Find support and meet other local moms with large families

Two parents sit with their four children in a park

There is a group for almost everything and everyone online these days, the key is knowing where to look. The Durham Region Big Happy Families Facebook group is one of those hidden gems. This group was created for moms raising large families in Durham to provide support both online and in-person with meetups. This is a great resource for local information to answer any burning questions that apply to large size families – things like what vehicle to buy to fit the family, how to manage family schedules and more. There are no requirements set by the group for what’s considered a ‘large’ family, so if you feel you fit into this description, I encourage you to join and start meeting some other moms in the area just like you!

 

photo credit

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Continue the Halloween fun at an outdoor event this Saturday

If you haven’t had the chance to celebrate Halloween by Friday then it won’t be too late! This Saturday evening there is another Halloween event being hosted in Pickering that you can attend.

Halloween Barn Haunt flyer

The Belle Wood Equestrian Center is transforming their property for Halloween with haunted barn tours, a bonfire, corn roast, apple bobbing contest, haunted jumping castle and pumpkin carving contest. There are so many activities on offer that this is a great event for all ages. Why not bring the family and invite a mommy friend out who has older kids?

The Halloween Barn Haunt will be held this Saturday, November 1st at the Belle Wood Equestrian Center(2745 6th Concession Road, Pickering)  from 6-11pm.

Cost: Admission to the event is free, but you do have to register ahead of time. To register, text 905-995-3109 with the number of adults and children that you plan on bringing along.

 

pic via kijiji.ca

Get crafty at the Mad Hatters Tea Party

As every mom knows, the closer you get to the end of your mat leave, the more creative you have to be with entertaining your little one as they get more mobile and more interactive. Events like the Mad Hatter`s Tea Party are a great family event because there is lots of green space outdoors (to practice walking) and craft activities for kids of all ages. Even though my little guy is still not at the stage to make anything, he does enjoy the different textures and colours of paper so these are criteria enough for me to check out the event.

In addition to craft activities, this event will also include games, treats (hopefully a bake sale!) and photo opportunities.

Four paper flowers made from craft materials

The Mad Hatters Tea Party will be held Saturday, October 18th from 10am-3pm at the Dunbarton-Fairport United Church in Pickering.

Cost: Entry to the event is $5 per person. All proceeds go towards providing respite for families with children on the Autism Spectrum.

For more information, you can visit the Footprints 4 Autism website here.

 

pic via leahbb.com

Apply for a passport for baby

Mat leave is the ideal time to apply for a passport for your little one. I say this for a few reasons – if you ever find a must-book vacation deal or have a family emergency that requires you to fly out of Canada – having a passport ready to use for baby can save you a ton of time (and worry) in the future. Plus, getting passports made when your little ones are still small in their photos is pretty cute.

The cover and inside pages of the 2014 Canadian Passport

If you’re feeling a little daunted by all the steps involved when applying for a passport for baby, here are a few key tips:

pic via nationalpost.com

Swap newborn stories with moms at Babyville

Babyville is a support group run through the region of Durham health department for parents of babies aged between 0-6 months.

Babyville is a free program available to Durham Region residents

All groups are facilitated by a Durham Region Public Health Nurse which is a great opportunity to get reliable answers to a lot of “is it normal when… ” questions. The best part is, Babyville groups have strict rules about how group members treat each other. This includes a no judgement rule for any of the topics raised by attendees. I’ve now learned overcome any shyness pretty quickly in a group setting when question time rolls around, because most moms usually have the same questions that you might want to ask and this is a safe environment to do so.

The Babyville program consists of four weekly group sessions. To participate you must pre-register. Registrations can be made through the Durham Region Health Department at 1-800-841-2729 or 905-666-6241 ext. 3366

Cost: Free!

 

More information about the program is available on the Durham Region website with a Babyville pdf brochure available for download.

Find a local playground with an infant swing

In the past few weeks I’ve been taking my little one to try out the swing at the park. He’s long outgrown his baby swing that he loved when he was smaller, so I figured that trying out the infant-sized swings at my local park wasn’t too much of a stretch out of his comfort zone.

An infant swing

I’m able to fit my little guy into this swing comfortably but depending on the size of your baby, you can always add a rolled up receiving blanket around your little one to help make them more comfortable.

Many playgrounds around Durham have these type of infant sized swings installed, but from what I understand not all of them do. I found this great post written by a local mom that catalogues the top 10 infant and toddler friendly playgrounds in the Durham area if you want to do some pre-research to find the best park or even a new park to give this activity a try.

pic via babble.com

Welcome to The Motherhood Scene.

A woman stands behind her stroller, while using her phone

 

This blog has been created as a go-to, community guide for many of you also going through what I experienced during mat leave – a huge change in lifestyle while learning how to be a mom. After making it to 11 months of mat leave with my baby, I’ve learned that participating in your community and talking to other moms is key to enjoying mat leave.

No one else can relate better to the highs and lows, the overwhelming sense of responsibility and sometimes even the isolation that being a new mom can bring. It can be hard to find mommy friends, especially if you’re new to your area, without a car, far from family or even a little shy. The best first step is to get involved in family-friendly activities and take advantage of helpful local resources, and then things tend to happen from there.

I’ve named this blog “The Motherhood Scene” to describe this family-oriented culture within my city that I’ve begun to tap into. Here, I’ll be sharing what I discover families are doing and all the fun activities that I find for moms living in the Durham area from Whitby, Brooklin, Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, and Bowmanville.

Enjoy!