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Join the H-K Moms Group

By Kathy Brown.

Are you a mom? I am a mother of three, but I had no idea that there was a group of Haddam Killingworth moms who got together often and accomplished a variety of things.

According to former President, Amber Stamm, “We are a support group designed for you, the moms of today! Our main mission is to support each other through this challenging thing called ‘parenting.’ It is a daunting task, and can be isolating being at home. We provide moms with opportunities to get to know other moms and kids through scheduled playdates, activities, and more!” Not only that, but they also support the community, through the HK Backpack program (see related article here), led by Amber Stamm.

The HK Moms Group was started by Jessica Cockett in 2011, when she left her position as a research scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb to become a stay at home mother. She started talking to Cynthia Cappetta (now retired) from HK Youth and Family Services at a festival at Haddam Meadows, and the idea of a Moms Group was “hatched.” According to Ms. Cockett, “the first meeting was held in a church in Haddam and started with about six attendees.” Amber Stamm, the next president of the group, added more activities, as well as the HK Backpack Program. According to current President, Krystal Pietruszka of Higganum, “Currently there are 50 members receiving our emailed schedule of events and 86 members on our private Facebook page.”

Beach Outing

There are multiple mom-hosted playgroups at member’s homes each month, as well as public meet-ups at places like aquariums, gymnastics open-gym times, bounce houses, parks, children’s museums, and the beach. There are also family potlucks, usually on a weekend, where fathers and older siblings are also welcome. Baby Mama Brunch is for expecting mothers and mothers of non-walkers to “have some adult time and talk to other moms and enjoy a hot meal,” according to Vice President, Torrey MacDonald. Mrs. Pietruszka explained further, “This is a time for these moms to get support from moms in the same stage of motherhood . . . while the babies can play in a quieter setting than a mixed age playgroup.”

“My kids are now in Kindergarten and 1st grade at HES,” said Ms. Cockett. “And I still organize activities around holidays, [and] school half days. It gives the children a bond with other kids in town, and it gives the moms a long lasting support they need through every stage as the children grow up.” Mrs. Pietruszka concurs. She said, “I am so thankful to have found this group. Jake has gotten so much socialization from this group and we have made life-long friends!  It has been a great experience and I can’t wait to see how Jake progresses with all his friends in the group!”

Flip Flop Gymnastics Outing

The best night of the month, according to Mrs. MacDonald, is Mom’s Night Out, where mothers get to leave the husband and kids at home and get out for a night of fun. “Typically [this is] hosted at a fellow member’s house.” People BYOB and an appetizer to share. Sometimes, though, they meet at a restaurant, or the movies.

“The kids in the group range in age,” explained Mrs. Pietruszka. “We have children as young as newborns and as old as teenagers. Most of the events and playgroups are targeted at ages 5 and below. But we do have a monthly potluck dinner that the older children sometimes attend as well. The ages of the moms range from 20s to 50s, so really any age [is welcome].”

They are always adding/changing activities depending on the interests of the group. For instance, “We recently started a monthly book club as well. Only about 10 or so of the moms are involved, so it is a small book club, but so much fun!” said Mrs. Pietruszka.

If you are interested in joining, send a message to They want to ensure that it’s always a safe place, so you do need to introduce yourself and get approval to join.

Photos courtesy of Krystal Pietruszka and Jessica Cockett.