Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by Sarah McCubbin
Are you looking for simple and inexpensive mom’s night ideas but not sure where to start? Starting a mom’s night is a great way to build community and connection with other women and it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.
A couple of years ago, I had a big shift in my life where I stepped down from my position as a homeschool co-op director and shifted into a new season where my kids would be going to school for a while. All of a sudden my community felt far away.
People that I had spent years building connections with were no longer in my immediate circle. And this made me realize that a lot of our culture and a lot of our socialization is about the activities we are currently doing or that our kids are currently doing. Unfortunately, we lose connections when the family shifts gears.
Another mom and I decided that starting a mom’s night for past and present homeschool moms would be a great way to help people stay connected. After all, when homeschooling moms graduated out their last child (or sent them to school), there was often no place for them to stay connected either.
Moms are busy people and getting them to come to an event means they really have to prioritize themselves. So what we decided to do was set up a monthly mom’s night with a consistent day of the month. It has now been around for almost 2 years and it’s still going strong.
Before we began planning, we realized that regardless of what other fun activities other moms might plan, our top priorities were that the gathering was simple and didn’t stress us out as the planners. Here is what we came up with that is a great simple model for having monthly mom’s nights.
Steps to Planning a Monthly Mom’s Night
1. Pick a consistent night of the month (or publish the schedule for 6-12 months).
When you are trying to build community in a large group, it’s important to do something consistently. We picked the second Thursday of the month for our mom’s night starting out. We decided that we would have our mom’s night on that night, even if it was just the two of us.
Over the first few months, people would come sometimes but not other times. But they started to realize that this gathering was happening, whether they came or not. When it finally worked for their schedule to jump in, they could come.
A consistent night of the month helped automate this into people’s schedules.
After doing our Mom’s Night for a year, we changed it so that the days shift a little each month. However, we did publish our dates for the whole school year. It worked equally well for people to know the dates months in advance for the Mom’s Nights.
2. Work with another mom to plan your Mom’s Nights.
Make sure it works for both of your schedules before you share it with anyone else.
My co-planner and I decided that if two of us were planning each gathering, at least 2 of us would be at every Mom’s Night. That has only happened once but there have been a few times we had only 3 or 4 of us.
3. Make it easy to participate.
When we did our Mom’s Night, my friend Cynthia and I decided that rather than try to organize something fancy or extravagant, we would like to keep it simple so that it was both inexpensive and easy to participate.
For us, this meant having our Mom’s Night in our homes. So I will host it one month and then my friend Cynthia will host it another month and we just rotate back and forth.
Because we publish the dates months in advance, sometimes other moms will look at the schedule and ask if they can host on one of those dates.
4. Use multiple forms of communication.
We have an email list that we send out our Mom’s Nights to and we also set it up through Sign Up Genius. This means that moms will get multiple reminders of our nights which is helpful because not everyone is checking everything. Emails get blocked by different providers.
5. Use a signup service like Sign Up Genius.
I mentioned Sign Up Genius before but I’ll mention it again. Using a sign-up that is online has multiple benefits. First, it lets other members see who is coming. It also lets the host know if anyone is planning to come. If people don’t RSVP, that is a great reminder to go ahead and contact people personally
6. Reach out with a personal connection via text or phone call if RSVPs are low.
Moms are busy people. End of story. Whether they are homeschool moms, public school moms or retired,… moms are busy. So taking the time to reach out personally is something that can keep your group going and help people feel connected.
I take a minute to text a friend and say “Hey, are you free on Thursday night?” Maybe they have forgotten that there was a mom’s night. Maybe their schedule has opened up since the last email came out. Or maybe they’re not available. Either way, a personal connection reminds people that whether they come or not, someone is still thinking about them.
7. Hosting a simple and inexpensive Mom’s Night in your home does not mean you have to have a big, fancy or perfect house
Many of us have been in other people’s homes and realize that our homes aren’t as big, as nice, or as clean. We allow those reasons to disqualify us from opening up our homes.
The reality is that people don’t come to see your house. They come to see people. If COVID taught us anything, it should be that relationships and people are important and that all this temporal stuff is not.
If the idea of hosting is stressful because your house is cluttery or dirty, I think having a basic checklist of the most essential things is really helpful for focusing your energy on creating a warm inviting space.
8. Have a priority cleaning list for company.
If you’re having guests in your home, for a simple and inexpensive mom’s night, you don’t have to clean your entire house. With nine kids. My house is rarely ever 100% clean. But when other moms come to my house they aren’t going into every room of my house. The essential rooms to clean are as follows
- Living room or dining room
That’s right…you can close the door to bedrooms, offices and playrooms. You can focus your cleaning efforts on just a couple of rooms.
If you get more than that done…hooray. But give yourself permission to only do the essentials.
If I am hosting on Wednesday, I try to start my essential cleaning on Monday and Tuesday…a little bit each day. Then Wednesday is the day for a quick pickup, vacuuming and wipe down of the bathroom.
9. Keep the food simple!
In our Mom’s Nights, we simply invite people to bring a snack to share. If they do…fine…if they don’t…fine. By keeping the fellowship first and making everything else a lower priority, it has made it easy to actually have Mom’s Nights consistently.
Most of the time, everyone brings something. The hostess provides water or tea to drink…and usually one food item. This keeps the preparation low for the hostess as well. Again… it’s not about the food or the games or activities…. it’s just about people…simple.
10. Ready to Begin? Start with a Mom’s Night Survey!
Before you start your simple and inexpensive Mom’s Night, get organized and include people in the planning. The more people feel invested, the more likely the idea will succeed.
Tips to Build Interest:
- Gather all the email or phone numbers from people you think might be interested. (I went through all my old homeschool directories to put together my list)
- Email everyone and tell them you value your relationship with them and that you want to start a monthly Mom’s Night to stay connected.
- Ask them to tell you the best days of the week for Mom’s Nights.
- Ask them if they are interested in hosting.
- Give them the option to be removed from your list if this isn’t something they are interested in right now.
- Once you have gathering info, get started quickly. Make the first mom’s night a couple of weeks away..the same month as your survey or the next.
- Put out the dates for future gatherings with every monthly email reminder.
- Use Mom’s Night to Build Healthy Community
At the end of the day, having a Mom’s Night for the women in your community can be a great way to build connections. So often, mom’s connect when we are showing up for sports events, or volunteering or in some way working together.
Mom’s Nights are a great way for moms to simply relax WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING. The women in my group are my dearest friends. I don’t see all of the all the time, but those monthly gatherings are a great way to stay connected to people who have invested in my life but are now busy with different things.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a hostess, I invite you to give this a try. Plan, Invite, Remind, Remind, Remind, Host!
More Articles on Motivation & Staying Healthy as a Mom!