58 posts categorized "Mama Groups"

Elitism & Parent Volunteers: It happens to all of us

May 01, 2014

A few times now, I have read "When Elite Parents Dominate Volunteers, Children Lose".  A few of my circles of friends on Facebook have been reading, thinking, and commenting on how this article opens our eyes to the diversity of our circles and the importance of living inclusively.

In my first world, at this moment, I am living this.  I am stuck in the middle.  My daughter is in an elective class at school that culminates in an end-of-year competition and trip.  The whole year is littered with performances, extra fees for transportation or uniforms, required after-school practices.  This has consumed my daughter's free time as well as our discretionary income.

All along, parent volunteers of this class have oozed accolades for this trip: "It's so worth it.  The kids have a fabulous time and they learn so much."  Also: "The first payment of the $550 trip fee is due in two weeks."

Uh, OK.  When I talk to other parents, they tell me how much this is a priority for their student to participate in the competition and trip.  So, "we make sacrifices in other areas so they are able to attend".  

What if even just putting food on the table is a sacrifice?  What if the student's bus pass is a sacrifice?  What if a new pair of shoes to replace the ones with holes is a sacrifice?  That means there is nothing left for $32 uniform shoes or $15 bus fees (called "optional") or - definitely not - the $550 competition and class trip.

When I ask what a student should do if they cannot commit to this intensive course, I am told: "Students can opt to take the 'intermediate' class if they feel that the time and financial commitment of the 'advanced' class is too much for their families."  Really?  So, if I cannot afford the Algebra textbook, I should just take Pre-Algebra, even if the Algebra course is the appropriate level for me?

This whole discourse makes my blood boil, and perhaps we do it to ourselves by affording to rent in the "good" neighborhood and attending its privileged public school.   I wonder how these discussions would be on the other end of town?

The good news is that we do have the privilege to make some sacrifices and our student went on the trip.  The bad news is that our student has friends in the same class whose families couldn't send their students on the trip.

Suggestions for online mamas groups?

January 18, 2013

The urbanMamas originally met through a Yahoo! group. We certainly know the value of these connections. Katy is looking for your suggestions. She writes:

My husband and I (and our little one) are considering moving from SF to PDX. I'm wondering if you could direct me towards a Portland parent/mama yahoo type group. I tried a couple of the yahoo group links on your site, but they didn't work (maybe I was on the wrong page). I'd love to connect with other mamas/families who have moved from the Bay Area to PDX.

All the working mamas! (all the working mamas)... how do you find friends?

July 22, 2010

So many of us have been there, so many times.  Mamahood is hard to begin with, but being a working working mama can further complicate (and limit) opportunities to meet other mamas and other kidlets.  What are your best suggestions for meeting other working mamas?  Or, maybe: what are your best suggestions for working mamas to meet other mamas?  An urbanMama recently emailed:

...how do working mothers find mother frineds?  If they did not start out with frineds with the same age babies.  I find that all mothers groups take place during the woprkweek, as does baby storytime and other community offerings.  I just wanted to know if there is something I am missing and would love to hear other suggestions.

Is there an uM-equivalent in Eugene, OR?

September 16, 2009

We will occassionally receive inquiries from outside of Portland, from mamas and papas seeking a similar support network and community in their neck of the woods.  We thought that we'd post this question, in the event that some of you may have a suggestion or two.  An urbanMama emails:

I just moved from Portland to Eugene and really wish there was something like urbanMamas for the Eugene folks. Is there? Pleeeease hook me up with some good parenting websites and groups for the Eugene area.

Seeking Pregnancy Support Group

August 02, 2009

As mamas, we could use support at all stages of our mamahood.  An expecting mama recently emailed:

I am wondering if anyone out there knows of/belongs to a pregnancy support or discussion group here in the Portland area. I am looking for a space and time where pregnant moms are getting together to talk-laugh-network and generally support one another.

What are challenges as a single parent?

May 03, 2008

In recognizing the diversity of urbanMamas, we know that we are not all partnered parents.  There are distinct challenges - emotionally, financially, logistically - to solo parenting.  We recently received an email from a mama wanting to discuss more and connect with other single parents:

I am looking to meet other progressive mamas who are parenting without partners at least part time. I'm going through a separation and feel like a sudden outsider in my mostly nuclear, hetero, married world. I would love to meet other mamas, gay, straight, or otherwise, who want to connect around the challenges of parenting solo.  What are the challenges you face? I find, for example, that it's hard to overcome the collective inertia to get out and do things when it's just myself and my child. Families don't seem to invite us out as much. I'm also feeling guilty about the pleasures of having some actual--gasp--time to myself each week. I'd love to hear what you have done to honor your needs and feel good as a mom who is not with-child-every-minute.

Are you interested in getting together sometime to discuss these issues of single parenting?

Interested in joining Saturday Morning Runs?

January 18, 2008

A new year is here, and it's hard to believe it's been over two years since we've instituted our Saturday morning runs.  While our consistency has ebbed and flowed in the past couple of years, with conflicting Saturday morning swim lessons for the kids or pregnancies / births, it seems that we're ramping up again in earnest, running for our lives.  Some of us are getting ready (7 months early) for this year's Hood to Coast, but some of just like to get out for a little joggy-jog to get those juices going on a Saturday morning.  Refreshing!  Do you like to run?

