When Richardson mom Rachel Muñoz decided to start her own moms group in April, she was just looking for a way to keep her kids entertained and maybe make a few new friends. She had no idea her group, the Me and My Kids Moms of North Dallas, would explode to more than 50 members in less than six months.
“I never anticipated that it would turn into what it has today,” she says. “I am so excited about how much our group has grown in the past few months!”
Muñoz—mom of Nicholas, who turns 6 this month, and 3-year-old Isabella—says the group has become a valuable tool for its mommy members, who offer each other advice, a helping hand and, most important, a chance to talk about what they’re going through as moms.
“Everyone is encouraged to share their opinions without any kind of judgment,” Muñoz says. “We can all relate to things that one particular mom is going through because chances are we’ve been there, too.”
And with friendships flourishing for the kids, too, the group is definitely on an upswing.
"We have playdates scheduled every day of the week, including in-home playdates, mall play ates and field trips to the Dallas Arboretum, the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science and many others. We are so blessed in that a lot of our moms open up their homes for us to come and play. This is especially important in today’s economy, and we save lots of money by not always having to pay admission fees to go places. Usually, our host will provide drinks and everyone brings a light snack to share. It’s all very coordinated, and the kids are getting to know each other better and better each time they see each other.
"We schedule a community event every month in an effort to show our children the importance of serving and helping others. Our favorite charities are Captain Hope, Hope’s Door and Coats for Kids. We currently have 57 members and will be closing our group at 65 members in an effort to offer the best experience for our moms and their kids. Moms can request to join via our Meetup.com home page. Our members are from all different cities and don’t need to live in any particular city to be members. We have a $10 annual membership fee to help with the cost of using our Web site.
"My favorite thing about being involved with the group would definitely have to be the feeling that I am not alone. When I first started staying home with my kids in 2007, it was a very big change for me. I felt very lonely, didn’t have anyone to talk to and was getting pretty depressed. Now I have my own group, and I love the feeling that I always have someone to talk to, to hang out with and to turn to in case I am ever in need.
"It was always kind of awkward for me to start talking with a new mom at the mall, and I didn’t really have any ‘functions’ to attend, being a stay-at-home mom, so making friends wasn’t the easiest of tasks. I like the fact that these playdates are coordinated just right to make everyone feel very comfortable, and our newest members are welcomed with open arms."