• Wed, January 16, 2019 9:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Originally Posted on April 20, 2016 by MumNet

    Written by: Monica Palit (alum of the Bloor West MumNet I group)

    I’ll admit I considered some of my “momisms” to be a bit extreme. The first time I took my newborn to the pediatrician, for example, I had insisted that he check my little one’s knees, convinced they were bowed and he would never be able to walk. I was promptly told that we do not in fact have rickets in this country and was sternly advised to “stop Googling.” 15 months in and with some mommy experience under my belt my search engine gets little relief.

    Enter MumNet. MumNet has long been a community focused support system for new and veteran moms. The weekly meet ups provide some incredible bonding experiences, much needed venting sessions, and life long friends. Some go for the 45 min work out, getting back into shape postpartum, or preparing their bodies for imminent birth. Others, like me, go for the discussions in the latter half. Circle sitting, sweaty, and gorging on long anticipated coffee, these pow wows are chock-full of tips and tricks for parenting.

    Aside from garnering excellent advice around topics like how to rekindle the romance, meal planning, and managing post partum depression, my favourite parts of MumNet are the throw away, trivial comments in between the serious life changing, and sometimes life saving talks. These unguarded moments are what make you realize that you are not alone. There are others out there who can relate to your momma drama, who Google late into the night and, best of all, can have a chuckle over the production that is motherhood. To that end, I offer you some of the best comments overheard from our MumNet group:

    On trying to get rid of the soother: “I told him the raccoon ate it, and now he’s too afraid to go into the backyard.”

    On baby proofing: “Never mind the safety, the best part about the play yard is that it’s aesthetically pleasing and fits with the décor of the room!”

    On childcare: “My child goes to a home daycare run by a wonderful Indian woman. The only problem is that he comes home smelling of delicious Indian food, and I don’t get to eat any of it!”

    On a girl’s night out: “My husband just FaceTimed to tell me our daughter threw up in our bed.”

    On potty training: “My kid is potty trained now, but that means I have to take her into public restrooms. I should have kept her in diapers.”

    ….and my favourite: “I thought my daughter’s knees looked swollen. Googled it. Pretty sure she has gout.”

    Have your own MumNetMomProblems? Let @MumNetToronto know and use #MumNetMomProblems

  • Sat, November 10, 2018 7:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While it’s not yet December, the holiday season is upon us. The stores are already decked out and the radio stations are just itching to play seasonal tunes, no doubt. Each year, there’s the anticipation of being invited to holiday parties and taking a much-needed break from school to spend time with loved ones and friends. But the holidays can also bring some stress along with them. As a parent, this can feel amplified – so much to do, so little time!

    That’s where MumNet comes in. We’ve got your holiday hostess gifts, colleague or client presents, and teacher tokens of appreciation covered…but these gifts give twice. As a non-profit, the proceeds from the sale come back to MumNet and help deserving moms to get the support they need and a much-needed break in their week through subsidies to reduce the financial burden of accessing our programs, replacing well-used exercise equipment, and strengthening our childcare program.

    Our annual fall fundraiser is in full swing until November 16, allowing you to check some people off your list from the comfort of your home. Products on offer include:

    • Poinsettias;
    • Cookie dough;
    • Thompson Chocolates;
    • Tabletop centerpieces (indoor/outdoor)

    Get shopping today at

    Other ways to include MumNet in your philanthropic actions this holiday season:

    Online donation: You can make a cash donation through Canada Helps and receive a tax receipt for any gift over $20.

    United Way contribution through your workplace’s annual campaign: Select “other’ when reviewing your donation options and make MumNet your charity of choice by entering our Charitable Number: 89765 7292 RR0001

    Lovable Labels: 20% of every MumNet Lovable Labels sale goes back to MumNet! All labels are Canadian made and dishwasher, microwave, washer, dryer, and bleach safe, and UV resistant.

    By supporting MumNet today through the fall fundraiser, you're supporting other moms across the city in having access to the support they need through MumNet's programs.

    Why do we fundraise?

    As a non-profit, we rely on our members, alumnae, and friends to help us raise crucial funds to support mothers across Toronto. All of our moms receive much needed emotional support at a time in their lives that can be quite isolating. Additionally, some of our moms need financial support to be able to benefit from our program.

    Every gift counts - do what you can to support us today!

  • Fri, November 09, 2018 2:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Originally written by Dominica Larkin, for Plenty the Magazine. Dominica shares the ups, downs and challenges of her journey into motherhood and how MumNet helped fight the feelings of isolation.