Join the urbanMamasRun yahoo group and get the skinny on where we're running next, usually on Saturday mornings at 8AM.  Bundle up and join us!

Single Mamahood: What is it REALLY like?

January 10, 2008

Mamahood comes in different forms.  Some mamas have a partner who may be a papa or another mama.  Some mamas are separated or unpartnered for other reasons.  Some mamas are single mamas by choice.  We want to hear what single mamahood is really all about, and we recently received email:

I recently had a friend come to me asking about being a single mother. She just discovered that she is pregnant with someone whom she just broke up with. I would really like to give her as much information as I can so that she has some knowledge draw on as she decides whether or not to become a single parent. I can share with her my own story but I know there must be more information out there than that.  I have done a umamas search on single parents but most of what I find is about single parents groups, etc. Does anyone out there know of any resources, beyond the standard WIC, Planned Parenthood and the like where my friend can get information about being a single parent, not necessarily JUST about the process of choosing or deciding against abortion?  I'd really appreciate any kind of feedback that anyone has to give.  Thanks again for being such a wealth of knowledge and support!

Support Group for Tween/Teen Parents

December 18, 2007

Several times, I have thought to myself, "My daughter is seven going on thirteen."  Her responses to me, her verbal chills, her extra-occular movement, her recounting how in Ramona's World the big sister babysat to earn money to have her ears pierced without telling her parents... it's all too much.  It feels like it's happened too fast, too soon.  Alas, this is life, and I can still distinctly recall going through very similar scenarios with my own mother.  It was just yesterday.  While I am sure we can still employ beloved techniques of Love and Logic to get through those tough moments, I know we will need all the support we can get.

How timely was Rebecca's email as I had all these thoughts on the brain:

I wanted to let you know I have just started a new meetup group for moms with big kids (about ages 10 and up) with a focus on NVC/compassionate communication, positive parenting discipline, attachment parenting etc.  I am just learning about these parenting styles/philosophies, and would love to recruit some new members -- especially those who are more skilled or experienced and interested in imparting some of their knowledge to others. The group website is located here http://momsofteens.meetup.com/22 and I would really appreciate your help getting the word out.

Have other mamas & papas gone worked through these issues yet?  Can you offer your best technique on dealing with the challenges of our maturing youth?

Book group: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

December 17, 2007

Animal_vegetable_miracle_240 Several of us got together a few weeks ago and agreed that a book group was a great idea! Naturally, life took its holiday twists and turns and I've missed the organization I promised. So here it is: we are starting a book group. We'll meet every other Sunday afternoon around 12:30 p.m. and one weekday a month at around 7 (attendance at all meetings definitely not required for participation!). Our first book will be Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver; as I understand, the copies available at the library are in high demand, so you may have to order from Amazon.com or share.

I'm not sure where to meet, partly as I don't know how many will attend; please let me know if you're coming, and leave ideas in the comments about where to meet. Our first evening meeting will be this Thursday night, December 20th; our first Sunday meeting, Dec. 30. Thursday at 7 we'll meet at the Press Club, 2621 SE Clinton. We'll discuss whether we'll read one book each month, or one every two months, when we're face-to-face.

(The support mama meetings will continue starting Dec. 23 on alternate Sundays; I'll update the urbanMamas calendar to reflect that.)

Wish lists: for our mama community

Me_at_ikea_160 Things have not been (how shall I say?) "easy" for me this year, and talking with other mamas, I find that several of us have had an unfortunate Year: 2007. The Golden Pig may be auspicious, but it hasn't been working out great for us.

While we all hope that our fates will re-align come 2008, I find myself often both asking and (not) answering the question, "what can I do to help?" and finding that it's a difficult topic. What can we do? Often, the thing we need is harder than the reason for needing it. If I could get a wish this holiday season, it might be something like this:

  • If it's late at night, and you're scared about pregnancy/labor/a strange rash, don't be afraid to call and ask me to give advice/get medicine/make you feel not so alone.
  • Come over and watch the boys for a half-hour so I can get out of the house.
  • Appear at my door with fresh-baked treats.
  • If you see me headed to the store/coffee shop, ask me to pick something up for you. I won't mind.
  • When I ask how you are, be honest. Let me help.
  • Never mind the state of my bathroom.
  • Take my children to your house to play, sometimes. Be patient with them, even if I can't.
  • Know that I thank you, that I feel your gratitude too, that there is no need for cards, unless sending them makes you happy.

What's your wish for your community?

Support one, support all: Mama groups

November 25, 2007

I've written a lot on my personal blog about mamas' groups, and how much I love them. How they've been my lifeline many a time. It's hard, you know? Being a mama. It's simultaneously isolating and stifling; it brings all your hiddenmost issues to the surface, changing your skin from calloused to transparent in an instant.


Though I have all you, and we get together a lot, and I have my friends to hang out with on holidays and birthdays and knitting days, I don't really have a group right now. And I feel like I need one -- and I know lots of you need one too.

