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  • Mon, January 27, 2020 9:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At MumNet, we're fortunate to have the support of some incredible volunteers. Continuing our blogging series where we ask them the same five questions about their MumNet experience, today Quinn, a past leader, answers the same five questions we always ask, about her MumNet experience. Quinn is now back in MumNet with her second child.

    Why did you originally join MumNet?

    I didn’t know much about MumNet before joining, so my initial attraction was in having a child-free workout once a week.

    What do you love most about MumNet?

    The people. It’s such a welcoming, strong and empowering network of women, coming together to make life with baby a little easier to navigate and a lot less lonely.

    Why was being a MumNet Group Leader important to you?

    I love that I have the opportunity to give back by sharing the feeling of connection and support with other mamas. The benefits of MumNet are immeasurable and only possible when people are willing to give a little extra.

    What is one thing that MumNet has taught you?

    Alone we are strong. Together we are stronger.

    What would you say to other moms considering joining MumNet?

    Do it! The idea of committing to something (anything!) when you have a newborn can seem overwhelming, but there is nothing more liberating than connecting with understanding women, taking some time for yourself and, perhaps most importantly, having someone else watch your baby.

  • Fri, January 03, 2020 6:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At MumNet, our mission is to help women to face the challenges of motherhood by fostering their emotional, mental, and physical well-being in a mutually supportive, community-based group environment. That’s why, over the last year, our Board of Directors put an emphasis on revamping our program. 

    Our newly launched MumNet Wellness Program is the result of consultation and input from our regular member surveys, and some of our select health and wellbeing partners who offered their expertise on the program’s development. It will provide MumNet group leaders with helpful guidance when planning weekly discussions to ensure a variety of relevant topics are covered 

    The program focuses on the elements of wellness that are fundamental to motherhood, from the mother as an individual to the baby/child and their development. It’s an holistic approach to understanding what contributes to wellness in motherhood. Our goal is to give members a consistent and meaningful experience in a safe and respectful environment where they can talk about topics that are interesting and applicable to them. The program will be refined based on upcoming group leader feedback. 

    Below, you’ll find an overview of each of the Program’s pillars, which is what weekly content is based upon.

    • Mental Health (Nourish): Allows you to focus on your mental health & wellbeing
    • Physical Health (Nurture): Supports you in taking care of your body
    • Fitness (Move): Reinforces the importance of exercise, strength and movement, and their health benefits
    • Diet (Fuel): Tackles subjects like food, nutrition, and fuelling the body to keep you healthy
    • Relationships & Socialization (Connect): Explores romantic, platonic, and familial connections
    • Knowledge (Learn): Feeds the mind, and helps you to continue to learn and grow
    • Creative Expression (Create): focuses on creative activities and hobbies to express oneself
    • Personal Development (Grow): helps you in your personal and career development, and with planning and goal-setting

    Interested in giving MumNet’s Wellness Program a try? Join your local MumNet group today.

  • Thu, November 21, 2019 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Global Give is eBay’s unique approach to grantmaking, through the eBay Foundation, which deploys the talents and passions of eBay’s employee base, emphasizing collaboration, innovation and impact. The eBay Foundation challenges eBay employees to make their communities a better place—where entrepreneurs of all backgrounds are empowered to start and grow businesses, and help create opportunity for all and the Global Give plays an important role in making this a reality for nonprofits across the world.

    Over this spring, eBay employees worldwide developed and submitted proposals with creative solutions to engage and support entrepreneurship. This summer, the eBay Foundation announced the 2019 winners and granted a total of $1 million. Grants ranged from $30,000 to $60,000 each. Additionally, employee teams will provide mentoring, project and marketing expertise, technology skills, and legal and financial counsel to entrepreneurs in the program.

    MumNet is thrilled to share that we are the beneficiaries of one of these incredible grants! The partnership between MumNet and eBay will provide training and support to new-to-Canada and refugee women from marginalized Toronto communities for placement as caregivers in MumNet.

