8 months pregnant. Just graduated from college. My husband was working all day. I needed friends. I found friends in the form of an online pregnancy forum. 15 years ago, facebook groups didn't really exist. I found a group of women who were due with their first baby the same month as me. We were all going through similar things. We could relate to each other. This group of women was a lifeline for me. But - they lived all over the country. After only a few months of talking, we longed to meet each other in person. I did get a chance to meet a few of them on a few different occasions, but never did any of those "virtual" relationships become something more.
In every stage of life, it is important to have people to share life with, the joys and the sorrows. We created Mezanmi Play Cafe to be a place for connection. We have seen this happening over and over in our little space and it makes our hearts so happy.
Just recently, we had an abnormally small Saturday morning session. Just three kiddos. The three mamas who were there did not know each other when arriving. But only 90 minutes later, they left with new friends. These three introduced themselves (kids are such a natural ice breaker!) and started chatting. They found out that they all had similar stories including infertility. None of them were expecting to meet a friend that morning, to be encouraged; but that is what happened.
I started to think...how can I help develop these relationships? Life is hard. Having people to connect with who are walking through similar things and can relate makes it a little easier. It doesn't matter what stage of life you're in, we all need friends.
Mezanmi Community Groups have been created!
Mezanmi is in a unique position to connect people from all over southwest Michigan. We encounter many people in all stages of life. Life can be exciting, difficult, lonely and so many other things. We want to create a space to connect with other moms who may be going through the same things in life where you can find encouragement and even new friendships. Many support groups are combined of people all over the world, and we want to bring people together where they can actually form real-life, in-person relationships!
So, check out some of our first groups below. Join some. Introduce yourself. Ask questions. Give encouragement. Find a friend to meet up with at Mezanmi in real life. Meeting people virtually first can help take away some of the nerves of putting yourself out there. But remember, we're all human. No one is perfect. Everyone has their "stuff." We show what we want others to see. Take a risk. Be authentic. Find your people.
*We are looking for moderators for each group, so please let us know if you're interested!
**If you have another idea for a group, let us know. If there's enough interest, we'll add it!
Trying to Conceive Support Group: This group is geared towards moms who are trying to conceive...whether it's their first or fifth.
Mamas of 2021 Babies: This is a group for mothers who have had babies or are due in 2021 to connect with one another, talk about pregnancy, and go through the journey of motherhood together as your babies are born.
Mamas of 2020 Babies: This is a group for mothers of babies born in 2020 to connect with one another, and go through the journey of motherhood together as our babies grow.
Mamas of Toddlers: This is a group for mothers with kiddos born in 2017-2019 to connect with one another and go through the journey of motherhood together as our toddlers enter new stages.
Mamas of Preschoolers: This is a group for mothers who have preschool aged kids to connect with one another and go through the journey of motherhood together during this stage of life.
Mezanmi Dads: We can't forget the dads!! This is a group for dads to connect with one another and go through the journey of fatherhood together during this stage of life.