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MAMA has support, and activities, for families with small children

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Some weekends there are scores of things to keep the young ones away from blocking the toilet with plastic animals or smearing your favourite lipstick on the walls.

But for those days when there seems like there’s nothing to do — Meet-A-Mum Association (MAMA) comes to the rescue.

The local group was founded in 1986 to give mothers and nannies support and information to help them raise young children.

These days they are working to include the entire family and have a host of activities happening throughout the year.

Popular events include the semi-annual MAMA Car Boot Sale, a Halloween bash and Christmas party.

Kerri Jasper, the group’s public relations representative, said they do their best to keep families of small children (typically under age ten) occupied throughout the week as well.

“We just had our summer fair and then we do weekly and monthly playground dates, beach dates and coffee mornings and I think our best thing is we go to the playground every day of the week,” she said.

MAMA currently has more than 300 members — many of whom found the organisation through word-of-mouth.

Ms Jasper moved to the Island shortly before her now 21-month-old daughter Brinkley was born. Months later when Brinkley was still a newborn, she was looking for a support group for mothers and stumbled upon MAMA.

“For me it has been a great help to get to do something active with other moms during the day because I used to work and now I am a stay-at-home mom, and that transition was hard because we wonder ‘What am I supposed to do?’

“I also wanted to get to know the Island better and see what was available because through this group you meet all kinds of people.

“Some members have been here for more than 20 years and can offer advice on where to go and what to do.”

One of the great parts about MAMA is they also offer adult events to give parents a much-needed break.

Moms occasionally get together for a potluck style dinner and conversation at different members’ homes; dads can enjoy fishing trips or sunset cruises with the special lady in their life.

Ms Jasper said: “We are trying to make the group more accessible for anyone who wants to find things to do, especially because Bermuda is a small Island.

“Different weekends there are tons of activities going on and then there are weekends where there is nothing going on.

“We try to offer a lot of free events for members and we open a lot of things up to non-members, like our family fair or car boot sale.”

The organisation also does its best to give back to the community through donations to charities like The Eliza DoLittle Society.

The summer months are gearing up to be an especially busy time for the family group. Planned activities include trips to play mini golf or afternoon excursions to Kid Zone.

Ms Jasper said they try to find air-conditioned locations in doors to stave off the intense summer heat.

They also provide snacks and drinks so moms don’t have to bring their own. Annual membership for MAMA is $40.

Useful website: www.mama.bm

Jump for joy: Kerri's daughter Brinkley Mello in the ball pit at the MAMA Summer Fair.
A volunteer gets busy painting faces at the MAMA summer fair recently. It is just one of the fun events aimed to get parents and children out of the house and engaging with others in a fun environment.
Three playgroup volunteers show off their MAMA t-shirts at a recent event. The group is open to families of young children, particularly mothers and nannies who are new to parenthood or new to the Island.
MAMA facts

The Meet-A-Mum Association (known as MAMA) started off as a support and resource group for new mothers in the United Kingdom in 1982. The Bermuda chapter was formed four years later.

Since then, MAMA has become a vital resource for mothers and nannies, particularly those new to the Island or new to motherhood in general.

Its 300 plus members rely on the organisation for information on raising young children in Bermuda; they are also provided with a social network for support.

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Published June 13, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm)

MAMA has support, and activities, for families with small children

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