    The inspiration for this project stems from a 2018 Global Give project in conjunction with the Yonge Street Mission (YSM). While working with the team on the YSM project, Robert Karbaum was introduced to a group of women who were working towards building their own childminding businesses. Because these women are new-to-Canada refugees living in marginalized communities, they do not have the opportunity to obtain the traditional credentials associated with full-time daycare employment, nor would it be easy or even possible to obtain these credentials on their own due to the high cost of certification. These women, all mothers themselves, overcame insurmountable challenges escaping horrific situations in order to start new lives in Canada, and yet they are restricted from doing what they are passionate about - taking care of children - because of their circumstantial limitations. Providing these women the ability to receive training and providing them with an opportunity for flexible employment to build up their resumes will significantly assist them in turning their budding business into full entrepreneurial successes. 

    Thank you to the eBay Foundation for this significant and generous grant. The project provides MumNet with a creative opportunity to expand our caregiver staffing while also providing the means to grow our program in volume, vibrancy, and physical reach.

  • Mon, November 04, 2019 5:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MumNet is thrilled to announce the addition of Sinora Barboza, as our new Childcare Manager. 

    Sinora moved from Vancouver to Toronto half a year ago. She has worked as a primary school teacher in both Vancouver and London, England. She also has experience working with infants and toddlers through daycare and preschool.  These days, she spends all the spare time she can with her 8 month old niece, Maya.  She has also recently taken up sewing and enjoys working on small projects she can gift to family and friends.  

    In addition to managing childcare providers in our various groups across Toronto, including overseeing the hiring and evaluation of our staff, Sinora is working as a caregiver herself in a couple of groups this fall. She will be working directly with our volunteer childcare reps at each group to ensure that we are offering safe and happy childcare each week.

    For an overview of our childcare offering and tips for leaving your child visit our Childcare page.

    We are very excited to have you on our team Sinora!

  • Wed, August 21, 2019 10:08 PM | Anonymous member

    At MumNet, we're fortunate to have the support of some incredible volunteers. Today Josephine, a long time leader, and alum answers the same five questions we always ask, about her MumNet experience.

    Name: Josephine McMillen

    Group: Etobicoke MumNet I

    Why did you originally join MumNet? 

    I was a bit of a hermit during my first maternity leave and ended up finding it to be quite a lonely experience.  During my second leave, I really wanted to make an effort to connect with others who lived nearby. 

    What do you love most about MumNet? 

    The social aspect is great!  I love hearing about the experiences of mothers who might be at a slightly different stage than I am.  Hearing about the joys and struggles of brand new parents, I realize how far I've come.  Hearing about those with slightly older kids makes me realize "this too shall pass"!  It's a real empathy builder to share experiences in this way.  

    Why was being a MumNet Group Leader important to you?

    I felt that I had something to contribute in terms of leadership and facilitation skills.  Being a leader also helped to keep me engaged as a returning member.  

    What is one thing that MumNet has taught you? 

    Every stage of parenthood comes with its challenges and there will never be a time that we've "figured it all out".  And that's okay.  Having company on the journey - someone who can really hear what you are going through - is what's most important for me.  

    What would you say to other moms considering joining MumNet? 

    If you are looking to make connections within your neighbourhood, with others who have some shared experiences, in an open and non-judgmental way, MumNet is for you!

  • Thu, June 13, 2019 7:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While our members have been having a great year chatting and learning together, and deepening their relationships with other moms in their communities, we wanted to give you a little behind the scenes look at what our Board of Directors has been up to this year. Our Board is made up of volunteers with a variety of career backgrounds who help to guide the work of the organization and its strategic direction. 

    This year, the Board embarked on the exciting project of determining four SMART Goals for the organization - goals that are specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. We thought we’d share a little about the two that are relevant to our member experience so you can see what we have in store for you throughout the next year. Here they are...

    Enhancing our program
    We’ve taken your feedback on some inconsistencies that exist within the program across our groups and have developed an expert-endorsed, proprietary program that will support a healthy mind and body for our members. We’re in the process of putting the final touches on it for a fall launch, but what we can share with you is that it’s designed so that each term, each group will do programming from within each thematic area of the program. There will also be room for creativity and custom-curated program content.

    What this means for our members: No matter which group you join across the city, you will have a more consistent experience.

