Welcome to our new GNO (Girls Night Out) series, where we ask groups going to LadyFest weekend to share their stories back with us. Today’s guest blogger is Erin Ewoldt with Mothers & More—Champaign County!
The moms at Mothers & More—Champaign County are leaving the kids at home (supervised, we promise) and checking out That’s What She Said! We are thrilled to have the TWSS project here, and look forward to hearing from brave, thoughtful, open women in our community. We’ll update you on our night on the town before (and after) the main event on October 17 at The Virginia Theatre in our next post.
This outing is one of many nights out we organize as a group throughout the year, in addition to our book club, morning coffee, playgroups, family events, and service projects. Our chapter is a local moms group that is part of a larger non-profit organization focused on the identity of mother, woman, and individual. The national organization states as its first belief, “Mothers are more than their relationships with their children; there is tremendous value in mothers exploring and developing all parts of their identities.” We love that and live it together.
Transitions and motherhood
Champaign-Urbana is a transitional town; seemingly a city full of transplants. Friends move in; families graduate and go. Some of us feel more like locals after being here for a decade, some of us are still introducing ourselves to one another and emailing the group to find the best take-out for a night of unpacking.
As Meghan—one of our newer members, a new resident, and a new-ish mother (talk about transitions!)—put it, “Moms need groups in order to connect with other moms, share experiences, and build friendships. Being a mom can be an isolating experience, especially when you are a new mom and might not know many other moms. Also, parenting takes a ton of time and energy, leaving little time to go out and make friends. It is wonderful to have structured activities and a group where you can go meet people, connect, and make friends.”
And as our more settled into-town member Maria says, “One of the biggest reasons I am so appreciative of being a part of Mothers & More is that it introduces me to women I may not have had the opportunity to know and befriend otherwise. We live in a community of people from all over the world, but the thing that we all share in this group is that we are moms. It’s a strong bond that I truly value.”
Our common connection is motherhood
We are moms. And teachers. And businesswomen. And dental hygienists. And editors. And civil engineers. And accountants. And artists (like Mandy of Lola’s Brush, hosting the Paint + Sip Party on Saturday at 1pm!).
We are moms. And hand washers. And nose wipers. And book readers. And dinner makers. And cookie bakers. And costume designers. And picker-uppers. And organizers. And schedulers. And chauffeurs. And sports team cheerers. And grocery shoppers. And school volunteers.
We are moms. And book readers. And movie watchers. And game players. And painters. And karaoke-ers. And grabbing coffee-ers. And going out to dinner-ers. And having drinks with friends-ers. And listeners.
We are moms.
Find your tribe
Our membership coordinator Erin has lived in three cities since becoming a mother. As she was being mistaken for the nanny and having a hard time transitioning to motherhood eight years ago, her husband’s boss’ wife told her, “The friendships that I formed in early motherhood are the tightest and longest-lasting friendships I have. Going through those years together cemented our journeys, and you never forget the days with your friends during those hard, joyful years with little kids.” While that was discouraging to hear in a moment of feeling lost without a tribe of mom-friends, Mothers & More has since provided that tribe—and that quote rings so true.
If you’re a mom, and living in Champaign County, and also excited about things like That’s What She Said, maybe you’d like to check out our annual Open House on Sunday, November 1, 6:30 p.m. at Jupiter’s at the Crossing in Champaign. This is a great opportunity to check us out and see if this group is a good fit for you! There will be food, games, and an amazing selection of door prizes from local businesses. Visit our website or Facebook page for more information and to RSVP to the event.
Erin Ewoldt is a stay at home mom of two boys, 4 & 8, and the Membership Coordinator for Mothers & More – Champaign County. She was handed a card for Mothers & More 4 years ago while she sat dazed on a couch nursing her 5 month old at her own welcome party. Things have only gotten better since.