Just over two years ago, when I was seven months pregnant, and Bump Club and Beyond was only a few months old, I guest blogged for our friends at Graco on the importance of having a supportive network during your pregnancy. Two years later, I bring this up again as I find it equally as important to carry and expand that network into motherhood.
My feelings from when I wrote this blog two years ago haven’t changed, but like my family, they have grown. Since becoming pregnant in January 2010, I have immersed myself in the culture of being an expecting mom/new mom/mom to a toddler. I have seen firsthand how having the support of a community of women in the same life stage is imperative for all of us.
This was the sole reason I started Bump Club Chicago and the motivation for turning it into Bump Club and Beyond after only nine months. Moms and Moms-to-Be in Chicago needed a place where it was easy to connect with one another, learn from one another (and the best experts in town), and grow with one another. There will always be a fondness in my heart for the 50 or so BCB “regulars” who I shared my pregnancy with, many of who now make up my core group of mom friends. Witnessing these relationships from my perspective, and those from the growing number of moms and moms-to-be who have followed, is something so amazing it’s hard to even describe.
On Friday, I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the Mr. Singer concert with Toddler J. I was almost dumbfounded by a few things: 1) the number of Bump Club moms that were there 2) the number of Bump Club moms with 2nd time bellies that were there 3) the number of Bump Club moms that were there TOGETHER.
Bump Club has grown significantly since my Graco blog post, but I am proud of the fact that the fundamentals have stayed the same. When I first wrote this blog two years ago we were hosting 3-4 events per month. Even though we now host over a dozen every month, our moms are coming together, staying together and hanging out more than ever before—both at BCB events, and on their own time. I exchanged numbers and emails with three moms on Friday, all for different reasons. I see the women at our events doing this all the time, and it thrills me…but actually seeing them out with one another (outside of BCB events) is beyond rewarding. I know that giveaways and gift bags are fun, but at the end of the day I can see that these things are the icing on the Bump Club cake. It’s the friendships and support that are most important and truly matter to so many of you.
I went to a baby naming of a friend a couple weeks ago. Her entire 15 mom playgroup was there with their babies AND their significant others. My friend’s family couldn’t believe how many friends this new mom had…and I kept hearing over and over that all of these women connected and re-connected at Bump Club. They now all have babies under six months old and meet on a regular basis. Together, they all attended their first BCB New Moms brunch a few weeks ago. To have played a role in this form of “mom match-making” brings a permanent smile to my face.
While I blogged two years ago about the importance of bumping up your social circle as a mom-to-be, I can’t reiterate more how valuable it is to carry this bit of advice into your life as a mom. I am thrilled that Bump Club is now in Austin, TX, providing the moms and moms-to-be of my favorite southern city the opportunity to connect with one another, BCB, our partners and our programming.
Even if you aren’t in Chicago or Austin to experience Bump Club, there are so many ways to meet other mom friends. Similar to when you were sporting a belly bump, it is just as easy, if not easier, to talk to another mom at the park, Starbucks, a store, the zoo…really anywhere you go. Don’t be shy, and don’t hesitate to ask for her email or number. You’d likely be surprised at how relieved she is that you asked. And don’t forget, you have something in common that will lend itself to endless conversations about infinite topics: you’re moms.
Post by: Lindsay Pinchuk, founder of Bump Club and Beyond