Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fenton Woman Rejected from Moms Club Starts Her Own; Sara Simpson Is Trying to Fill a Void in West County

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fenton Woman Rejected from Moms Club Starts Her Own; Sara Simpson Is Trying to Fill a Void in West County

Article excerpt

Sara Simpson's baby was 2 months old when she tried to join the MOMS Club in the city. They turned her away because she lives in the county.

Then, she tried to join the chapter of the International MOMS Club in Kirkwood, but they also rejected her because she lived outside their geographic region.

"I have felt isolated at home with the baby," she said. "None of my friends are stay-at-home moms."

Simpson, 32, who lives in Fenton, worked full time at the public relations firm FleishmanHillard before she had her son, now 14 months old. She grew up in the St. Louis area and moved back a year after she got married, so they could be closer to her family.

There's not so much to talk about with work friends when you can't talk about work, she said. You can't meet for nice lunches unless your definition includes a place with a Playland.

It may seem counterintuitive that the time when we are most engaged with another human being (a new baby) can also be an intensely lonely period. Several surveys show that more than half of new moms report feeling lonely and isolated.

Even as children get older and start preschool, where many of their friendships spark your own new friendships, it's easy to feel like the outsider, whether you feel like you're the only mother in the class who works or stays home or works from home or travels constantly for her job.

Even Simpson, with her established networks of friends from work and school, had moments when she wanted a mom friend who wanted to do things together with their babies during the day. It can be awkward to try to approach other moms, she said.

Maybe you go to the park and see another with a toddler, Simpson said, but you don't want to say: "Hey, want to go hang out at Starbucks?"

So, she started her own chapter of the international support organization for mothers, the MOMS Club of St. Louis West County. She plans for the group to meet about once a month and offer several kid-friendly outings a week. Before the explosion of parenting blogs and social networking groups devoted to parent talk, people may have sought real-life companionship more easily. …

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