeley Parents Network

Berkeley Parents Network

A nice alternative for the busy parent, the Berkley Parents Network exists entirely online. Providing thousands upon thousands of recommendations and advice from members of the Berkeley Parents Network, this group sends weekly e-newsletters to its subscribers and maintains an active message board on their site.

Grace Duffy is a married, mother of two living in Silicon Valley. She blogs at Formerly Gracie and Mama Manifesto.
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