    When I had my first son, I was living in downtown Toronto and didn’t know anyone else having a baby. I lived in a condo and only saw a handful of children at a local park. I had no family in Toronto and was feeling quite isolated at home with my baby every day. One day, I reconnected with a friend from elementary school who told me about a wonderful group of local moms whom she met with each week. She was enjoying the group and thought that I would love it, too. It was called MumNet.

    The closest MumNet group for me – there are several throughout Toronto – wasn’t exactly in my neighbourhood, but it wasn’t a far drive. It offered me the opportunity to network and exercise with a group of moms who had children approximately the same age as mine. Plus, they had on-site childcare! This meant that I could workout, have a coffee, and listen to a speaker or have a discussion with these new mom friends without having to balance a baby on one hip. I could actually have a focused conversation without picking up thrown toys or other distractions. It was the best part of my week and the best thing I had done for myself since having a baby!

    When I was expecting baby number two, we moved to a different neighbourhood and MumNet was the first thing I sought out. I was lucky to discover a group nearby and I felt like I had found an instant village. Even though the women were all new to me, I instantly had a group of moms who understood what I was facing every day with an infant and a toddler, and the chaos of life as a parent. Being new to a neighbourhood and to Toronto, I found that joining a local moms group was the perfect way to discover a wealth of resources – they were my go-to if I needed a recommendation on anything from a plumber to a good wine pick! The moms I got to know in my local MumNet group are women I still see and connect with to this day: some I run into at the grocery store, some are now at the school-yard, and some I see at after-school activities, book clubs, boot camp…the list goes on and on.

    Looking back, my first few years in MumNet were a crucial investment in my self-care. I learned to make sure my needs were being met helping me to truly be the best mom I could be. Simultaneously, I learned to let go of the mom-guilt when things weren’t perfect (far from it, in fact!). As a stay-at-home mom, I was craving ways to continue my personal development and MumNet offered amazing opportunities for that, too. I volunteered to be a leader of the group that had become so near and dear to me and I received lots of training in areas of leadership, group development, and facilitation. I loved the fact that I still benefited from the exercise, discussion, and social time with other moms while giving back, helping them to take some much needed time for themselves. I went on to be an area coordinator, a leader of the MumVet (now MumNet II) group, for moms of school-aged children, the office manager and then, four years ago, I had the honour of being selected as the new Executive Director.

    Each week, I get to interact with all kinds of moms across Toronto: new moms, veteran moms, single moms, moms who identify as LGBTQ, adoptive moms, etc. Through these interactions, one thing is clear to me: moms of varying backgrounds, beliefs, and parenting styles can connect, empathize, and lift each other up over the challenges of being a mom, and it can help prevent isolation and postpartum depression. They don’t need to all take the same approach to things like sleep, feeding, or other parenting trials and tribulations, but they can all relish in a few hours each week when they get to focus on themselves.

    Today, MumNet hosts 15 groups weekly at 10 different locations across the city. We offer two different programs, and both include a fitness class and onsite babysitting:

    • MumNet I, for new moms and moms with younger children; and
    • MumNet II, for moms with preschool or school-aged children.

    As Executive Director of MumNet, a registered charity, I’m focused on raising awareness and funds so that we can reach more moms throughout Toronto. It is important for moms to know that MumNet exists so that they can get the support, friendship, and fitness they need as they enter and journey through motherhood. It’s equally as important for moms to know that we offer subsidies to women in need so that our programs are available to any mom in Toronto, regardless of financial circumstance.

    People often say that you meet your friends through your children. Because of my children, I met mine through MumNet, and I love helping others find theirs.

    Learn more at or register today for our sessions. Additionally, you can follow us on social media:

    Facebook: @MumNetToronto   Twitter: @MumNetToronto  Instagram: @MumNetToronto   LinkedIn: metro-mothers-network-mumnet

    Dominica Larkin, BEd, Health Education, has been working in the non-profit sector for over 16 years – with a break in the middle to stay at home with her three young boys. Today, Dominica is the Executive Director of MumNet and lives in North Toronto

  • Thu, October 18, 2018 9:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We're looking forward to next week's MumNet After Dark - Fitness Field Trip. In anticipation of that, our friends at Pop Physique are guest blogging. Learn more about this incredibly fun and effective workout.

