I'm excited to report that my neighborhood (and several other adjacent neighborhoods) has formed a new volunteer-run parent resource group. The focus is on both providing community for and with one another so that we know our neighbors and recognize the kids on the playground, and also on supporting parents of families with kids aged 0-5 (although it's not exclusive to those parents). The idea is that by providing a centralized website and resource with information about daycare, preschool, and babysitters parents will be better able to care for themselves and their children. Likewise, the group has organized some Moms' Nights out and Dads' Nights out too, as well as several playgroup opportunities for kids. I'm stoked!
One of the things that I have found the hardest about being a stay-at-home mom for the last 2 years, is that slowly many of my peers who had kids of the same age as my daughter, began to go back to work leaving me literally at home alone with Peanut. When I was growing up, my mom lived right next door to two families with other stay-at-home moms. This meant that there was a constant flock of children around our house and the moms seemed to have "coffee dates" just about all the time (although I suspect the actual *sitting down* with a cup of joe and a coffee cake happened at best once a week!). I suppose a part of me envisioned that this is how my life as a SAHM would be. The best of both worlds - time with my daughter and female companionship. Not as easy as I thought.
I'm not sure that this particular group will hold the answer. But even if it doesn't, I think that the benefits to the community and our neighborhood make participation well worth it regardless. Our neighborhood isn't super family or kid friendly and although we're lucky to have lots of nearby parks (whoo hoo!) that seems to be the extent of our neighborhood's "child-friendliness". Hopefully this will change things.