While you all might be organizing groups offline, it's  likely many of you haven't the time or energy to coordinate. And putting together a bunch of groups individually (while it's certainly a goal) seems daunting. So what about just setting a time and a place and having those who can come, come, and separate into little groups? As I see it we need:

Continue reading "Support one, support all: Mama groups" »

Do you Facebook?

September 25, 2007

First, there were the yahoo-groups, which eventually led to the creation of urbanMamas three or so years ago.  But, beyond the online groups, there are blogs and websites that convene oodles and oodles of people.  A while back, it seemed like all the cool kids were on Friendster.  Now, they're on MySpace.  Or Twitter?  Even Portland mamas and papas are on MeetUp.com.  It's online social network gone wild.

A former Portland mama just emailed me an invite to FaceBook, the latest and greatest of this genre of social webs.

I'm not sure I'm there yet.  Has anyone used Friendster, MySpace, Twitter, MeetUp, or FaceBook?  Have you met mamas or papas like you?  Or, reconnected with old friends (like my friend swears she did?)?  I think I can barely handle keeping up with favorite feeds we read and the yahoo groups....

Support Group for Mamas of Premies

September 16, 2007

The motherhood experience can be so different when you have mamas around you to support you as you go through your babes' development, stage after stage.  Thank you, Kristin, for passing on this important info on a forming group for mamas of premies:
I am a new mama to twins that arrived early, and I, along with another mama of preemies, am trying to organize a post-NICU support group for parents of preemies.  So far, we have a grand total of 3 mamas planning to attend our first get-together. We'd love to open this nascent group to other mamas who have been through the NICU experience (and its aftermath) and are looking for others who've been there. 

Our first gathering will be on Sept. 20th at 3:00 PM at the following location:
Patisserie Cafe Lili
8337 SE 17th St
Portland, OR 97201
Phone: (503) 233-8844

If anyone is interested in joining us, they should email minette.minette@gmail.com

NE Alberta Mamas Gathering

September 13, 2007

As a part of the discussion on "Seasons changing, What's a mama to do in the dark?", a few NE Alberta mamas are scheming to get together!  Sounds fun!!  Diane says:

Lets just pick a first time get together at a cafe that works for everyone and during that time we could come up with something more regular? How about Tuesday the 18th, 6pm Vita cafe.

Hope y'all connect!

Seeking support for Sensory Integration/Processing Disorder

"Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a complex disorder of the brain that affects developing children and adults."  There have been suggestions on preschools for children with sensory integration disorder and there was previous discussion on finding a support group for parents and children with sensory integration disorder.  But, did a group ever form and gather?  Beren is seeking support and would like to get convene families:

I’m looking for a support/social group for Portland mamas with Preschool aged kids with sensory processing disorder that impedes their ability to attend or succeed in preschool or Pre-K. I’m feeling a little alone and would love to share stories, offer support, and cry together over administrators who just don’t get it. Are there any other stay-at-home moms or dads who meet up during the weekday?—Mom of 3 in NE Portland

Lonely Mama in Portland

August 20, 2007

We all know that mamahood can be tough, especially solo.  Jennifer is looking for ideas on how to keep spirits up as she juggles mamahood on her own most of the time:

Hi there!  After reading the recent post Do You Yahoo, I tried to find the perfect mamas group for me, but came up short.  My husband travels frequently for business, which leaves me at home alone with our 15-month old, sometimes for four consecutive nights.  Maybe I should consider myself lucky that it's only 4 consecutive nights instead of four weeks at a time.  I know I must not be the only stay at home mom who ends up feeling like a single mom because their husband travels.  Lately I just feel like my other mom friends don't get how difficult it is to manage day to day without the other partner.  All of our family live East of the Mississippi River, so I can't just drop the kiddo off at grandma's and go to my doctor's appointment, get my hair cut or just grocery shop alone.  I certainly don't fit into a single-mom's group even though I have tremendous insight into how hard it must be.   I just need support, positive feedback, inspiration, and playtime with other moms who feel just as lonely and stressed out when their husband is away.  Any ideas?  Thanks in advance!

Other urbanMamas, do you have suggestions on how to build a community of mamas and papas around you to help when the going gets tough?  Who do you rely on when you need a helping hand?

Run Mama Run: Hood to Coast 2007

August 17, 2007

With just a week to go, 12 urbanMamas rest their legs and ready themselves for Hood-to-Coast.  Run Mama Run is our team, and it's not our first appearance in the largest relay in the U.S.  197 miles, 12 mamas, 20 kids (though they're not coming for the ride!), 2 vans, 30 or so hours.  Is it fun?  Heck, we've birthed kids, so what's 197 miles, just a few hours of sleep, and 30 hours of on and off running?  If you like momraderie, then - YES - it is most definitely fun.  Expect chatting, laughing, butterflies in stomachs.  Start on Mt. Hood and miraculously end at Seaside.  It's the moment we've all been training for.

This year, Run Mama Run is being supported by some great folks at OregonLive, so check us out over at RunOregon and read all about some of our mama running secrets.  Run Mama Run also send e-shout-outs to Lara for fueling us with Larabars and to Virginia for juicing us up with VitaminWater.

We aren't the only mamas running this thing.  Last year, we counted several other mama teams: "37 kids and still counting", "I want my mommy", "Moms on the Run", "Running from our kids", "Hoochie Mamas", "Dolly Mamas".  Anyone else running Hood to Coast this year??

