I recently had a family friend ask where she can meet other moms in the area. None of her friends have children, and she was looking for a group of women she could reach out to for support. There are so many reasons why finding fellow moms is beneficial to the journey of parenthood . . . but sometimes, it can feel just as awkward as navigating the dating scene! You might not know where to start or the best way to forge a lasting relationship.
Luckily, there are so many ways to make this easier. The western suburbs of Chicago are home to thousands of sociable moms and dads looking to connect over their kids, and they’re finding ways to have fun safely during another year of pandemic concerns, with online meetings, outside gatherings and more.
I’m so lucky to have gone through pregnancy not once, but twice, at the same time as two of my best girlfriends. We have been doing play dates with our children since they were born. Not only do those get-togethers give us an outlet to talk about everything we’re experiencing, but we get to watch our children form lasting bonds with each other, just as we have. I have also met so many moms through various kids’ classes and story times. As I gain more experience as a mother, I have more confidence striking up a conversation at the park or play place. Most of the time, they are just as eager to trade stories (or even phone numbers). I always leave feeling glad that I took a step to make the connection.
Parent Groups and Playgroups in the Western Suburbs
While some groups still have in-person meetings on hold, there are still ways to connect online. Groups are hosting Zoom cocktail hours, support group video calls, connecting via social media, and more. So if you’re interested in making connections, check out the groups below and see what they’re offering. (As an added bonus, when in-person gatherings are back in business, you’ll already know some friendly faces!)
- Moms of Brookfield
- DuPage Moms/Mothers and More
- DuPage Area Moms
- Downers Grove Area Moms and Families
- Naperville Stay-At-Home Moms (and Moms-To-Be)
- Cradle Talk (for parents of 0–6 month old babies who were delivered at Edwards Hospital)
- Special Needs Parent Community of Chicago and Surrounding Suburbs
- Moms Connect in Darien
- Connections Cafe
- The Center for Balanced Parenthood
Classes you take together with your child are a great way to meet parents with kids in the same age and stage! Check out our round-up of local parent-child classes to find one near you.
Local Woman’s Clubs
Woman’s clubs have a long history of bringing women together for philanthropy and activism around local policy issues. You’ll still find many groups active in the suburbs, including:
- Darien Woman’s Club
- Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club
- Elmhurst Junior Women’s Club
- Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club
- Naperville Junior Woman’s Club
- St. John of the Cross Women’s Club
- Wheaton Junior Woman’s Club
Newcomer groups are social organizations that organize for all kinds of events. Contrary to the name, you do not need to be a newcomer to the area to join!
- Downers Grove Area Newcomers
- Western Springs Neighbors & Newcomers
- Newcomers and Neighbors of the Greater Hinsdale Area (includes Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Oak Brook, Westmont)
- LaGrange Neighbors & Newcomers
- Elmhurst Neighbors & Newcomers Club
- Newcomers Club of Wheaton, Winfield and Warrenville
- Naperville Newcomers and Neighbors Club
- Glen Ellyn Newcomers Club
- Fox Valley Newcomers and Neighbors (includes St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia)
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Groups
MOPS programming is available at churches throughout the Western suburbs. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are welcome and these groups often form playgroups. You may also find MOMSNext groups for families with school-aged children.
- Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church
- Christ Church of Oak Brook
- OPRF MOPS (River Forest)
- Gary United Methodist (Wheaton)
- St. John the Baptist Church (Winfield)
- First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn
Breastfeeding Support Groups
- La Leche League of Illinois (map includes chapters throughout the Western suburbs)
- Lactation Station: Breastfeeding Clinic at the La Grange Public Library
- Breastfeeding/New Moms Support Group at West Suburban Women’s Health
- Breastfeeding Support Group at Adventist Medical Center La Grange
- CDH and Delnor Breastfeeding Classes
Mom Fitness Groups
In Rachel’s article on ways to exercise with kids, she also found lots of mom-centric fitness classes nearby. Here are a few to get you started:
- Fit4Mom Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles
- Fit4Mom DuPage County
- Fit4Mom Greater NW Chicago Suburbs
- Fit4Mom Naperville
- Fit4Mom Downers Grove, Hinsdale, La Grange
- Fit4Mom Oak Park – River Forest
- Universal Spirit Yoga (Naperville)
Facebook Parent Groups
- CHEERS for Moms
- Chicagoland Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome
- MamaTribe Chicago
- Working Moms of the Western Suburbs
- DuPage Moms
- Downers Grove Area Parents
- The Branch Moms – Naperville and Surrounding Suburbs
- Glen Ellyn Moms Village
- Moms of Western Burbs
- Naperville Dad Network
- Oak Park Moms
- Bolingbrook Area Moms
Other Ways to Connect
- Many indoor playgrounds have baby and toddler times where you can meet other parents and start a playgroup. Some of these are still on pause for now or continue to make adjustments as things change, so check their websites for the most current information.
- Search Meetup.com for groups that reflect your own interests. Don’t limit yourself to mom groups!
- Check out Bible Study Fellowship classes in our area. Most offer both daytime and evening studies and often include childcare.
- There are great music and swimming class options in our guide to Classes for Little Kids 0-5 Years Old that you can sign up for with your little ones, especially as things begin opening back up.
Our Kidlist Community Group on Facebook is another great way to connect with local families! See you over there!