    Strengthening our childcare program
    We’ve also taken your feedback on some areas of improvement that our childcare program could benefit from. We have been working to update and improve our caregiver training and on-boarding process, including emphasis on daily cleaning and sanitizing of the toys and baby gear. We updated our hiring requirements and are in the process of conducting an audit of our facilities and inventory of supplies. Having already added five new caregivers this year, we are looking to expand the team further this fall.

    What this means for our members: No matter which group you join, you can rest assured that our caregivers are delivering consistent, engaging, high quality care to your little one(s).

    - - -

    See you in September!
    As you can see, there are great changes on the way and we are very much looking forward to updating you and gathering feedback from you as they begin to be actioned in our groups.

    We wish you all a great summer and hope you’re as excited as we are about the changes we have in store for you.

  • Mon, April 15, 2019 9:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There's just two and a half weeks to go until our Mom's Night Out annual spring fundraiser, taking place at The Pilot in Yorkville on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 8 p.m. This isn't your average mom's night out where you end up talking about your kids. This is a true chance for you to take a night off and treat yo'self while supporting our organization so we can continue to evolve and expand our programming, subsidies, and childcare offering! Without further adieu, here's our top 5...

    1. Snack, sip, and mingle

    MumNet has groups from across the city and members and their friends from all of our groups will be at the event. This is a great opportunity to not only mingle with your mama crew from your own group while you snack and sip, it's also a great way to network with other members from other areas of town and make some new connections.

    2. *POP* goes the balloon

    One of the great things about this event is that, beyond ticket sales, there are so many different price points to get involved in the fundraising side of the evening. Our most economical option is also our loudest and most mysterious. All you have to do is buy a balloon, make it pop, and you get to take home whatever prize pops out.

    3. Dance the night away

    As Cyndi Lauper said "girls just wanna have fun" and moms deserve to have fun, too. Get ready to bust a move to some great tunes and maybe even lose your voice singing along when you let loose on our dance floor. And since there are no kids sleeping at the Pilot, we'll have the tunes cranked for the ultimate music to dance party ratio.

    4. Prizes, prizes, and more prizes

    The larger prizes of the evening can be found in both our wine pull and silent auction. Jot down your name and bid for a prize that catches your eye in the silent auction, or buy a numbered cork and find out which mystery bottle of wine you've won. Oh, the suspense!

    5. Strike a pose

    Grab your MumNet pals and a handful of props and capture some memories in our photo booth. Our photographer will be on deck to snap pics throughout the evening whether you want to be goofy or glam. Smile for the camera!

    We look forward to seeing you on May 2. Don't have your ticket yet? Buy it today!

  • Thu, February 07, 2019 8:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At MumNet, we know keeping your home safe for your little ones is always top of mind. And we work hard to create safe and healthy spaces for your kids while they’re in our care, too. This week on the blog, we invited environmental health expert (and mom), Emma Rohmann from Green at Home, to share with us some insights about keeping your home cleaner and healthier this winter.

    - - -

    With cold and flu season upon us, you might be adding a little more "umph" to your cleaning routine at home. Unfortunately, this can sometimes come with unintended consequences - especially if you’re relying on antibacterial and other conventional products. Let’s take a look at how you can easily make your cleaning routine healthier this winter.

    The problem with conventional cleaners

    You might be surprised to learn that companies are not legally required to disclose ingredients on cleaning products. On top of this, terms like “natural”, “organic”, “safe”, and “non-toxic” don’t have any legal definition and are frequently misused.

    Studies have shown that indoor air quality actually decreases - even after using some products labelled as “green.”

    Cleaning products often include chemicals that: can make asthma worse; irritate the lungs; are potential carcinogens; contribute to antibiotic-resistant superbugs; decrease immune function; and are known hormone disruptors.

    How to clean your home naturally

    The problems aren’t meant to scare you, but hopefully you’re now wondering what can you do to choose better products. The good news is that switching to healthier cleaners is now easier than ever.

    The first step is to simplify. You really don’t need a different product for every single surface in your home!

    Next, take a look at the products you’re using. If you’re already using products that are labelled as natural or green, download my “How Healthy Are Your Cleaners” list and discover which 12 popular brands are actually green, or just greenwashing. If you’re using conventional products, you can try searching them in EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning to see how they score.

    Another great option to reduce toxins in your home, while saving money, is to make your own cleaners. These recipes are super easy to make and work surprisingly well!