Do you Yahoo!?

August 01, 2007

Most of you know that urbanMamas grew from a yahoo-group a few years ago; that group is now defunct.  Here at urbanMamas, we often get emails from mamas and papas all throughout Portland, looking for a playgroup or like-minded parents or stay-at-home parents or working parents.  We come in all strains and varieties.  Chances are, there's a yahoo group out there for you to connect with other parents!

I am personally a member of lots of yahoo groups.  My old standbys for Portland family-related groupie action include: Mamananda (an active & supportive group of mamas in North Portland), the Overlook Network (a group for family-related announcements in the Overlook neighborhood), urbanMamasRun (a group of mamas of all levels who like to run and connect for races or runs), and outdoormamaspdx (mamas who hike, bike, paddle and a forum for planning monthly excursions).  Tonight, I just found and joined MOB_Moms on Bikes, and can't wait to use the group to talk about family biking gear or even get together for family rides.

The yahoo group world is endless.  There are the Sellwood Playgroup Association groups.  There are 85 "Portland Mom" yahoo groups and about 137 "Portland Families" yahoo groups.  From an archived post, Kirstin offers:

If you're in Milwaukie, there is a chapter of Moxie Moms in your area:

There is a group called Clackamas County Moms:

And, there are two larger Portland groups for all Portland-Metro areas:

Do you Yahoo!?  Which groups do you belong to?

Toddler Play Group in NE

July 31, 2007

Calling all mamas seeking to join a play group in NE.  Andrea is starting one.  She writes:

Hi!  My son is just over 2 (27 months) and I would like to find or start a play group for 2-3 year-olds in NE Portland.  I have a few friends with older kids who have started them, and I'd love for my son to have more time to play with kids his age and to get used to some time without me. 

This group would include 4+ families who would split the cost of a teacher (to be hired by the group).  The group is hosted at different people's houses based on their preference, but the teacher is consistent.  Each child comes 1 or more mornings per week, but we work out the schedule so each day the teacher has no more than 4 children (or for more than 4 children a parent helper could be present to help out).  The group structure is pretty flexible and should serve the parents and kids participating in it.  The group would provide play and socialization opportunities and some preschool readiness with reading, singing, crafts, music and anything else the kids enjoy. 

The number of people involved will determine the number of mornings the group will be offered and the cost to each family (but I think it usually works out to $5/hour for the hours your child attends the group).

If you're interested, please email me at palight_2000@yahoo.com.  We can get together to work out the details.

urbanMamas Lunch on August 15th

July 30, 2007

It's been a while since the working mamas got together for lunch.  With a bit of a push from one of our lovely readers and mamas, Courtney, we are planning our next get together in a few weeks.  How about we support one of the businesses that seems to be suffering from the construction downtown?   Please RSVP in the comments and we'll make a reservation. Hope to see you at Pasha Mediterranean Grill, 19 NW Fifth Ave
Portland, OR 97209 on Wednesday August 15th, 12 noon.

Running Mamas Join the Fun

July 24, 2007

For the second year in a row, we've assembled a group of mamas (and papas) for the Hood To Coast.  This year, we thought we'd try for more team unity by participating in the Nike+ ChallengeLarissa has started a Nike+ Challenge team for the urbanMamas so we can run our way to some snazzy gear.  Only a handful of us mamas are Nike+ equipped so we are hoping for your help to up our mileage.  We're currently at 4.79 miles (yes, that's progress) but can we beat a bunch of Nike-sponsored teams?  Or, if you have some gear you'd love to donate to our fabulous team of runners, we'd certainly love to hear from you!


When Mama meets Mama

May 18, 2007

It can be really difficult to meet new people.  It's even more difficult when you're busy tending to your child(ren).  Conversations are difficult to hold and a child somehow senses when you are trying to talk, and usually (inadvertently) thwarts your efforts to keep your attention on said conversation.  Gaia is looking to get past the first awkward (and distracted) hellos at the park and find a mama's group nearby:

I am a young mother and hardly know any other moms in the area.  I live in SE on mt tabor with my daughter who is 7 months.  We love taking walks and spending time outdoors in the nice spring weather.  Also a nice cup of tea is always good on a rainy day! I'd love to learn about a mom's group in my neighborhood or somewhere in the SE area.

Seeking NE Mamas

April 19, 2007

uMamas, do you know of an ongoing playgroup for Maria? Would you like to be part of one? There are new urbanMamas in the NE wanting to connect!

I am a new urbanMama and a new mama in the lookout for a play group /date for my 8 month old baby boy Santiago. We live in NE and would like to meet other mamas and bebes around our area, and we are both free every afternoon! I would like to meet other mamas who speak Spanish or who are interested in teaching /speaking Spanish to thier babies. Thanks for posting this and for hepling me find other mamas who are also sick of the rain but ready to play!

