Editor’s note: Penned by Julie Bagley, CEO of the Household is a regular column featuring tidbits about and for stay-at-home moms and dads who are in charge of the house, kids, pets, you-name-it.
For stay at home moms and dads there’s only so many times you can go to your local library to enrich your child’s week. You know it and your child knows it. Technology is here to help with meetup.com.
Back in 2001, Matt Meeker and Scott Heiferman wanted to create a dotcom. Heiferman was reading Bowling Alone, Robert Putman’s book about the collapse of community in America.
Meetup.com was born.
It has undergone changes in the last 11 years but today it is a social networking site that facilitates offline group meetings in local areas. The groups are by zip code and common interests like playgroups, books, careers or hobbies.
For CEOs of the Household, there are more than 10 meetup groups involving moms and stay-at-home parents in Northwest Arkansas. One group is called NWA Playgroup. There is no cap on the number of people who can join the meetup. One of the organizers is Kara Ault, a mother of two girls from Prairie Grove.
“Many of the moms who find our group online are new to the area and don’t know anyone or are experiencing being a stay-at-home mom for the first time,” said Ault. While staying home can be a rewarding job it can also be isolating. “I know moms know there is a group of local moms here in Northwest Arkansas who is friendly, fun and supportive of one another and we always welcome new members,” said Ault.
Other groups include Moxie Moms, Moms Empowering Moms of NWA and NWA Hip Moms. Some groups are open for new requests to join while others have a set amount of members and aren’t accepting new applications.
The NWA Playgroup is open for new members and includes 179 others. Some events that are scheduled for this month include visiting a working farm with baby animals to BUNKO night for a mom’s night out to a nature walk at Gulley Park. The events take place at different times during the week to accommodate different schedules.
If you’re schedule is as packed as President Obama’s and you find arranging another outside activity taxing, there’s plenty of online help. CafeMom is the largest meeting place for moms online.
Moms may also find content on the latest Hollywood gossip for a five-minute escape or read five ways to you stop feeling anxious about “alone time.”
This site launched in 2006 and now welcomes more than nine million unique visitors each month. It brings moms together to host, program and moderate hundreds of communities. In January, CafeMom launched its own YouTube channel. For those who are bilingual, there’s also MamasLatinas by CafeMom.
These sites are mobile so moms don’t have to be tied in front of your computer. Meetups can be emailed to your smartphone and CafeMom is integrated with Twitter and Facebook.
CEOs of the Household, there is plenty of help out there for your little ones boredom and some help to keep the hardest job in the world fresh for you.