By Monique Tamminga/Special to the Langley Advance Times
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but how about 560 moms?
That’s the magic that is happening through a moms’ group in Langley who are finding community and friendship through playdates and events each week.
The Langley Moms Playdate Group was started by mom Elisha Herr in January 2017, when she separated from her husband and had two little ones who she wanted to find playdates for.
“I wanted to find community and support for myself and my two boys,” said Herr.
She has two sons. One is four-and-a-half years old, and the youngest just turned three.
Herr created a Facebook group called Langley Moms Playdate Group that started with a few moms coming to her house for playdates.
It has ballooned into more than 550 moms who meet and have fun, both with their children and without, out at events, playdates, holiday parties, and even camping together.
“I had no idea the group would grow to what it is today. My hope was that I would connect with some moms with babes similar in age that we could share our struggles with, support one another and make lifelong friends for our littles,” Herr said.
“This group has literally kept me going. They’ve become my support network. I have met my very best friends who not only love me but love my boys as their own as well.”
Because mothers tend to nurture, when one of the group gets sick, has surgery, or faces tragedy, the whole mom group comes together to support them.
One member can attest to that support.
When Tammy Floyd had unexpected surgery and had limited mobility, the mom group was there making meals for her and helping out.
“I had an unexpected operation and I had all these Langley moms I never met before bringing me groceries, gift cards, Skip the Dishes credit, and homemade meals,” said Floyd.
“This group is awesome support.”
Floyd wanted to recognize all the hard work Herr puts into the group on her own free time and what a positive difference it is making in both moms’ lives and children.
“We band together to support one another. We are just a big family,” said Herr in response.
“The group started with very little effort, meeting once a week in my house for playdates. As time went on, I had organizations like Metro Vancouver Parks approach me asking if they could do events for us,” she added. “I began to organize more structured events like Circus Lab, Little Gym, farm tours, etc.”
“We now have 550 members (566 with 86 of those joining in the past 30 days) to date and I get feedback from moms about what an amazing sense of community it is. I hear from moms who struggled with depression or social anxiety who say it was the push they needed to put themselves out there and connect if not for them but for their kids,” she said.
“Moms love the variety of events from kids events to moms-only events.”
Yes, sometimes moms need a little me time, she added.
“We do monthly reoccurring nights such as games night, movie night, bingo, murder mysteries, and then we have done other things like an escape room, high tea, paint nights, spa nights, jump park, and more,” she explained.
Langley Moms Playdate Group is a welcoming, easy-going group, Herr insisted, with new members always welcome.
“Our events run year-round and we average 25-30 per month. We just got back last weekend from our first annual group camping trip with 12 families from the group. It was an incredible experience.”
Herr introduced an annual membership fee of $25 about six months ago to accommodate for the amount of hours she commits a day to planning and responding to emails and messages.
New members get a three month free trial to see if it works for them, she added.
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