Hello this is Melissa Errico,
founder of the original Bowery Babes. Before you join, or even apply, we'd
like to take a moment to try to explain what Bowery Babes is all about.
First let me say thank you for finding us, and congratulations on mommyhood. I am glad the "bowery babes" community is starting to have a buzz around the LES, Soho, Chinatown and downtown areas, and women are connecting and thriving on making new friendships—that’s great.
Why Join Bowery Babes? What is it to actually JOIN and be a member?
Bowery Babes is NOT just an online group or a listserve for networking, chatting online and information. Yes we use the internet to converse and chat all the time, but we also have playdates and events. We want to connect people and enhance the neighborhood for mothers and their families -- to give the children a sense of togetherness and mothers a sense of calm and support.
I "graduated" from prenatal yoga at Lila Yoga (on Bowery Street) in April 2006, and loved Mia (the teacher) so much and the women I met there. I was simply astounded by the atmosphere of camaraderie and love, and it changed me so deeply. The atmosphere was incredible, warm and loving; not everyone was a 'yogi' (surely not me!), and the women were eclectic, from different cultures and backgrounds, all in one quiet beautiful class, preparing to be mothers. 12 women who went consistently were giving birth in April, and we found that so funny and incredible and called ourselves 'generation april.' We met in November 2005- and I started to collect emails, and we had lunches and spent quiet days together pregnant, and threw a baby shower for one gal. It evolved slowly, and no one saw this coming. The Lila women birthing from Jan-September 2006 (and a few beyond that but not many) all united on a casual email list and after six months, I made it a yahoo group and had to choose a name for it- I chose "bowery babes" so it would retain some of Lila in it. And so it would be about the "babes"- both moms and babies :).
The original group led to more groups and then lots of women have come and found us. It has grown slowly, very truly in the spirit of connectedness and love. It has been hard to know how to let it grow and not lose its sweetness and personal touch, which it has in spades. I have often said it has felt like watching a flower grow out of the cracks of the city sidewalk -- something so tender and alive, growing in the city.
We encourage you to join if you live in the area, and if you intend to be a part of it. You don't need to volunteer and help us organize things (we do need that too!), but we sure do want members who really want to participate. Somehow, we need to not be too shy. Everyone is in the same boat and everyone is always so grateful when someone shares a story or asks for advice or speaks openly.
We truly depend on the members to participate and initiate things. This is a group effort. There are playgroups (in many languages!), and we go to art and music classes together, and organize our own events, book clubs, drinks nights, and chef nights and 'daddy brunches.' We have events around major holidays, like our annual participation in the Washington Square Park Halloween Toddler Parade and a special Winter Holiday Party complete with Santa. For a little girliness, we have Bloomingdales Soho occasionally treating us for FREE beauty mornings called Beauty Day. We try to offer discounts, and educational lectures (on sleep training, pre-schools, toilet training, vaccines, discipline etc), baby yoga, massage, and more. We have built up an archive of resources and have a classifieds section. There is a desire to do more organized charity work, and we encourage that spirit and do need leaders.
I've seen a LOT of families bond. There have been tragedies that we have endured as a group, and I cannot tell you how I have seen BBs simply burst forth as a haven of support and love. So many things have bonded us, and life just throws us curves.
We divide our internet site into "forums" divided by the ages of the children. You can join many forums. There is always one for women who are pregnant or have newborns. The first year with a newborn is so precious and it’s invaluable to have conversations about all those early things: sleep, nursing, formula, emotions, confusion, etc. and share that special connection with other women. Mostly, it’s good to get together for coffees and picnics and hang out and relax and enjoy those gorgeous babies.
For me, it’s been about sharing this passage into motherhood, and about knowing what to do in the area to stay creative and inspired with our kids. Our group is all volunteers and we are hoping to always be a team, finding new lectures or films or classes or ideas to share with each other.
I hope some of this interests you, or if there's something you'd like to add, that you would say so. You can do a lot or you can do less; its your call but we really do need you to join with the intention of contributing or participating (you might as well do something or why join?!)
We Moms can do a lot for each other. I also am sure I do not need to say this, but we want all our conversation online to be kind and supportive, open to all systems of thought and parenting philosophies, and never mean-spirited or anonymous. Everyone comes to the Bowery Babes to make friends and learn and be healthy and happy and make NYC feel a little sweeter at this sweetest of times. I hope, if you do join, that it is a great social experience for you and for your partner and your child.
Please join ONLY if what you have read feels good and right for you. We all really look forward to meeting you!
(daughters Victoria, Diana and Juliette)
For the security of our members we must pre-approve all new enrollees. There may be a short delay in gaining access to our Big Tent community while we process your application. For more information, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.