IMAGINE COMING HOME WITH YOUR NEWBORN BABY, WEARY AND ELATED, TO FIND SOMEONE HAD COOKED YOUR DINNER FOR YOU. NOW IMAGINE A TROOP OF PEOPLE BRINGING YOU MEALS WITHIN THOSE FIRST FEW DAYS. THIS IS WHAT THE ROCHESTER AREA MOMS GROUP CALLS THEIR MEAL TRAIN, AND IT’S JUST ONE OF THE MANY PERKS OF BEING A MEMBER OF THIS LOCAL GROUP.
Amanda Nigon-Crowley, head chair of Rochester Area Moms, says, “I always find it heartwarming to see busy families making time for one another, yet that’s just what Rochester Area Moms is all about—making time to connect.”
HANGING OUT IRL (IN REAL LIFE)
Rochester Area Moms is an activities and support group for mothers interested in connecting with other women and families who are at a similar stage in life. Originally called F.E.M.A.L.E., the group evolved into Mothers & More and eventually became Rochester Area Moms in 2016. The group has been active in Rochester for more than 18 years. “The majority of members join when their children are in the infant or early years of childhood,” Nigon-Crowley explains. “But many stay until the children become school-age.” The mission to empower and educate mothers while providing opportunities for connection is what drives the group.
“We fill a valuable need for a place that moms can connect with each other, support each other and have a place to call their own. Yes, we do this by getting together in real life!” Nigon-Crowley adds smiling. “We host regular community events such as playgroups, book clubs and meeting for dinner or brunch.” In addition to regular events, Rochester Area Moms also participates in annual events such as decorating a tree for the Hiawatha Homes Festival of Trees, a family fall picnic and holiday gatherings such as Trunk-Or-Treat and an Easter egg hunt.
“Our group is really as involved as you’d like it to be. We also host a mixture of educational parenting events, financial planning meetings, family gatherings, sledding parties, trips to the zoo. Our member interests really drive what we put on our planning calendar,” says Nigon-Crowley.
One of the most popular features of Rochester Area Moms membership is the online forum. “Our Facebook group is used by most members on a regular basis to ask questions and provide feedback. Our members ask questions on everything from how to get a 1-year-old to sleep through the night to where to get a car repaired.”
The forum has become a treasured resource for many families, providing assistance with spontaneous needs and parenting questions—even in the middle of the night. Nigon-Crowley adds, “The saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ really is true, and I’m very impressed by the support this group provides.”
Often, members of Rochester Area Moms are also members of other groups such as Mothers of Multiples, Med City Moms or Moms on the Run. With so many options, Nigon-Crowley is proud to see membership growing. “I’m grateful to know we are doing what we set out to do 18 years ago and still remaining relevant. I love that our group is open to all moms needing to find each other—as well as find themselves—on this crazy journey called motherhood.”
JOINING ROCHESTER AREA MOMS
Anyone considering joining the group can attend a public event listed on RochMoms.org. Though the group’s name is centered around mothers, any parent or caregiver can join. Nigon-Crowley says, “Joining the group requires the new member to make the initial contact and put themselves out there, which can be intimidating, but don’t be shy!”
Rochester Area Moms also offers scholarship memberships and encourages potential members to try two events before joining. Membership is $30 per year. Find ways to connect to the group online at RochMoms.org.
Gina Dewink is a Rochester area writer (writing when her precocious preschooler and fearless toddler allow). Her exciting time travel thriller, “Time in My Pocket,” is available on ginadewink.com.