Seeking Parent of Hard of Hearing Children

April 17, 2007

Meg is seeking other parents in a similar situation:

Hi everyone!  After months of testing, we now know that our 10 month old son is hard of hearing and will require the use of hearing aides.  He has moderate hearing loss and should develop normal communication skills with the use of the aides and early intervention services.  We know there must be other urbanMamas and papas out there who also have a child with hearing aides (whether profoundly deaf or mildly hard of hearing) who would benefit from networking with other parents. Maybe these groups already exist, but we have struggled to find other parents in this situation.  We hope to have a group that would meet regularly to play, discuss childcare, practice sign language, discuss the IFSP process, and have a good time. 

Seeking other NE First-Time mamas

April 05, 2007

Congratulations to Jeanne, a new mama in the NE seeking other NE mamas and babies:

I am an older (38 yrs) first time mom of a 6 week old boy.  I am looking for other new moms who have similar interests / aged babies to spend some time with and navigate this new life!   I am very physically active, an avid cyclist, I love to travel (we are planning to take our son overseas as soon as we get his passport), I am a French teacher and will return to work in September.  I live in inner-Northeast (Beaumont), if you would like to get together to chat please let me know at jefederov@earthlink.net

Healthy Children, Healthy Planet Group Forming

March 20, 2007

The Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) is an amazing organization dedicated to a grassroots approach to influencing how lightly or heavily people choose to tread on the Earth. The hallmark of NWEI is the peer-led discussion group setting where people gather to discuss topics around certain themes: Voluntary Simplicity, Discovering Sense of Place, Globalization, Deep Ecology, and Sustainable Living. One of the organization's most recent additions was a discussion guide on "Healthy Children, Healthy Planet".

A couple of years ago, at my former workplace, about a dozen of us formed a noon-time lunch group. Every Wednesday, we'd meet as the very first group to go through the discussion text for Healthy Children, Healthy Planets. What I loved most about the group was that the discussion offered a platform for me to explore so many different views and approaches to raising our children, especially when we are faced with powerful forces of the big C's: corporate interests, capitalism, consumerism.

I was thrilled to receive this message from Chris, who is currently seeking other urbanMamas and urbanPapas to participate a Healthy Children, Healthy Planet course that will begin next week:

A group of Portland moms will begin the eight-session Northwest Earth Institute discussion course, "Healthy Children, Healthy Planet." The purpose of the course is to understand how the pervasive effects of advertising, media, and our consumer culture can influence a child's worldview; to discover ways to create meaningful family times and healthful environments for children; and to explore ways to develop a child's connection with nature and to foster their creativity.

We will meet from 7-9pm on the 4th Wednesday of the month at Bipartisan Cafe (SE 79th & Stark), starting March 28th. So far, the group is all moms, but dads and people without children are welcome, too. A facilitator from NWEI will join us for our first meeting, bringing materials and getting our discussion started, then we will take turns facilitating meetings thereafter. Cost of materials is $15. F or more information about NWEI and this course, see www.nwei.org. If you are interested in joining this discussion, please send an email to Chris (mcmusser AT bigfoot DOT com).

Seeking Tennis Mamas!

March 10, 2007

We're all about making connections and bringing mamas together.  Rhonda is seeking other tennis mamas out there:

As the weather gets nicer my thoughts turn to tennis.  I’ve been taking classes with my husband, brushing up on my skills.  I’m at “3.0” says my tennis instructor.  And I want to play. Are there any tennis mamas out there who would like to play over at Laurelhurst or Portland Tennis Center or some other courts?  Maybe if there are enough of us we can do a round-robin childcare/rallying thing.

Email Rhonda at rhon@24hourmama.com.

Sellwood Playgroup Association

February 19, 2007

Looking for a playgroup in the SE?  Kirstin writes:

Any families living in Sellwood, Eastmoreland or Westmoreland looking to connect with other parents and kids are welcome to join one of the playgroups in the Sellwood Playgroup Association--free and pretty informal. Right now we have three groups--one for kids born in 2006, one for kids born in 2005 (about 50 families right now), and another that is mainly 2004 kiddos with a few 2003s (also about 50 families). We'll probably start looking for someone to start a 2007 group around summertime.  Each group has a website and mailing list with weekly playgroups and gatherings.

2004 group:  http://www.sellwoodplaygroupschedule.blogspot.com/
2005 group:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sellwood05/
2006 group:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sellwood06playgroup/

Anyone with questions or who wants to be directed to a particular group can contact me:
Kirstin McAuley
Sellwood Playgroup Association Co-Founder
Coordinator for Sellwood 2005 Playgroupmom to Ellery, Olivia and Clara

Jewish Moms Group

February 16, 2007

Debby, the fearless organizer of JMamas, has arranged for another get-together.  See below:

Portland JMamas (Jewish moms) are getting together on Saturday, February 24 at 10am at Extracto on 2921 NE Killingsworth St., across from Milagros and Cup and Saucer. JMoms, Jkids, and even JDads welcome! We will be making plans for a family pot luck seder on April 7th or 8th (night 6 or 7 of Passover) so be sure to join us and bring your great ideas! For more information about the group, get-together, or joining our yahoo group, please contact Debby, mousecat86@aol.com

Starting Soon: NE Playgroup

February 07, 2007

Thank you, Diana, for spearheading this effort:

Hello, I am the mother of 16 month old daughter and live in North East Portland. I am starting a playgroup/moms morning off type of thing. My son, who is 3, has been in a similar group since he was 20 months old and has loved it.

