When I was pregnant with my second child I found myself searching an online website for a birth club to join. As a second time mom who had already gone through all the new mom stuff like breastfeeding challenges, some postpartum depression, sleep issues (mine and my baby’s), I wasn’t sure why I was looking online for a pregnancy club. I’d also become a doula since the birth of my first son 2 years earlier, so my life already revolved around pregnancy, birth and babies. I definitely wasn’t looking for answers to the usual questions, since I was usually the one answering them. I was looking for connection.
I found myself joining a Facebook group for Canadian women expecting a baby in April 2013. Since then I’ve been an active member of this group of just around 100 moms. It’s been an amazing experience. Unlike most of the online groups that I’m part of, we have a great connection. It’s almost like a little family. Over the last 3 and half years we’ve been sharing our experiences, our joys, our sorrows and our hilarious mom moments.
There’s only one problem. Have you ever looked at a map of Canada? It’s a pretty big country. It’s actually bigger than every other country in world, other than Russia. But, with a population lower than that of California it means that we’re all pretty spread out. So, out of my great online mom group there are 3 of us who live in Montreal. Let’s just say I didn’t really expand my social circle very much by joining the group.
Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE online groups. Facebook especially has been amazing for connecting with other moms who share the same passions and ideals as I do. I can chat and message with people who I’ll likely never meet in person about all sorts of topics. A group for people addicted to woven wraps? I’m in it. A group for doulas to focus on building their skills and businesses? Yep!
The problem? When I’m sitting at home with a bored 2 year old and am looking for something to do there’s not much these online groups can help me with. I know I’m not alone when I say that motherhood can be pretty lonely. We’re lucky here in Canada to have a year paid maternity leave but that means that we have a lot of time on our own with our babies. When most of our friends are at work, we’re at home. Which is great- when you want to be. But what if you’re looking for more connection?
Connection is my spirit word for 2016. I figure if I say a word at least 5 times a day, there’s probably a reason. I am all about connecting with people and connecting other people together. So, I’m excited that on top of all the other discussion groups and mommy meet-ups that I host, I am now a Hello Mamas influencer. Hello Mamas (who I originally mentioned in my Dating for New Momsblog post a while back) is like Tinder, but for moms. It’s a website designed to connect local moms with each other. I’ll be working with them to help you guys connect with each other, find new friends to connect with and meet so you don’t have to be lonely at home cleaning up cheerios by yourself. Now, you can do it with a friend!
As one of Montreal’s experienced doulas, Megan Howarth works with couples who want to feel confident and prepared for their labour and birth. She serves clients throughout Montreal, the South Shore, West Island and Laval. Megan has been featured on the Huffington Post for her insight. Follow her for regular updates on health, education and Doula life! If you are an expecting Montreal Mom, Megan regularly hosts pregnancy discussion groups, where you can find the support you need with local moms and say hi!
We are proud to have Megan on board as one of our Hello Mamas Influencers in the effort to help more moms connect locally. Follow Megan on facebook, instagram and twitter and join our movement of empowering moms everywhere!