The online community of moms can be an intimidating place if you are just arriving to the arena of web based mommy groups. Which ones to join, what questions to ask and what are the basic rules are just some of the questions you may have about joining and online mom community. There are several places and ways to connect with moms on the web here in Queens. Here is the skinny.
The 3 Golden Rules
The rules vary from place to place but there are 3 universals that ring true no matter where you go.
1. Try to be an active member and join in conversations. Moms like you join these groups for the purpose of connecting with other moms so make the conversations frequent if you can. Comment, write back, and participate, it will also help you get the hang of how the whole online thing works.
2. Be a local. So don’t join the Astoria Moms Meetup Group if you live in Bayside. It will not benefit you or the group. There may not be a geographical group for your location in which case do join the one closest to you.
3. Don’t spam. This probably doesn’t apply to most moms out there but if you happen to be a mom with a business, try not to promote or advertise to the group unless you feel it is completely relevant and beneficial. And only do it once. If you continually promote your product or service that is called spamming and can get you kicked out to the group.
Types of Groups
Yahoo and Google
I am sure you have heard of these before and probably wonder how the work and how to join them. A Yahoo or Google Group is an email chat group where you email an address like: email@example.com and it is then posted on the main group page as well as emailed to everyone in the group. So if you had a question about where to find a pediatrician in your hood you could go to your groups website and “post” a new question. In Yahoo, this option is on the left of the site under “messages”. On Google there is a “+new post” on the right side of the screen. After you “post” a new question you will then get emails about how other moms replied to your question. If you want to reply to the “thread” or conversation you can either “reply to sender” or “reply to group” sender will only send to that one person and group will reply to everyone. Google and Yahoo require that you have a yahoo or gmail email address in order to use this service. I would siggest setting one up for the purposes of chatting with moms. It is worth it.
Groups worth joining:
Queens Childcare Exchange – The Queens Childcare Exchange Group is intended to share various childcare resources between parents living in Queens.
Queens Special Needs Group – This Group’s goal is to share resources for children living with special needs in Queens NY.
Tasty Healthy Easy (T.H.E.) Cooking Group– This is a small group of people (not only moms) who like to cook and share practical recipes and cooking tips like what to do with leftovers and BPA free food. I am a closet foodie and frequently contribute here.
Hawthorne Park Parents– This is probably one of the most active Google group in Queens. They are based in Kew Gardens and Forest Hills and most of them have toddlers.
Queens Moms Group is a 147 member moms group that is not regionally specific so any Queens mom can join.
Astoria Moms This group of 178 really nice Astoria moms greeted me with kind words when I joined and introduced myself the other day. They, like all of these groups, expect active members so you will have to join in.
Facebook is the no brainer of this article but I am going to mention it anyway. There are 3 groups here in Queens that are pretty active on Facebook. You can post, and chat with other moms on the following sites.
Sunnyside Moms This lively bunch of Sunnyside moms share resources and ask questions on the FB homepage.
Queens Mamas - QM has over 2,600 friends on Facebook but we also have a Fan Page where you can all talk amongst yourselves and hear back from the mamas on resources here in Queens.
Holistic Moms of Queens This is a unique group which centers around holistic health. They require a membership and have play dates and meetings monthly. I think they are pretty great.
Meetup.com is a community where people with similar interests (in our case children) meet up and enjoy this similar interest together. There are coking meetups, sports meetups, pet meetups, and mommy meetups to name a few. No matter what you are into, you will be able to find others that are into it too. The moms meetup groups are a great place to go if you are looking to get out of the house. Here is how it works: you go to meetup.com and set up a profile with a photo and your personal information. Then using the search bar you can look for things that you like to do. When you see a group that you would like to join, hit the “join” button on the site. This will prompt you to follow the procedures to join this particular group. Sometimes there is mothing to do but hit that button, other times they would like to know more about you and where you live especially with mommy meetups. You type in your info and then join the group. You will then be able to see the meetups that are happening in that group and if you would like to attend. You can rsvp easily and the next step is to meet real live moms!
Meetups worth joining:
Queens Mamas Meetup Group- is our websites meetup group where we promote special events and things to do in the borough. Membership is free but many of the events have a small fee attached.
Forest Hills Playgroup Laid- back, casual group of parents with children 0-5 in the Forest Hills area who like to meet occasionally for play dates and conversation. All members are welcome to post events or host meetings.
Jiggle Sprouts Playgroupis based in Ridgewood Queens and is a growing network of moms with children 5 years old and under who participate in events in Queens, the surrounding boroughs and Long Island. The cost for this group is $10 for 6 months.
Little in the City is a Long Island City bases Meetup for moms. They regularly have playdates, clothing swaps and other events.The group cost is $20 per year
Queens and LI Working Moms provides an outlet for working mothers to get together with the kids (and husbands) on weekday evenings and weekends. As parents our goal is to build a strong network of working mothers who have chosen to try to balance work and family. The group cost is $12 per year.
Moms of North East Queens is another lively and successful bunch of ladies who have had over 1,900 meetups so far. We recommend them to moms who live in the Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Briarwood and Rego Park Areas.