Let me set the scene: I’m at the coffee shop with the baby. Hubby is out to sea and I’m having a brave moment of getting out of the house. I see another woman that looks like “a cool Mom.” She orders her coffee and stands to wait on her order. Then, her cool mommy friend walks in, they greet happily, and then sit down for a coffee date. There we sat, alone AGAIN. What I wanted to say was, “Hey, I’m Kayla, can I get your number and maybe next time you can invite me to coffee, too?” But who is REALLY going to say that? I consider myself an outgoing, confident person and there’s no way you will catch me trying to get mommy digits at the coffee shop on the reg. Let’s be honest, most of our daily activities of going to the store, running errands and trying to stay afloat during deployments and underways, do not involve exchanging digits while grabbing a latte. Here are eight great ways to meet new moms, more comfortably, in Jacksonville:
1. MOPS-Mothers of Preschoolers There are tons of MOPS groups around Jacksonville. MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers and is for Moms and Babies ages 0-5 years. MOPS is a group that gets together twice a month with other moms. There’s usually food and coffee involved and the best part, CHILDCARE! You get to talk to moms for 2 hours while you’re little darlings are well taken care of. If you have a little one that’s still nursing or you’re not ready for them to go into the childcare area, they are always welcome to sit with you during the meetings. It varies group to group but trust me, GO, you’ll love it. There is one in Mayport specifically for military wives but there are also lots of groups at local churches around town. Check out MOPS.org to find a group near you.
2. MOMS Clubs: A MOMS Club is a group of moms getting together to support one another. These groups are a nice way to meet people and find new activities for your toddlers. They are always having play dates and opportunities to meet people. You can visit MomsClub.org to find out more information about the organization.
There are currently 4 different Moms Clubs in the Jacksonville area:
3. Toddler Classes and Activities. Another great way to meet new moms in Jax is to check out the FULL list of 25 AWESOME Toddler Activities in Jacksonville here. Some are totally free, and some have a cost associated with them but they can be a wonderful place to meet new people and have fun with your little one at the same time!
4. MEET UPS: Check out Meet Up.Com and you will find a TON of Mom Groups. From Stroller Strength workouts to play dates, support for stay at home moms, work at home moms, and baby wearing moms. You name it, there’s a group for it. Here are a few for you to check out:
5. Breastfeeding Moms Support Groups: Are you a breastfeeding Mom? Check out the La Leche groups in Jacksonville for a great way to connect. These meetings can help get questions answered and connect with new moms. There are currently 5 La Leche groups in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. Click Here to find a group near you.
6. Mommy Work Outs: There are very few places in town that have childcare while you work out. I’ve searched high and low. With JAX Stroller Strength and Big Fish’s “Yoga Play Date with Katie Alberti” you can work out with your baby or toddler. Bailey’s Powerhouse Gym, LA Fitness, and the YMCA have childcare available at their gyms. For military moms, Mayport fitness complex on base has a viewing room, which is great for older children, but not for mothers with babies or small children.
7. Facebook: This is a great resource to find a group of moms that cater to your interests. There are several groups including “First Coast Babywearing Group,” Mayport Navy Wives, Busy Moms and Tots of JAX, BMAT TOTS, Sailor Spouses, Mayport/Jax Wives, The Mayport Wives on Base, NOSA, Naval Aviator Spouses, Florida Homeschoolers , Mommies and Babies Explore Jax and many more! Whatever you’re interested in, there’s a group for you in Jacksonville. To find these groups, go to the search bar in Facebook and look for the group name.
8. Get Plugged in to Your Community. Many of us have opportunities to meet other moms right in front of our faces and yet we never take advantage of them! I’m talking about our churches, synagogues, neighborhoods, PTA’s, military commands, co-workers, and more. We often draw conclusions about these groups before even testing them out. I know there have been times when we have moved when I have attended our church every Sunday for months without making any effort whatsoever to connect with other people. When I finally do, it’s AMAZING! I want to encourage you to get involved with the groups you may already be associated with. Don’t let your past experiences in another city dictate your actions in a new city. For example, I’ve heard, “I am NEVER getting involved with PTA again, those moms are crazy.” Well, they may have been crazy where you used to live, but they could be awesome here. Don’t wait years before making friends with a community you could already be getting dialed into.
For Military Moms, this could mean going to your Family Readiness Group Meetings. The Family Readiness Group is a part of your current command and most groups in Jacksonville are active. This will be a great resource while on deployment that will give you access to often-free activities for your kids, fun night outs for you, and another great way to stay busy while hubby is out to sea. If you’re not sure if you have an FRG, email your Ombudsman to get more details. There are always people coming and going and your new best friend might be at the next meeting. If you are on shore duty or your command does not have an active FRG, try to find another group of military wives via Facebook, church, or community organization.
I hope this list of ideas helps you meet more moms in Jacksonville! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on future posts, play-dates, military discounts, and things to do in Jacksonville, enter your email here: