Saturday, July 11, 2009

New-Mom Groups / Circles in Santa Barbara

As far as I know, there are two main new-mom circles in Santa Barbara: PEP, and Mamatoto.  I joined both, although I no longer meet with my PEP group.  They are so different, and I have friends in both circles, but Mamatoto was the one for me.  PEP (postpartum education for parents) is open to both moms and dads, and all styles of parenting.  Mamatoto is a Swahili word for the mother-baby unit, and is an attachment parenting group.  (I'll have a post up about attachment parenting soon, but you can read a little about it here).  

My Mamatoto group has been meeting since last September, and we have become a close-knit group.  We meet twice a week for a play group / support group / chat, once for swim class with the babies, once for a morning beach walk followed by mom and baby yoga at SBYC with Emma and Olivia (see earlier post), and once for music class.  We have other random meetings as well for mamas-only happy hour or baby birthday parties.  Of course not everyone makes it to everything.  There are 30 of us in the group and usually between 5 and 15 make it to each gathering.

To give an idea of the feel, most of us use cloth diapers, at least part time, co-sleep (either crib in the same room, or share a family bed), baby-wear (we love our ergos!), hold our babies a lot, try to eat organic, locally-grown food, use homeopathic and /or non-toxic products on our babies, care about the environment, and respect our babies and their needs.  Some of us chose to vaccinate; others didn't.  Most of us selectively vaccinated; we all made our decisions after much thought and processing of information.  We are all different from one another, but the common thread in the Mamatoto group is that we all believe in and are practicing attachment parenting.  

Regardless of your parenting style, I suggest checking out both groups.  I still would be meeting with my PEP group every week if I had time, and it was really helpful when Isla was a newborn, just to get out of the house and connect with other new moms.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Isla, I am part of Mamatoto group as well. I like the way you described your Mamatoto group! You could be talking about ours:-) Come join me and many local moms at my online community for moms www.MommysBestFriends.com both my Mamatoto group and PEP are there and many other wonderful moms. Hope to see you there, Talina Hermann

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  2. My family and I are new to Santa Barbara. Although we are not new parents (we have a four year old and a 14 mth. ), we practice attachment parenting and are looking to connect with similar minded families. I see that you meet every Wednesday. My question is where and is there a schedule online or do you meet via informal calls, etc.

    - Bukra House

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  3. You know, our group has evolved now, and has become more fluid and casual. You can find us online under Mamatoto in Yahoo Groups. Also, if you click on the link that says "Mamatoto" on the right hand of the screen it will take you to the official website where you can get hooked up with your group, meaning the group which has babies around the same age as your 14 month old. Welcome to SB!

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  4. Hello !
    I am a graduate student at the UCSB Bren School for Environmental Science & Management. I am working on a thesis project to study the perspectives pregnant women and new mothers have on cosmetic products and their opinions on organic/natural products. I am looking for some ladies who might be willing to have a short chat with me to provide some insight and thought I could find some suggestions here for how I could get in touch with interested individuals. You can contact me at ebernstein@bren.ucsb.edu. Any help is greatly appreciated!
    Thank you for your time!
    Elyse B.

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  5. Oh wow I am so sorry it took so long to reply! I just saw your comment. I bet it's too late by now, but if I can help in any way you can find me on Facebook at LuckyLlamaCoffee

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  6. I was wondering if anyone had any leads on a Spanish speaking preschool. My family and I are getting ready to move from Peru to Santa Barbara, we are American but my little girl has been raised bilingual here in Peru. Can anyone recommend a preschool?

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  7. I was wondering if anyone had any leads on a Spanish speaking preschool. My family and I are getting ready to move from Peru to Santa Barbara, we are American but my little girl has been raised bilingual here in Peru. Can anyone recommend a preschool?

    ReplyDelete