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When I moved to Johannesburg after having my first son Jamie  in the UK I was lost. I didn’t know many people with kids and I felt that I was on a very solitary journey, muddling through his infancy.

In the UK, I had been so impressed by the feeling of being ‘local’. As a new mom there were free activities to join in with, often held at the local church. As I didn’t have any family (or friends with babies), I eagerly joined in. I joined in on the free baby massage classes, sensory play, breast feeding groups and play groups – perhaps it was also because it was winter and our houses were giving us cabin fever, but it bonded new moms and gave us all a sense of belonging.

Back in Johannesburg, I was desperate to find mommy groups. Jamie was one and I couldn’t find any that were free and just offered advice – and bonding. There was no community of moms I could tap into, until I moved to Blairgowrie.

 

Blairgowrie is one of those underrated suburbs. It has everything. The northern suburbs’ best kept secret in my opinion. The sense of community is incredible here and after chatting about moms’ groups on the local community Facebook page with my now friend Nikki (more on her later), it was evident that a. there wasn’t a local mom’s group and b. it was what was missing in our hood.

And so, the Moms of Blairgowrie was born. A MOB of moms.

It’s become a Facebook community for local moms to be open and support each other. It’s a forum, a market-place and a sounding board. I’ve made so many wonderful friends, had book clubs, craft clubs, walking groups, play dates – it’s really changed my life for the better because of it.

first mob meet up
The first MOB meet up in February 2014.

Due to its popularity, moms from all over Joburg were trying to join the group. To keep it local and true to its form, I had to be strict and only allow residents to join. (For this I’ve been given a bad rep in parts I might add!)

But, I’m all about facilitating communities and so I began Park Moms – a Facebook community for the neighbouring JHB parks suburbs. I’ve since created Moms of Morningside and Moms of Emmarentia and Greenside too, so most bases are covered!

Yes, there are group rules. There need to be on Facebook and any platform like this. I also get many join requests on a daily basis from men, people living all over the place, fake accounts and non-moms too. They are not easy to manage, and I don’t want these groups to become full of spam, or have irrelevant content posted. I also don’t want them to be these huge Facebook groups for the whole of Johannesburg. It’s about like-minded, local, community-led content.

The rules of the mom’s groups are:

  1. Join your local mom group only – and only one per mom. You’re only a local resident in one suburb.
  2. Moms and moms to be only (sorry no grandparents and aunts and cousins)
  3. Your kids need to still be in school (i.e. under 18)
  4. Answer all 3 questions to be added (truthfully)
  5. Advertising:
    1. Advertise your second-hand baby goods any day of the week, other goods within moderation
    2. No scouting for work, properties or fitness shake type ads
    3. Keep your business advertising to Fridays only and please keep it reasonable
    4. We don’t want to see the same advert every week and we don’t want to be bombarded with more than one post from you on a Friday
    5. Support your local moms
  6. No abuse, shaming, bitchiness, labelling, defamation of character
  7. No anti vaccination talk (sorry, just no)
  8. If you ask to join another moms group and you have moved, or live outside of the local area, you will be removed/added to the correct group
  9. Don’t lie about where you live. If you’re not local, please start up your own mom’s group, I’m sure there are local moms out there who want a community just as much as you do.

Join a group:

Moms of Blairgowrie

Park Moms

Moms of Morningside

Moms of Emmarentia and Greenside

 

 

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