What's it about...4-10 families get together and rotate houses and days to allow for the playgroup. The group is usually from 8:30 to about 12:30, it's a socialization and preschool readiness type program with books, singing, crafts, bilingual instruction, dancing and anything else that toddlers do and love.

Who runs it... The families get together and agree and hire a "nanny/teacher" to teach and play with the little ones. We each pay $5 an hour and the group caps out at 4 toddlers a day. You can choose to stay for 3 or 4 hours, a nutritious lunch/snack is served and mom gets the morning off. Parents would always be welcome to stay and help out and get a discount if they do.

My son has been a similar group, we just adore our teacher and the families have become extremely close, the kids have learned tons and surprise us every time they come home with their new stories.

I have a couple families interested already and a "teacher" in mind but we would all find a time to get together and work out the details. Ideally this would be available 5 mornings a week and you can choose how many days you want to attend. Very flexible and always fun.

We're looking for kiddos between 15-20 months who would like to be in the group. Email thedess@hotmail.com or call 503 888 7149 so we can set up a play/info date.

Mommy 'n' Me Knitting

January 29, 2007

Thanks for the feedback on Mommy 'n Me Knitting.  Sydney's Cafe is proud to present its first of anKnit ongoing group for mamas and their little ones to gather an knit.  It's a great time for those of all ages and skill levels:

  • Have your child learn to knit
  • Finish that knitting project you have been working on
  • Meet up with a friend to chat and knit
  • Cozy up to comfy chairs and a latte while learning this craft
  • Collaborate with other knitters in the community
  • And simply have a wonderful Saturday morning!

Everyone is welcome!  Every Saturday beginning February 3rd at 10 AM.

1800 NW 16th Avenue
503 241 4313

updated March 1, 2007:  Due to schedule conflicts, Mommy 'n' Me knitting will now be every SUNDAY at 10 AM.

Single Moms Gathering: Motherhood Manifesto

January 23, 2007

From Debby:

We are planning a single mom by choice (PARKA: Parents Raising Kids Alone) get together at a member's home to watch the video "Motherhood Manifesto" and for the kids to play and eat. The event will be Saturday January 27 from 1:30-3:30. If you are interested in joining us, please email and I will give you location information and directions. Hope to see you there!

NW Mommy and Baby Group

January 11, 2007

Now meeting every other Saturday at the Friendly House

Moms with babies 1 year and younger are welcome to come to meet other  moms and babies to share experiences and ideas, ask questions, or simply make new friends. This is a great opportunity for first-time moms to find advice and learn from other moms. A topic or theme (Is my baby
having stranger anxiety and what do I do?, Any good sleeping tips?  etc.) will be discussed during each session but there will also be an opportunity for moms to ask specific questions. This group will meet every other Saturday (2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, except for March) to accommodate working moms or moms that just can't make it to  the usual groups that meet on weekdays. The first group meeting will be on January 13, 2007 at 9:30 am. at The Friendly House.  No registration required and members can join at anytime.  For more information, contact Nannette Sato at redcedars@comcast.net.

Walk with me, uMamas!

We urbanMamas like to stay active. Our friend Molly H. is looking for company on her power-walks on weekday evenings or Saturday mornings:

I'm 6 months pregnant, and looking for other moms or moms-to-be interested in a walking partner or walking group. I'm typically a runner, and have loved running with the urbanmamas running group, but am now too unwieldy to run anymore. I've been walking on my own, but miss the company. Are there any other pregnant (or non-pregnant) power-walkers out there who'd like to meet up once a week or so? I work full time and already have a 2 1/2 year old, so time is limited (this is why I haven't been able to attend any of the pregnant mamas meet-ups yet). So I'd be most interested either in a Saturday morning group walk (say 8 or 9, wherever), or an early weekday morning walk (6:15?) with a partner or two in my immediate neighborhood (inner NE--King/Piedmont/Woodlawn area). But I could be open to other ideas, too. Any takers, feel free to email me directly at hiro@up.edu.

N. Portland Mama Meet-up?

January 08, 2007

- update -
looks like some mamas in N/NE are looking to meet up (see comment below):

Tuesday, December 9, 10 AM at SohBet.

Originally p
Are there North Portland mamas looking to connect? Sharon writes:

I am a new mama of a 2 1/2 month old little boy. We live in N. Portland in the St. Johns area and would love to find some Mama's with young infants that would like to get together. I don't go back to work until December 11th. After that I will be available Tuesdays, Wednesday afternoons, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. We could meet at an indoor park (maybe the St. Johns Community Center or another North Portland center?), Anna Bananas or any where kid-friendly.

Adoptive Parents Group?

January 04, 2007

uMamas, have any suggestions on resources for Dara and other adoptive families?

I'm wondering if there are groups of adoptive parents who meet with some frequency in and around Portland? I recently moved to PDX with my family and while we are slowly tapping into the local community in our SE neighborhood (Woodstock), I haven't yet come across adoptive families or resources for them. I'm curious if there are adoptive Mom's and Dad's out there who meet or are interested in meeting on occasion either as part of a playgroup (our son is 20 mos old) or as a community of parents.  Anyone interested in connecting can email me directly at dwestling@gmail.com.

