So you’ve moved to Lamorinda and you’re ready to make friends in your “forever” community. If you’re a transplant, it’s likely that this task may be daunting as making friends as an adult is just not as easy as your younger days of making friends in school where your peers are pre-vetted to at least have something in common with you. The word “community” can also feel intimidating because the lines for which it encompasses are wide open for definition, especially when moving somewhere new. Luckily, Lamorinda is friendly and full of resources and friendly faces, all wanting to make connections.
Schools of Lamorinda
One of the many reasons people move to Lamorinda is to take advantage of the terrific schools. And the main reason our schools are so terrific is due to the next-to-none parental participation academically, financially and yes, even socially. Most if not all Lamorinda public schools have parent clubs which are created with parent volunteers who want to help provide teachers the support they need both in and out of the classroom. While their fundraising contributions are also significant, parent clubs aim to establish strong partnerships between school and home, making the school environment encouraging, educational and fun to its young learners. This mentality is not limited to elementary, middle and high school levels only, but starts even as young as at the private preschools where social events, get-togethers and fundraisers provide opportunities to meet like-minded parents.
Many families move to Lamorinda before their children are school aged, in which case, the social and support group, Lamorinda Moms, is a wonderful resource for moms with kids age six and under and one of the largest parenting organizations in the Bay Area. For a $55 yearly membership fee, members have access to private Facebook forums and buy & sell pages, and free family events such as Easter Egg Hunts, Trick or Treating and Summer Fest. Perhaps those who benefit most from Lamorinda Moms are new moms as seeking connection during the newborn stage can be very isolating. For these new moms, Lamorinda Moms offers Moms Dinners where members volunteer to bring homemade or takeout meals to help out. Additionally, Lamorinda Moms organizes playgroups by your babies’ ages which is a welcome opportunity to get out of the house and meet other new moms going through the same experience – a special time when many moms are on maternity leave. Dads are also welcome to join as well, though the vast majority of members are moms.
Stay at Home Moms
The career of stay-at-home mom is a ubiquitous one in Lamorinda. As if this job isn’t important enough, many women in this role [though not limited to stay-at-home moms] opt to combine their social efforts with even more altruistic efforts by joining women’s clubs of which there are two prominent ones in Lamorinda – the Juniors for which there is an organization for each of the three Lamorinda cities. The Juniors is a non-profit group run by its members to offer service and support to other non-profits in the greater area and typically meets monthly. Each chapter has a different vibe and hosts different fundraising events throughout the year so if Juniors is of interest, it’s a good idea to look at each chapter to find your best fit.
Working and Mothering in Lamorinda
Not all moms stay at home and there are plenty of resources to turn to when you want a mom’s view from a woman who understands what working and mothering (together) entails. Lamorinda Working Moms (also Facebook based) is a wonderful resource for that - and many of the moms definitely overlap with the population of Lamorinda Families (detailed below). There’s also a ‘working mom’s’ book club that focuses on professional and personal development books and wine...of course. The group meets about 7 weeks apart to give a reader time to get through the book.
If the social aspect of these options isn’t appealing and you are simply wanting a forum type medium to bounce ideas off of other folks in the community, those exist too. NextDoor is a fantastically free resource to ask the community about advice on any topic ranging from best places to eat to referrals for services. You can also buy and sell on NextDoor and friendly neighbors often report crime or suspicious activity on the site. Any question you may have has likely already been answered on NextDoor. And, no matter which side of the tunnel you are on, Berkeley Parents Network is a great forum to browse for family-focused information on the region at large.
Find Your Tribe
In a world of social media and selfies, it can feel lonely moving somewhere completely new, but social media can be your ally in this whole making connections in your new community thing. One need only to type Lamorinda into the search bar on Facebook to find that there are a multitude of pages to join depending on interest. There’s a home for everyone in Lamorinda and the options are endless in the quest to “find your tribe.”