RIFLE — Elissa Nye is self-employed, a wife, a busy mother of two young boys, and also spends lots of time volunteering.
Even so, when she heard of the Rifle Moms For Moms website in June of 2011, she signed right up.
I like the connection you can make,” Nye said. “I feel blessed I can stay home with my kids, but I like to help other moms. I feel comfortable posting something on [Rifle Moms For Moms]. I’m running a business out of my home, but Moms For Moms gives me the opportunity to network. We all network on Facebook, but this is more personal, more intimate.”
Rifle Moms For Moms was started by Leanne Worton of Rifle in April 2011 as a way for mothers to connect, support and inspire one another. The group is now celebrating its third year with 455 members from Parachute to New Castle.
“It’s been an exciting journey for us,” said Worton, mother of 5-year-old Jackson.
Worton had previously lived in Carbondale, before moving out of state for a time.
“We had just moved back to Colorado from South Carolina and I felt disconnected. I had joined a group in Carbondale called Moms For Moms, but there wasn’t one in Rifle.”
So she decided to start her own group and had a website built as a place where mothers — expecting, first-time moms and grandmothers — could talk, ask questions and give advice to other moms. Group members can also get information about local events of interest to moms and are encouraged to participate in the community.
Along with connecting online, the members also like to get together in person — through play dates with their children and attending seasonal activities such as swim lessons, Easter Egg Hunts and visits with Santa Claus. There is even a Mom’s Night Out when the mothers get together to visit without the kids.
“We try to pick a different restaurant each time to support local businesses,” Worton said. “It’s a kids-free time to give us a break.”
Earlier this week, Rifle Moms For Moms held their first Mother’s Day event, where 19 mothers and 34 children gathered at Jay’s Steakhouse in Rifle for a Mommy & Me Mother’s Day Mingle. While the kids played together and did crafts, the moms caught up with each other over drinks and appetizers. Mini photo sessions by local photographer Amber Chelewski were also available.
Kristi Gilbert of Rifle attended the event with her four-month-old daughter, Lila.
“I like meeting new faces,” Gilbert said. “I don’t have a ton of friends with kids and I’m sure I’ll have questions as she grows.”
And does she have plans for her first Mother’s Day?
“I’m not sure yet,” Gilbert said with a smile. “I wanted to do a picnic, but we’ll see if the weather allows it.”
Beth Rager of Rifle is a seasoned mother of two and seven months pregnant.
“I learned about Moms For Moms through word of mouth,” Rager said. “I like the connections and the friendships and I like getting out without the kids and talking to the girls.”
For Mother’s Day, Rager said it’s a tradition in her family to plant a new tree or a flower that will bloom around future Mother’s Days.
A night off is a recurring theme that is definitely popular amongst the mothers.
“I like the mom’s night out because I’ve gotten to be really good friends with some of the moms on the site,” said Lindsay Zimmer of Rifle, who has been with Moms For Moms since the beginning and has two daughters, with a third child on the way.
She’s not sure what she plans to do for Mother’s Day.
“Whatever my husband decides,” Zimmer said with a laugh. “We’ll see what he comes up with.”
There’s no question that all these moms deserve their special day and to be recognized for all that they do.
“A lot of times we feel like we have to do everything, but it’s OK not to be supermom all the time,” Worton said. “The commonality here is wanting to be a good parent.”
To learn more about Rifle Moms For Moms, visit riflemomsformoms.com. Memberships and access to the site is free, but is moderated. For questions, contact Worton at (970) 319-7057. New members are welcome.