Jewish Mama Get-Together

January 03, 2007

In a recent thread on urbanMamas on Happy Holidays, many Jewish mamas expressed interest in getting together.  If you're interested, please email Debby at Mousecat86@aol.com.

I was wondering if the other J-Mamas (Jewish moms) who posted that they would like to meet could email  me privately so we can start planning a time and place to get together? I would hate to see us forget to do this with all of the excitement of the holidays (Chinese food and movies) and new year (Rosh Hashana the sequel???).  I look forward to meeting everyone.

UPDATE: Debby emailed to let us know she's had a great response of interested mamas wanting to get together. Join other Jewish mamas at an informal gathering on Saturday, January 13, 10am at Urban Grind.

Support Group for Working Mothers

December 26, 2006

When I was pregnant with my first, I found myself in the same situation.  Trying to connect with other mothers outside of the work day.  Working outside of home was not conducive to morning weekday play dates.  Here's Aisha's situation:

Are there any newly pregnant, or pregnancy groups that I could join, I want to network and meet other Mamas in Portland, Oregon.  if you have any referrals please let me know, I tried LaLeche League of Portland, but their meetings are not work friendly as they are early mornings during the weekdays and I am looking for something I would not have to miss work for.  Thanks and happy holidays!!

Pregnant Mamas Meetups

November 19, 2006

Calling all pregnant mamas! Come join us for the Portland Mamas Inc. Pregnant Mama Meetups - no need to be an entrepreneur or even a budding entrepreneur to attend! We've got a great group of mamas-to-be -from first-time pregnancies to third pregnancies- who have been meeting so far every two weeks and we would welcome any other pregnant PDX mamas to join the helpful, lively, fun conversations.

Our next two meetups:
Tuesday, November 28th
10:00 am
Urban Grind - NE
Corner of NE 22nd and Oregon Streets

Tuesday, December 12th
10:00 am
Sydney's Cafe
1800 NW Thurman (the triangle bldg - corner of NW 16th & Thurman)

We've also got a private online forum going and if you are interested in hanging with us on a regular basis, following each other's progress and joining ongoing discussions, please email me. Hope to see you at a future pregnant mamas get together!

Sensory Integration Disorder: Support

November 01, 2006

Here's a question that arose from the original post Finding Preschools, Part 31 - Sensory Integration Disorder. Kirsten writes:

Does anyone know of any parent support groups for SID? Or a kindergarten option for a school which would be good for kids with SID? We are new to Portland, from Wisonsin, and are not very familiar with any elementary schools.

Infant Playgroup in SE

October 30, 2006

We all know how important it is for us to connect with like-minded urbanMamas. We exchange tips, dramas, challenges, and triumphs. We need a mama community. Ally writes:

I am a first-time mom looking for other mothers who be interested in forming a play group for 7-8 month olds. None of my friends have any kids so it would be nice to meet up with new moms to bounce ideas off etc. I live in inner SE.

Now that the colder, wetter weather is on its way, perhaps its time for us to resume some semi-regular coffee playdates?

C-Section Support Group?

October 28, 2006

As mamas, we all need support. Even though we are all bound by being mamas, we all have different experiences. Chrissy says:

I recently had an Emergency C-Section. Does anyone know if there are any C-Section support groups in the Portland area? I would like to talk with other mama about how their recovery is going, the emotional aspect of not having a vaginal birth, birth control options when breastfeeding, etc.

Mother Talk: "What do you do all day"

October 20, 2006

Update:  Hey, everybody. It's less than a week until our next MotherTalk: a chance to get out of the house, gather with interesting women, and share some wine and goodies. Please help spread the word! Invite a friend and get a chance to win Amy Scheibe's book: WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY? If you haven't RSVP'd to the Evite yet, please do; if you haven't received an Evite, email Shari at smacblog [at] gmail [dot] com. It's Wednesday night, October 25, at 7:00 p.m. Hope to see you there. After all, who couldn't use a night out with the girls?

The Mother-Talkin' Mamas are at it again!  The next Mother Talk event is set for October 25th.  Save the date!  Amy Scheibe, author of the hilarious novel "What Do You Do All Day?" wilWhat_do_you_dol be our guest. Amy's novel is a fabulous mix of chick lit with a thread of mystery -- the story of a woman in  the throes of processing her desire to be at home with her children and to have a career.  The novel's heroine, Jennifer Bradley, is a hilarious, sharp-witted feminist and antiquities expert, now at home with her small children.  It's a great read for those looking for a fun novel with thoughtful themes.  Don't miss this opportunity to meet Amy Scheibe, and to get together for wine and treats with other hip Portland mamas!  Send us the address of a friend who wants to be added to the MotherTalk mailing list (with her permission, of course) and we'll put your name in the hat for a drawing to win a free copy of Amy's book!  We hope to see you there.

Pregnancy Mama Groups?

October 04, 2006

When Kate introduced herself on our We Are Family page, she asked:

I'd love to have a community of pregnant women or new moms to connect with and more than one woman I trust has recommended this site. Are there gatherings for pregnant women at all?

