The Motherhood Scene’s Top Posts of 2014

Two moms stand next to each other with their babies in strollers

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed and that we are in 2015. Where does the time go? The top five posts of 2014, ranked by number of readers, show that there are a lot of you interested in attending meetups for moms:

If you are looking to start your year in the best possible way for both you and baby, sign up now for a meetup in your area. I can promise it will make the difference between enjoying mat leave and enduring it!

 

photo credit

Connect with a passionate meetup community for Pickering moms

There’s nothing quite like motherhood to bring strangers together! I always considered myself social, but never enough to join a meetup group of strangers. That was, until I had a baby in winter and felt lonely all day inside my house. As soon as any new mom discovers how much of a difference meeting other moms can make, it’s very easy to develop a passion for connecting women on mat leave and beyond.

Mamalicious Mamas is a group that plans events for Mamas-to-Be, Mamas, infants and toddlers.

Mamalicious Mamas is a group of such women who created a not-for-profit social network to provide moms within their community access to peer support and inexpensive events. They host meetups in Pickering that range from playtime groups, trips to the zoo and frozen yogurt dates. With such engaged community managers, it’s well worth checking out for any Pickering mom.

 

pic via facebook.com

Get active in the New Year with mom and baby yoga

New Year can be a motivating time and I’m here to guide you to some of the best opportunities Durham has on offer! If you’re still looking to hit your stride in your mat leave, Mom and Baby Yoga can help you get there. It’s got the trifecta of benefits: feel-good exercise, a chance to make mommy friends and a reason to get out of the house.

The Mom and Baby Yoga Flyer for Moksha Yoga Brooklin

Sessions run weekly on Tuesdays at 9.45am for an hour in a series of eight sessions. If you’re feeling a little shy, signing up for a sessions like this can help you interact with the other moms as you will see each other so regularly. These sessions are best for babies up to the crawling stage, so chances are you’ll meet other moms in a similar stage as you.

There are still spaces left so it’s not too late to sign up! Registration can be completed online or in person at the Moksha Yoga Brooklin studio (31 Baldwin Street, Brooklin). Mom and Baby Yoga begins January 6th, 2015 and continues up until February 24th.

Cost: $105 + hst (Approx $13 per class).

Drop-in family storytime at the Whitby Library (Rossland Branch)

Depending on the local library branch that you visit in Durham, drop-in storytime programs can get chaotic due to their popularity. Some babies do well in social and busy environments, but for those that prefer a more quiet and intimate group experience, a smaller location like the Whitby Library on Rossland Road may be a better fit.

The area where storytime at the Whitby library, Rossland Branch, takes place

Family Storytime is held in the back corner of this branch in the children’s book section, where parents and caregivers can sit with their little one on the mat to listen to stories read by one of the librarians. Librarians will read stories from the library collection and have parents and children interact by answering questions about illustrations. After a book is read, any children that are willing are encouraged to join in with singing songs or playing activities like rolling a ball to other members in the group.

Drop-in Family Storytime is held at the Whitby Library, Rossland Branch (701 Rossland Road East, Whitby) on Fridays from 10.30-11am. This program will continue weekly from now until Friday, December 12th. Registration is not required. Children and babies of all ages are welcome.

Cost: Free.

 

To find out more, visit the Whitby Library event page for details.

What to expect at a mommy meetup

When I first went to a meetup, I felt a little awkward putting myself out there. I desperately wanted to have some other mom friends who were also going through the same thing as me, and I had no idea where to start. For as long as I could remember, friends either just happened or developed through interests that I had outside of work and school. Finding a partner online has become the norm, but finding a friend online? This was a whole new world for me.

A group of moms stand together with their babies in strollers

In my experience attending meetups, I’ve learned that every mom has the same reasons for being there as you do. Many of them are dying to talk with someone who gets what it’s like to be a new mom, but they may not know how to begin a conversation about all that they’re going through.

Meetup groups vary in format because they are organized and hosted by moms who are all as individual as the next. Generally speaking, meetups are very informal. There aren’t name tags or introductions where you have to face the group and find the right words to avoid sounding stir-crazy. Meetups are usually held in public places and from the outside looking in, it can look like a big group of friends getting together. At first it may look like there are some cliques within the group and this is normal. The moms that know each other well are most likely the regulars which is a good sign the meetup is worthwhile. There’s a reason they keep coming along!