    Finally, if you’re looking for some disinfecting power, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide (first one, then the other) can help reduce germs in your home – without the harmful side effects of conventional antibacterial products. But when it comes down to it, a little soap and water goes a long way for most households.

    I hope this helps you take stock of your cleaning routine, and start making simple changes to create a healthier home for your family this winter!

    Emma is an environmental engineer, mom of 2, and founder of Green at Home. Through online programs and consultations, she helps families create healthier homes by reducing hormone disruptors, carcinogens, and indoor air pollutants. She is a David Suzuki Foundation Queen of Green Coach and guest lecturer at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine on Hormone Disruptors and Fertility. You can find her over on Facebook and Instagram (@emma_greenathome) or at

  • Wed, February 06, 2019 2:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest Blogger: Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, CPTN-PT, PFS, NWS, RAB
    Pre & Postnatal Exercise Specialist

    Crunches don’t make your abs flat.

    Yes, this is true.

    All you have to do is ask any experienced fitness or health professional and they will tell you, the best way to get flat abs (or anything close to that) is through food.

    Sad, I know.

    However, there are things that you can do to help recruit your abdominal muscles to strengthen and support you and crunches ain’t it.

    I will tell you why.

    The reality is crunches and sit ups are a flexion of the spine to help “crunch” the abdominal muscles together and make them stronger – BUT they also make them bigger.

    Say what???

    Well, if you think about it….do we perform bicep curls (a flexion movement) to create a flat bicep?


    And there’s research!

    Stuart McGill, professor at the University of Waterloo in spine biomechanics tells us that crunches recruit less than 20% off your rectus abdominis and overload your spine outside of healthy limits.

    In other words, you are doing all of this hard work (with good intentions of course) to get less than 20% return AND you are putting yourself at risk for spinal injury!

    So for all of those times that you are pulling on your head and killing yourself to do the “100 crunches a day” challenge; I ask you…’s it workin’ for ya?

    It’s not.

    The fact is, unless you have to perform a flexion movement repetitively over and over again, there is no reason to perform crunches as you are really wasting your time.

    Having said that, flexion IS also a part of our life. Getting in and out of bed, or suddenly having to “sit up” is something that happens so removing all flexion isn’t a good idea either.

    So although I’m not a “big” fan, there is a time and place for them in your workout routine but it’s primarily to mimic a movement that you practice in daily life, not for a six pack.

    Instead choose movements like dynamic planks and other various core foundation exercises that recruit more than just your rectus abdominis, but your transverse (the deepest layer) and your obliques (middle layer) too!

    Check out our fitness page to learn more our #mumnetfitness

    A thought leader when it comes to women’s health, Samantha Monpetit-Huynh started out working with pregnant women and new moms when she herself became one.

    Over the last 15+ years, she has shared her passion and knowledge for fitness and health on several platforms to help spread the word that fitness is not a luxury but a basic requirement for physical as well as mental and emotional health as well.

    A published author of Pregnancy Fitness, she is an expert in her field, helping women stay strong, healthy and pain free during the most important period of a woman’s life and the many, many years afterwards. Read more over on Sam's blog!

  • Thu, January 24, 2019 8:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Originally written by member and past president, Karen Schultz, for YMC (Karen's kids are a little older now but she still treasures her one morning a week at MumNet II)

    When I first had my son, I had several people approach me to tell me I “HAD” to join their Moms group. Not likely I thought. I had lots of support from family and numerous girlfriends on maternity leave with their first child. And if you know anything about me, as soon as someone tells me I HAVE to do something, I immediately do the opposite.

    Fast forward to January. It was cold, I was housebound with an 8 month old, and going a bit stir crazy. A friend mentioned over a girls night out that her Moms group offered not only an hour of fitness, but also babysitting at the same time – SOLD. As for the coffee and discussion that followed, I figured I could keep an open mind.

    Four and a half years later, it turns out joining a Moms group was one of the best things I did, and when I had my second child I couldn’t wait to go back to my regular group. The fitness class is great, but the coffee and discussion (otherwise called community) is what keeps me coming back week after week. Finding my little tribe of mid-town Moms has given me something to look forward to week after week and often keeps me sane during the crazy parenting ups and downs.

