Moms groups keep growing
By Melanie Marshall
Mothers, especially new mothers, can be challenged or elated by everyday occurrences as their child grows.
There are two High Country groups designed to link mothers to allow the sharing of information, advice and stories.
The High Country Mommies (HCM) was started in January of 2007 as a member of the national Mommies Network. It serves Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties. Members meet on private Web site discussion forums to share information on everything from where to get the best haircut to tips on transitioning to a “big kid” bed. Each month, HCM also offers many face-to-face events for members, their children and their families.
HCM is open to any mother over the age of 18 from those trying to conceive to grandmothers.
The Web site, www.highcountrymommies.com, requires registration to join discussion, but membership is free. HCM currently has more than 150 members. The face-to-face events range from play dates, story time at public libraries to Mom’s Night Out and book club meetings.
Jaime Whitehead, site administrator, said there are approximately 20 events per month throughout the three-county region. Mothers can check each event online to determine if it is age-appropriate and/or fits into her schedule.
The online forums are broken down by topic, with forums dedicated to potty training, children with special needs, home schooling, working mothers, the “tween” years, business reviews, attachment parenting and multiple others.
“The forums work as a 24-hour support network,” Whitehead said. “If you are up at 3 a.m. with your baby, you can log on and potentially chat with another mother who is also up at 3 a.m.”
In additional to supporting each other, HCM also works on charity projects as a group. The upcoming event is a school supply drive to benefit Opposing Abuse with Services, Information and Shelter’s annual Back to School project.
“High Country Mommies is a good resource. When a mother is at home with the kids, situations arise and you can easily find some one with the same situation,” Whitehead said. “If can help make you a more confident mom.”
The second group for moms is an online-only magazine and blog. The High Country Mom Squad is a Web site devoted to local information for mothers and families. The Mom Squad does not require membership.
The blog is open to local mothers and those visiting the area.
“I founded the mom squad community because the area lacked a central place to find information,” said creator and owner, Sarah Pinnix. “I wanted to create a central location for coupons, specials, contest and highlight the ‘best of’ the High Country for families and children.”
The Mom Squad has 12 regular writers, with some contributing weekly, others monthly.
The site is updated almost daily. The site features reviews of restaurants, special family events listings, recipes and product reviews. Visitors to the site are welcome to post comments.
Pinnix founded High Country Mom Squad in February of 2008. She had been a member of the High Country Mommies.
“I didn’t want to take away from that group, but add to it,” Pinnix said. There is a link to HCM on the Mom Squad homepage.
“I have received great responses, even from visitors to the area. They can send an email with questions relating to local events.”
The High Country Mom Squad is online only. There are not regular meetings and it is not a traditional group. Mothers can subscribe to the Mom Squad to receive a weekly email newsletter.
In addition to the Web site, the Mom Squad also has a weekly television show on the local Mountain Television Network, channel 18.
Pinnix encourages feedback and comments on the site. An email can be sent through the site at www.highcountrymomsquad.com.