Do you have an ongoing group of pregnant mamas who get together?  Know of a group to suggest?  Let us know!

Single Moms Group

September 20, 2006

Typically we receive more emails from mamas looking for groups, but every so often, someone emails us about a group that they've started.  As always, we're more than happy to pass along the information.  Debby writes:

We are starting an on-going group for women who deliberately became single moms. The moms we are looking for went through pregnancy and childbirth, or the adoption process, without partners, and are raising their kids as single moms, or they are currently pregnant with this same expectation. This can include women who deliberately got pregnant the old fashioned way or by donor insemination, and women who may have gotten pregnant unexpectedly and have chosen to do it all on their own. The group is aimed toward offering support and social contact for single moms, but it can also serve as a play group. So far there are 4 of us, with kids ranging from not-yet-born to 14 months. We have mostly only met by email. We are hoping for many more members, all with different stories and different insights into our situations! We are meeting this Saturday, September 23rd at the East side Urban Grind at 2pm. Hopefully the baby room will be available, but if not, there is lots of other space for the kids to play! We hope to see you there!  Contact Debby for questions and more information.

Parenting Group [at] Concordia New Seasons

September 09, 2006

Part of the beauty of the urbanMamas community is when other urbanMamas email us with great tips and resources.  Thanks Meg for your email!:

I’ve been reading the postings at Urbanmamas since before my son was born.  I just wanted everyone (especially the moms and dads of new babies) to know about a weekly group that meets from 10 am to 11 am on Wednesdays at the Concordia New Seasons.  It’s led by a doula named Erica and it’s free.  It started as a breastfeeding support group and is now a general parenting group.  Right now, the numbers are low because a lot of the babies were getting older and the parents were going back to work.  Today, it was just me!  This was great because it was a free hour with the doula, but it’s great when more babies are there.  If that’s not enough of an incentive, usually there is a beautiful tray of organic fruit.  I hope to see some urbanmamas there next week.

running scared in Hood-to-Coast

August 24, 2006


I just said 'goodbye' to Erica and Jackson; I'd just come from Larissa's house. We're all (me chiefest among them) a little terrified. Along with Hau, Olivia, and a bunch of other wonderful urbanMamas, we'll be running the Hood-to-Coast tomorrow (and Saturday). Our start time: 8:45 a.m., and if we go according to our estimates, Larissa will be running through Portland between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., handing off to Hau around the Hawthorne Bridge (check out the map in today's Oregonian, the back of the Sports section, or see the PDF of the route here).

I'm amazed that we're doing this all together, it seems wild, crazy, and oh-my-god-what-was-I-thinking. But I realized while I was sitting at my computer, worrying and wondering how we would make it through: we have a secret! Haha. Not only are we accustomed to marathon-style pain (we all gave birth, after all, many to more than one baby), but we're fabulous at operating at peak efficiency for days on end without any sleep to speak of.

They say women who have given birth in the past year are far better at the marathon than women of similar age, but no small babies. I think our recent connection to the highly difficult time of pregnancy, birth and early childhood makes us beyond prepared for the road ahead.

Here's to us, and to all of you who've trained with us and cheered us on. And here's to being an urbanMama, possibly the best training program in the world ... for anything!

World Breastfeeding Week Events

August 02, 2006

Chris Musser, the Reluctant Lactivist, has co-founded a support group for Mamas nursing in public called Mom's Milk Anywhere or MomMa for short. This week, in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week,  MomMa is hosting gatherings to show support for nursing Moms:

August 2nd, 10AM: Nursing moms' coffee at Starbucks at the Civic Center in Hillsboro
August 3rd, 11AM: Nursing moms' coffee at Milagros Boutique, 5429 NE 30th Avenue
August 4th, 2PM: Nursing moms' coffee at Washington Square II Barnes & Noble Cafe
August 5th,11AM: Nurse-out and family picnic at Pioneer Courthouse Square

Portland Mamas, Inc. kicks off

July 16, 2006

I just attended the kickoff social for Portland Mamas, Inc., and what a lovely time it was! Founder Marlynn Schotland hosted the get-together at Purple Moon Child Development in NE Portland, so the kids were entertained while the moms got a chance to nosh, mingle, and hear about each others' businesses.

In case you're not familiar with Portland Mamas Inc., it's a new networking group (for lack of a better word) for Portland "mompreneurs." Moms who are running their own businesses (or who want to), from portraiture to personal organizing to preschool to Peanut Butter & Ellie's were there. But it was much more than a chance to trade business cards and "promote." Marlynn and the rest of the PMI founding members are creating a group where women who juggle motherhood and business ownership can come together, share expertise, seek advice, and vent about the joys and challenges of both.

I could have spent hours talking to the women there about the various projects they're doing. The room was filled with smarts, but also with warmth...a wonderful place to start. I came home and immediately sent in my membership fee ($35, a paltry sum given what a great group this promises to be).

At the next meeting, Amy Radich of Bella Bellies Maternity will talk about starting a "brick-and-mortar" business, and Erin Shirey of Baby Boot Camp will share tips on keeping fit as a busy mom. Plus, there will be time to hang out and mingle, and a goody bag giveaway for one lucky attendee (and PMI certainly knows its goody bags, judging from the one at the social.)