Inspiring Moms Blog Series: Lara Krupicka

2012LaraKrupicka headshotWelcome back to my “Inspiring Moms” monthly blog series, featuring moms who are inspiring connection in their communities!

In this second installment, I would like to introduce you to Lara Krupicka, who has integrated connection with other moms as practically a way of life from her home in the suburbs of Chicago. You may have seen Lara on my blog before when we collaborated on the Mom to Mom Gratitude Gala & Giveaway last November.

Lara, a mom of three daughters, is an internationally published parenting journalist and the author of Family Bucket Lists: Bring More Fun, Adventure & Camaraderie Into Every Day. She speaks regularly at moms’ groups, women’s events, and church retreats. In addition, she runs a “Family Bucket Lists Moms & Dads” Facebook group for parents interested in connecting over the shared interest of bringing more memorable experiences and adventures into their family lives.

Here is yet another way that Lara connects with moms in her community and how you can, too!

You are a busy working mom, why is connecting and building community with other moms a priority for you?

As a writer I spend a lot of time alone in my office. So I need time with other people, but especially with other moms. It’s enough of a priority that I schedule it on my calendar. For me, getting out to meet up with other moms has always been my version of the office water cooler. We talk about what is going on in our schools and neighborhood. And we often swap advice and tips. It has been important to me to have a group I can go to who relates to where I am at and I can count on giving perspective and where I can be helpful and supportive too.

How did the group start and what has been your role in helping it evolve over time?

Our neighborhood has a coffee group that has been meeting for something close to twenty years. Initially I think it was just a few moms who lived in one subdivision, but gradually we’ve grown to encompass moms from neighborhoods that feed our grade school and middle school. I can’t say that I have played much of a role in shaping the group – we have one mom who carries the job of coordinating our schedule & keeping everyone in the loop on where we’re meeting from week to week (we rotate homes every Thursday morning during the school year and the hostess puts out a brunch spread).

For my part, I’m always on the lookout for ways to connect friends from various circles. I know so many amazing women, that I love to bring them all together. So in the past year I have begun announcing to all of my friends on FaceBook when I am hosting the coffee group. I extend the invitation to anyone who wants to come. So far no one new has taken me up on the offer, but I have had women ask if I was serious. Which I hope means that they’ll join us the next time I host.

What advice do you have for moms who feel isolated or disconnected?

Don’t brush off invitations. It’s easy to assume that people are only being polite when they invite you to an event like our coffee group. I know a neighbor invited me within a few months of us moving in, but it took me several years to actually go. I wish I hadn’t been so intimidated by what I thought was a closed group. Yet I think many of us do that – we fear there isn’t room in a social network for us, when in reality they may need us as much as we need them.

And on the flip side, don’t be afraid to extend an invitation and extend it more than once. It may take a few tries before calendars line up or other barriers come down when trying to get together with another mom or moms. When a mom says she’s not free to accept your invitation, don’t just say “let’s try another time” – actively seek a different date. It’s worth the effort.

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2 thoughts on “Inspiring Moms Blog Series: Lara Krupicka”

  1. I think as you say many of us are timid to attend the first time but connecting is always worth the effort. Reaching out can be scary but we need to remember that everyone feels that way so as Lara says we can be the ones who reach out as well.

  2. Thanks, Sue. It doesn’t matter what phase of parenting we’re in either. We always need to keep reaching out, in spite of any fear.

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