If the meetup you choose to go to is held at one location (like a playground, or cafe) then punctuality is not an issue. Being anywhere on time as a mom is tricky enough, so if you are running late, know that no one is judging you for it. There are lots of ways to start conversation but one of the best is to introduce both yourself, your baby and to mention your baby’s age. This often means there are a lot of names to remember at a meetup but, most moms there will do their best to get to know everyone there and learn their name. With conversation, you’re able to talk about anything so long as you reserve any judgement. What may surprise you is how easily you can talk about all the stuff you can’t say in front of your friends without kids. You can talk about diaper blow outs over coffee and most moms wont bat an eyelid. They’ll laugh along with you or nod in understanding.

If you find yourself enjoying spending time with another mom there, take the opportunity to ask her to catch up again. If you know of another mommy meetup, baby program or stroller trail, invite that mom to join you. She will probably appreciate the chance to do something different and get out of the house. Swapping phone numbers and keeping in touch over text is recommended before taking the plunge with a Facebook friend request. Do I almost sound as if I could be talking about dating? Well, it can feel like that. Most new moms will feel that way when they’re making new mommy friends!

If you’re still feeling a little hesitant, in my next post I’ll be giving my tried-and-tested tips for attending your first mommy meetup. Stay tuned for more!

 

pic via readysteadymums.blogspot.ca

Meet new moms at the Uxbridge Baby Cafe

Baby Cafe is a Monday morning meet up program for moms living in the Uxbridge area who want to connect with other parents.

While it might sound tough getting organized to take baby out of the house on a Monday morning at 9am, it is worth it.  I find it hard to get back into the swing of things after having so much help from my husband on weekends, that I find the time spent at these type of meet ups invaluable for support. As a welcome bonus, a lactation consultant will be present each week to answer questions.

The official Uxbridge Baby Cafe flyer

The Uxbridge Baby Cafe program is free and no registration is required. This program continues until December 15th, 2014 and is hosted at the Uxbridge Parent and Literacy Hub, located in the Uxbridge Public School (64 Victoria Drive, Uxbridge). For more information, call 905-862-3131 for details.

Cost: Free.

 

pic via ddsb.ca

Learn to play in the pool with swimming classes

Most moms will have different reasons for joining an infant swim class. Some do it so they get out of the house, to meet other mommies, to burn off some of that boundless baby energy or as I did in my case, to get my little one used to being in the water.

Swimming classes held at the local Whitby Recreation Complex are led by a trained swim instructor who will guide you and a group of other parents through water play activities. This includes, holding your baby on the side of the pool and having them “jump” into the water, helping your baby to float on their back with the help of pool toys, practice using life jackets (for baby and parent) and if you’re brave – dipping your little one under the water!

A view of the baby pool and the toys used in the Starfish swimming class

The view of the baby pool at the Whitby Recreation Complex and some of the toys used in the “Starfish” infant swimming class.

What I love about this activity is that there are a ton of scheduling options offered through the Whitby Recreation Complex. Starfish Infant swim classes are held on both weekdays and weekends, so if you decide to try an activity like this you can be flexible in who you bring along, whether it be a family member, mommy friend or your partner.

Registration is open now for these group swimming lessons for January-March, 2015. Starfish swimming classes are open to babies 4-18 months old.  You can register in person at the Whitby Recreation Complex, or online.

Cost: The Starfish Group Swimming Class program runs for 10 weeks and costs $89.51 (approximately $9 per class).


 

To register online, these are the steps that you’ll need to follow:

1. Check out the Fall/Winter Activity Guide and pick your preferred class times and days. Note the corresponding class codes as you’ll need these for later in the process.

2. Call the Recreation Program staff (905-666-1991) and ask for a PIN and barcode, which becomes your username and password for the online registration system. Keep these details saved somewhere that you can find them again. This is important because you will continue to use these login details when signing up for swimming classes in the future! This is a one-off type of step in the process but it’s worth it.

3. Once you have this information, sign into the online registration portal and search for the class code you noted earlier. Once you have searched for the class, a screen like this will appear showing you how many spots are still available. If there is space available, a green button will appear at the top of this box that says “Add” which allows you to add this class to your account.

Example of online registration for swimming classes on the Whitby Rec Centre online registration system

This is an example of what you will see when registering online for one of the Winter Starfish swimming programs

4. Make sure to select your child’s name for this program so you can continue with the registration

5. Find the Checkout button and finalize your payment for the program.