Wellesley Mothers Forum helping local moms navigate the pandemic

wellesley mothers forum logoThe Wellesley Mothers Forum has been helping local moms learn from and support each other for more than 25 years. but perhaps it has never been needed as much as during the pandemic.

“Without normal in-person methods of meeting other families, the Wellesley Mothers Forum is more important than ever to help families share resources and form important personal connections with children of similar ages,” the forum says.

While COVID-19 is putting the kibosh on high profile in-person events, like the annual Fall Carnival, the nearly 300-plus member group is adapting to an increasingly virtual and social distanced world by adhering to state and local guidelines with its programming. This includes everything from online lectures on topics such as creating a greener home and minimalist parenting, to contactless delivery of welcome packages to new members. Co-Presidents Lillian Lau and Julie Byrne and team recently kicked off the 2020-21 membership year with an online board meeting.

Many years removed from our own babies, we wondered how the heck young parents are dealing with infant socialization during the pandemic. The forum says it offers a variety of opportunities for young children to socialize, from virtual playgroups to backyard playdates to online music classes and storytelling sessions.

While playgrounds in and around Wellesley are now mainly open, members have varied feelings about taking their kids there. Forum members share information through a members-only Facebook group and other methods on topics such as playground locations, busyness of playgrounds at different times of the day, amount of sun exposure, and mask compliance. This has helped members discover new playgrounds and decide on which are right for them.

The forum understands that Zoom fatigue is real, especially for working parents. It offers online information sessions but also small socially distanced outdoor gatherings where appropriate to help members learn and connect.

Use of the forum’s Facebook discussion group has skyrocketed over the past year, with more than 200 active members. Participants share information on everything from services like contractors and counselors to nanny-sharing and gently-used items. A poll on the best face mask brands for kids proved popular, as has a rising subgroup for parents of rising kindergarteners in light of many schools starting remotely. Information on local merchant discounts available to members can also be found here.

While the group won’t have its usual Halloween costume party due to gathering restrictions, it does plan for a family-friendly Halloween scavenger hunt along the Morses Pond trail. Members and the general public can take part at their leisure during the last week of October.

New members and renewals receive 20% off before Oct. 1.

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