    1.        It’s not just you

    Do you feel like you are losing your pre-pregnancy brain and slipping into the abyss of neighbourhood stroller walks and rainbow songs? Think you’re the only one obsessed with how to get your baby on a nap schedule? Worried everyone else can’t wait to have sex 6 weeks after birth like your partner is convinced? Time and time again, I arrived at my Mom’s group feeling like I was the only one to experience the frustration, exhaustion and tedium that can come with having a baby at home. But after an hour of group discussion (read: venting and sharing with my tribe) I would leave feeling completely normal and uplifted. Knowing so many others were going through similar experiences somehow made it feel so much more manageable.

    2.       Being with your baby feels great (after you’ve had time apart)

    The first time I left my son with anyone other than my family was at my Moms group - and even knowing he was one room over left me terrified. I mean, he was PERFECT, so who in their right mind wouldn’t want to run out the door with him as soon as I turned my back? And even if there wasn’t an organized baby theft ring operating in mid-town, what if they forgot to give him his bottle, or didn’t pick him up when he cried? So when I walked in and saw the loveliest group of women that reminded me of my own grandmother, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. And relaxed for TWO WHOLE HOURS. I got to experience the pure bliss that is drinking a cup of coffee and having an adult conversation without being distracted every 30 seconds. Doing sit-ups without a baby in my arms. And going to the bathroom on my own! Those two hours became my treasured hours of the week, because I learned how wonderful it feels to hold your baby once you’ve had time to recharge by yourself. And that’s good for everyone.

    3.       How to make a killer marinade

    For me, one of the most surprising changes about becoming a Mom was how much it consumed my life. Before having my children, I was quick to judge parents who only wanted to talk about their kids. As a person who liked to be out and about in my pre-baby life, the total and complete focus on my child was a huge shock for me. All of a sudden I wasn’t up on the newest restaurants, hadn’t been out partying in months and had put my professional life on pause. The weekly group discussions and guest speakers at my Mom’s group started to feel like a very welcome relief of rebuilding interests outside my baby. We’ve had speakers and conversations on everything from favorite books and blogs, strategies to talk to your kids about sex, tips for taking great vacation photos, nutrition for picky toddlers, advice for dealing with in-laws and other martial minefields, and just about everything under the sun. Having that injection of fun and relevant conversation in my week really made me feel like a person again, and that the cloud of babyhood I was under would eventually lift. And guess what – it did.

    4.       To listen without judgement

    We all have friends that we support and who support us no matter what. But having a baby can put a real strain on friendships, especially when friends develop different parenting styles that may not mesh with your own. Being part of a community of Moms is different because you are able to listen to other Moms experiences without having to balance your pre-existing friendship. I remember clearly when a Mom friend said she wouldn’t be returning to our group because her baby needed to stay on his nap schedule. To me, this was unthinkable, having to give up my cherished ‘me time’ each week to keep a rigid schedule for an 8 month old. And I might have voiced that opinion (loudly) to a close friend. But I’ve realized over the years of sharing with my Moms group that it’s not important for people to do things the same way, because everyone is just trying to muddle through the best they can. My two hour adult time might be her two hour alone time, and that’s just as important. Breast feeding, sleep training, and pain medication during birth are all polarizing topics but the truth is, we are all just trying to do what is best for our babies and still keep an ounce of sanity for ourselves. Understanding this has made me a better Mom, and a better friend.

    5.       Learn to let it go

    Being part of a community of Moms is similar to having a trusted friend at work in that you can blow off steam about your job (being a Mom) and then go home and let it go. Whether you’re up all night with a baby who JUST WON’T SLEEP or trying to force your toddler to eat something other than cheese strings, chances are someone else is going through it too, and being able to commiserate seems to put things in perspective. After all, it’s a cheese string, not a can of soda. And yes – eventually – you will sleep again. Today, I have a four year old, a two year old and am six months pregnant with my third little one. My life feels crazy now, and I know it’s about to get even crazier. But I chose this life, and I wouldn’t give it back for all the new restaurant openings and party nights. Connecting with my Moms group has helped me find my place in my new life, and finding my tribe to share parenting highs and lows with helps me be able to laugh at myself and this crazy time of life. And then go home and enjoy it.

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