In 2010, following the birth of my firstborn son, I decided to attend a Life With A Baby preparing new parents program that I had read about at my local earlyOn centre. At the time, the founder and Director, Claire Zlobin was the facilitator from Life With A Baby. I remember how much I enjoyed the program connecting with other moms and meeting some new friends. The information was valuable, but the connections I made and the normalization of the postpartum period Were really what I needed.
Following that program, I started my own playgroup called the Newmarket Goober gang. It was a co-op style playgroup where moms and babies took turns hosting play dates in their community or at their homes. The concept of the playgroup blew up very quickly, and I was featured in the local paper. We very quickly outgrew our at-home play date model.
Claire later approached me at Life With A Baby about assisting with the launch of the Life With A Baby York Region north chapter in my community. As a professional event planner by trade, this was totally up my alley and in alignment with my goal of continuing to service my community and connect with other moms.
Now 12 years later and the mother of a preteen I have been with Life With A Baby for my entire journey through parenthood. I have met some of my best friends to date as a result of the work I have done through this organization and grew in my business as a result of the connections made. I was proud to take on the community development manager role a few years ago when we launched all of our Simcoe region chapters, and I continue to volunteer regularly. Most importantly, I have been able to create that village in my community with other fellow moms.
Recently with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to take the leap and go back to school to complete my master's degree and do something near and dear to me. I am proud to say that I am now a licensed psychotherapist (qualifying) in the province of Ontario.
I look forward to continuing to service the Life With A Baby community through therapy programs, including helping keep our HOPE Group for parents diagnosed with mild to moderate PPD going and offering affordable mental health services for families in need.
A special thank you to Claire and Life With A Baby for this amazing opportunity.