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Build a support system to help cope with the dual life of a working mom

 
Photo by forca/photoxpress

Being a working mom can be a particularly stressful existence, essentially juggling two "jobs," only one of which pays the bills.  While stay-at-home moms are valuable friends and resources, particularly when it comes with parenting issues, their day-to-day experience is quite different from that of a working mom, who spends far less time with her children, yet still has all the frustrations and challenges of childhood to deal with.  Thus, even though free time is a rare, treasured commodity, it can be helpful to spend this time with other mothers who are in the same boat, sharing experiences and helpful information.  There are many working moms looking to socialize, both with and without thier children, on evenings and weekends, so the key is figuring out where to find them.

Meetup:  Meetup is a virtual community of varied local interest groups.  Through a simple search, you can find a local group of moms, working moms, work-at-home moms, or other people with interests similar to yours.  Or, if the type of group you're looking for doesn't yet exist, you can start one up yourself.  A quick search of "working moms" within a 50-mile radius of Indianapolis yielded over 50 results, including Indy Moms Playgroup, Columbus MomsHip Mamas, and Noblesville Work at Home Moms.  Joining a Meetup group is usually either free or involves a nominal fee, around $10, intended to offset the subscription fee paid by the organizer.

Mothers & More:  Mothers & More is a non-profit organization with chapters nationwide.  With the goal of "improving the lives of mothers through support, education and advocacy," Mothers & More emphasizes all of the work that mothers do, both paid and unpaid, and aims to provide support for those juggling the roles of mother and employee.  Through its local chapters, Mothers & More sponsors periodic meetings and events, including "Moms Night Out," playdates, parties, speakers, and book clubs.  Mothers & More currently has six different chapters in the Indianapolis area, located in Avon/Brownsburg/West Indy, Hamilton County, Morgan County, Northwest Indy/Zionsville, Porter County, and Indy Southside.

Moms Like Me:  Indy MomsLIkeMe is a web site, formerly known as IndyMoms, where moms can find playgroups, activities, coupons, and a variety of information.  The site has a large Discussion board, where moms can chat with each other, plan activities, and provide support.  The site is fully searchable, and a search of "working moms" yielded over 40,000 results, primarily from the discussion groups.  By tailoring your search to your location or particular interests, you can find other moms looking for weekend playdates, sharing childcare advice, and recommending local events.

For other information and support on a broader scale, check out Work It, Mom!, Working Mother magazine, and Working Moms Refuge.  And, on the lighter side, visit Working Moms Against Guilt, a blog by four working moms about their journey and struggles.

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