Sunday, April 19, 2015

We All Need the Village - Why I Started {Guest Post}

Today I am happy to bring you this guest post from a new friend of mine. I met with Christine last week to talk blogging and websites and how difficult it can be to be a new mom, and how hard it can be to find and meet other like-minded new moms in your area. This was a big issue for me when Boo was born. My family was in another province, and I had few friends locally outside of work. Once I went on maternity leave I felt really alone. Eventually I found a local moms' group online. We connected through a message board (this was 9 years ago after all!), and over time moved on to meeting in person. It was a lifesaver for me, and I am still best of friends with four of these wonderful ladies.

Facing a similar situation, Christine decided to launch a website dedicated to helping new moms connect and find each other. But I'll let her tell her story ...

About Me

I'm Christine Waldman, mom of one tornado toddler. Our family also includes my husband, and our fur-baby Evey the shih-chon. We've lived in Toronto for the past 7 years or so, although we only settled down in East York in June 2011. We chose the area for the vibrant Danforth strip and the fact that my mom-in-law lives only a few streets away.

So things were good, except that I literally did not know anyone else living in East York when we moved here. Slowly, I met our immediate neighbours, but none of them were young families like us. I had my son in Spring of 2013. I, like most other moms, am not lucky enough to have friends that both a) got pregnant right around the same time as me and b) live within walking distance. Who likes driving places with newborns? Nobody. So, after I had the lil guy, there was the requisite revolving door of family and friends coming to meet the baby. But after that, it stopped. It was a radio silence I was not prepared for.

Building Your Village Isn't Always Easy

Sure, I eventually built my "village" so to speak... but I feel like that was a task in and of itself. It took half my mat-leave to find the moms I really could just let it all hang out with. Just like finding friends in general as an adult, it's not easy. There are even books written on this subject! Yes, actual books about how to meet mommy friends. I realized - there has got to be a better way for moms to feel supported from the get-go. I mean ideally, why not share your pregnancy with other moms nearby whom you'll likely be raising your kids alongside? That's when the concept for VillageMommy was born.

There's no question that moms need support. And yet, in this "modern" age, we're suffering: 55% of moms say their social life is what they miss most from pre-mom life (Source). 7 in 10 moms mourn their social life post-baby (Source). Moms can also feel really judged, especially if another mom’s parenting style is really different from her own. “You let your baby cry for sleep training?? YOU BARBARIAN.” And so on. Studies show urban moms are even lonelier than their rural counterparts. That’s nuts! It's such a tough time in our lives - but why should we go it alone? Well, we shouldn't. No mom should have to. There have always been ways to meet moms, and now VillageMommy is here to make it easier than ever.

How Works

Despite having over 1100 moms now, things are still pretty simple. You sign up over at our site, complete a brief survey, then wait for your matches to roll in via email. We collect information and match moms on criteria like location, age of child, parenting style, and more.  A site with more features is in the works - it'll allow you to search for other moms yourself. I know there are safety and privacy concerns and I'm testing everything with my moms so that I'm building something they are happy with. It's so important to me that moms have a good experience with VillageMommy.

We've done about 700 matches as of today, and my most recent survey showed that almost 30% of those moms made a new friend through us. Seriously, what is better than a new friend that lives near you?

What about moms with older kids?

VillageMommy isn't just for new moms - it works with kids of all ages. We just happened to start with new moms because that was the experience I built it from.

The Journey To Bring Back the Village - Join us!

The first 2 years of a child’s life determines a lot about the rest of their lives. Our society  depends on moms being supported enough to love and care for their children. Let's bring back the village to modern mommyhood. Will you help me? Please sign up at and spread the word.

Oh, and it's free by the way. And always will be. Mommy spends enough!

Christine is mom to one energetic toddler.  She co-founded VillageMommy to help moms find and meet their best mommy friends near them for playdates & more.

Christine has had a pretty varied career to date - she's a former lawyer with a business degree. She has worked in privacy, health care administration, business consulting, PR & more.

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