Plenty of Westport moms work outside the home.
Plenty of others don’t.
For women who move to here with young children — sometimes leaving the workplace — meeting others in their situation can be hard.
Nearly 2 years ago, newcomer Nathalie Jacob tackled the problem. With Sonam Sethi and Samreen Malik — who had similar ideas — they created a Facebook group. “Westport Stay-at-Home Moms” brings mothers of babies and toddlers together.
There certainly is a need. Nearly 400 members meet for play dates, trips, Moms Night Outs, potlucks at the beach and more.
The newest event is Play2Give. These are play dates at which the mothers help their children do activities for charity. For the holidays, moms and toddlers picked out food at a supermarket, and packed it up for donations.
“What we have in common is that we all have children of a similar age,” Nathalie says. “We’re enjoying this amazing new stage in our lives as parents of babies and toddlers.”
“Many of our own parents live far away. Through this group, we’ve made friends who feel like family.”
Members mirror the diversity that is part of Westport, but not always seen. They come from more than 30 nations — the UK, Italy, Serbia, Australia, Greece, India, Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Guyana, South Korea, Paraguay, Jamaica, you name it — which adds great energy and variety to activities.
Moms in nearby towns are welcome. So are working mothers — and fathers. They’ve even formed a sub-group. “Yo DAD” gets together once a month.
A pleasant surprise: “Not just the moms, but our husbands and kids have become close as well,” Nathalie says. “It feels like an extended family, where our kids have a ton of ‘cousins and aunties.’
“We celebrate holidays together, watch each other’s kids in emergencies, and even travel together. We all feel at home, because we have created a family in Westport.”
Anyone can design or host a play date or event, anywhere they choose — “their home, a playground, the aquarium, wherever,” Nathalie explains.
“We all vote on big decisions, like the group’s rules. Everyone always has a say and a voice.”
Feedback is great. One woman says the group helped out of a shell of loneliness. Another says she has met her closest friends, who help her feel “connected, support and loved. A third called it “life-changing — no exaggeration. I met the most amazing moms, with equally amazing toddlers.”
Moving to the suburbs can be tough. Moving without the tether of outside work can make it even tougher.
Say what you will about Facebook. For hundreds of women, its Westport Stay-at-Home Moms group makes the move work.