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5 Alternatives to the Mom Book Club

It is hard to find time to sit down and read a book. As a mom, it is almost impossible.

But if pretending to read that book gets you out of the house and time with your gal pals then by golly we you try to find a way. Say goodbye to diapers and days without leaving your house.

Planning play dates for yourself are just as important as the ones you plan for your children.

Susan Callahan, Author of the book Mothers Need Time Outs Too, discusses the importance of moms taking time for themselves.

“Being a little selfish can make you a better mom. It is impossible to be super mom 24/7. Moms need time to vent, gossip and regroup.”

According to women’s health expert and professor at Western Washington University, Dana Crowley Jack, it is a matter of physical health.

She says, ”Our physical and mental health depend on having close relationships with people we can turn to, especially in times of crisis or stress. Mothers of young children need to know they have someone to turn to when things seem overwhelming.”

Gallup, a data poll and public opinion driven news source, conducted a 2011 study on stay-at-home moms. They found that non-working women with a child under 18 at home experienced more worry, sadness, stress and anger than moms who are employed full-time or part-time.

Gallup asked the women polled if they’d ever been diagnosed with depression and found that stay at home moms were more likely to say yes than working moms. Of stay at home moms, 28% reported receiving a diagnosis of depression at some point compared with 17% each for employed moms and employed childless women.

Do not let this statistic scare you. There are simple, affordable, and fun ways to fight the cabin fever and spend time with your friends.

The Lunch Bunch
Jill Viso, a Kansas City native, was a stay at home mom and book club member for many years. She is now the co-owner of a new and successful restaurant in the Kansas City area.   Jill said, “We decided to ditch the book and amp up the conversation. I started inviting the group to monthly lunch at the restaurant.  The success and the laughs could not be better.”

Jill realized that the book was just tool helping them to spend time together.

“We do lunch because it is a reasonable priced meal and a great break in the middle of the day.”  Jill recommends using a meeting planning tool like doodle to help find a time that works for everyone.

Wine Wednesdays
It’s a middle of the week hump day stretch for us all. Taking a couple hours venting and unwinding with your friends might be just what you need to make it through the rest of the week. In a phone interview, Jarod Bury, Wine and Beer director of the Evanston World Market, said, “Moscato is always a hit with the ladies. Brands like Fat Cat sell really well.”

Fat Cat Moscato retails at 8.99 at all World Market locations.

All I Read This Month was Magazines
We know that you are busy.  Reading a whole book is tough. What about that article you read while waiting for soccer practice to be over. Instead of a whole book to read by a certain date, have everyone choose a favorite magazine article they’ve come across in the past month. It does not matter if it is from Newsweek, a Vanity Fair interview or a stolen tip from Cosmopolitan, magazines make for great conversation and you are bound to learn something.

Recipe Exchange
As a mom you know you are sick of cooking the same meals every week. Tap into the minds of your fellow moms and enjoy some food in conversation at the same time through a recipe exchange. Assign each guest what part of the meal they will, let everyone eat, mingle and enjoy the food. For an added twist turn it into a contest: easiest dish, yummiest dish, etc. Casual or Dressing up, your evening is sure to be a success.

Movie Nights
“As a mom it is very hard to get my 20 or 14 year old sons to sit down and watch The Breakfast Club with me,” says Jill.

Invite your friends over and make a movie night of it. Plan it a week or so in advance. For anyone with a Netflix account having movies delivered to your door is only 7.99 a month.  Also try hooking up Amazon Instant Video through your children’s gaming system to stream movies as low as $1.99 each. Pop some popcorn. Even open a bottle of wine. Your 14-year-old self with thank you. I mean, who doesn’t love a good throwback?

 

Being a mom is tough. It is often a thankless job. Grab your girlfriends and have some fun. You deserve it!

 

Book Club can morph into a variety of activities.  Take it from Oprah.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCpkNnxUxPk      

 

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.