"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

The Community that is urbanMamas

I moved to Portland in the Autumn of 2003.  At the time, I had a three year-old, and I was 7 months pregnant.  Our family made wonderful fast friends in those first few months, but - postpartum - I knew I needed something more.  That need took me to the yahoo-group, which took me to Hau, Sarah, and Shetha.  With this longing for community and support (and cherishing these qualities as societal ideals), we started urbanMamas.

Our families have grown, and so has our community.  I hear many stories from mamas, whom I may not even know, who have made their closest friends through playgroups  or playdates posted on urbanMamas.  There is one amazing success story I will never forget: a mama connecting with several families in order to weave a complex schedule of a nanny share at her house, all using urbanMamas as the community that connects.

Now, I find myself in Memphis, TN.  A Facebook plea led to several introductions to friends in Memphis, to friends of friends.  Tonight, I visited a friend of an urbanMama who I know personally.  She, her partner, and their four children welcomed me into their home, a complete stranger!  They were all so doting and loving.  They will be host-family to my little toddler while I work in the next couple of days; and I feel completely comfortable leaving him there, even if we just met.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Tucson, dropping off the little one at a former PDX-dwelling urbanMama, who adopted our boy for a long afternoon into nighttime.

It is testament of the power of this community.  I feel so fortunate to be a part of it, and I feel so fortunate that our community reaches so far beyond Portland.  I will be honest: it exhausts me  to continue to invest in the urbanMamas community.  It takes so much out of me.  On the other hand: it really is so rewarding to be the recipient of so much support from mamas far and wide, when I really do need it.

To everyone in my expanded urbanMamas community (yes, that means YOU), to those who have respectfully weighed in on my personal dilemmas in a non-judgmental way, to those of you who listen even if you do not share my circumstance, and especially to everyone who has watched RJ in the past 1.5 years, thank you.

And, just a little plug: for those of you who want to continue connecting on Facebook, hit us up on our new "PDX urbanMamas" page.  ("UrbanMamas PDX", the person, will be going defunct soon.)


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I hope you love Memphis. Go on down to the BarBQue shop, on Madison in Midtown, and tell Eric that Blair, Sarah, and Noel say hi. You are in good hands while you're there. If you can swing the time, there are some amazing things to see. I wish I could take you to my favorites. Ornamental Metal Museum, Elmwood Cemetery, the childrens garden at the Botanical Garden, the zoo is amazing, and holy cow, the music places in Memphis! Hopefully you'll have a good thunderstorm while you're there too.

I am so glad that this community is so strong. We are packing for our upcoming move to Portland - where we don't know a soul - and I will be 7 months pregnant, as well. It is scary, but knowing that I have a way to connect with fabulous moms makes the transition a little easier :)

I made some valuable connections via uM during my years in Portland, and I continue to find value even though I no longer live there... I met a dear friend via uM who turned out to have a son almost exactly my son's age, also from my hometown and is just a day younger than me--we were even born at the same hospital! We still get a little goose-bumpy thinking about the connection and feel grateful to uM for helping us find each other. I also met and coordinated a nanny share, and found out about and chose my preschool because of uM. Such an amazing resource, I wish I could duplicate it in my new city!

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