    We hope to see you at our event at Pop Physique next Thursday, October 25 at 7:45pm, followed by a social nearby at Midtown Gastro Hub. Learn more and get your ticket today at

    - - - 

    Pop Physique, the iconic barre workout and lifestyle brand was born in Los Angeles and was created by professional ballerina and Pilates instructor, Jennifer Williams. Jennifer wanted to create a workout that was not only exceptional for strengthening, toning, and sculpting, but a workout that was fun!

    The specialized class, set to a thoughtfully curated playlist, is designed to sculpt and tone the entire body in just one hour. Pop Physique offers a beautiful and artistic studio setting, and is much more than just a workout; it is a transformative mind/body experience. You simply cannot focus on anything else while you are there, it's like the outside world doesn't exist. What a treat!

    Class begins with energetic music and a full body warm up, followed by stretching and lengthening. The intense strengthening and toning parts of class for arms, thighs, glutes, and abs are each followed by a lengthening stretching segment. Pop Physique is a non-impact class that creates long, lean, and dense muscles by working from the inside out. It is a safe workout for most injuries, during pregnancy, and makes for an excellent compliment to any other fitness routine.

    Pop Physique Toronto is excited to be coming up to our second anniversary in February 2019, and our first anniversary of Pop Yoga in November 2018! Toronto is the only location of all eight Pop Physiques (LA, San Francisco, and NYC) that offers Pop Yoga. People love Pop Physique's version of yoga - an upbeat, warmed room, core, athletic type of yoga for those people who twiddle their thumbs in regular yoga classes. Whether you do the barre class or the yoga class, you will leave feeling stronger, leaner, and in a better mood! 

    Pop Physique <3

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  • Tue, October 16, 2018 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MumNet is thrilled to announce the addition of Sarah Shanahan, as our new Childcare Manager. 

    Sarah is a MumNet regular having attended groups since her son Leo was 10 weeks old, and currently co-leads the Bloor West MumNet I group.

    Whilst Leo takes up most of her time these days, Sarah is also a freelance consultant in Sensory and Consumer Research. Having worked in the industry for 13 years, initially managing the sensory and consumer testing of private label products for the grocery chain Tesco PLC in the UK, Sarah moved to Canada to do the same for Sobeys Inc. in 2011.

    Sarah is an avid traveller and loves to explore, so in 2014 she took a leap of faith and embarked on a career break to fulfill some of this passion. Following her return from globe-trotting, Sarah has been consulting freelance in Sensory and Consumer Research whilst balancing this with her home life and being a mum.

    Sarah’s work in Sensory and Consumer Research has provided her with experience managing large groups of people of all ages, from recruitment, training and performance management through to the essentials of operations and workplace safety.

    Sarah brings these skills, plus an open mind, sense of fun and passion for the wonderful resource of MumNet to the position of Childcare Manager and is excited to join the team.

    Our Childcare Manager is responsible for 

    • managing childcare providers in our various groups across Toronto
    • overseeing hiring and evaluation of childcare providers
    • managing police records checks procedures
    • arranging ongoing First Aid and CPR certified training
    • designing and delivering annual childcare orientation and training sessions
  • Tue, September 25, 2018 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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

    Name: Kristine Laco

    Group: Etobicoke MumNet II

    Why did you originally join MumNet?

    I originally joined at the suggestion of the When Baby Comes Home group run by Public Health. As our daughter was born after the registration for September, I was contacted by a member and told to keep tight, because I’d be able to register next time. That member held a group in her house for those of us on the waitlist. I remember discussing ‘What do you do for yourself every day?’ I thought I had nothing to contribute because it felt like I did nothing for myself. When all I had to say was, “I shower every day,” it was greeted with a round of applause and a lot of women wishing they could say the same. I felt part of a community that day. I loved that group so much that I was first in line at 5 am the next registration date!

    What do you love most about MumNet?

    The people you meet. You never feel alone in your parenting struggles when you have MumNetters around. There is always a shoulder to cry on that will be crying on your shoulder with the same stressful story. For those of us without family in Toronto, MumNet becomes an extended family.

    Why was being a MumNet Group leader important to you?

    I have been a leader seven years at MumNet and have been part of the MumNet mum’s for sixteen years now. I love the opportunity to introduce new mothers and members to the support network that has changed my life. It gives other mothers a chance to relax and let someone else take care of them when they feel that all they do is take care of others.

    What is one thing MumNet taught you?

    MumNet has taught me I am not alone. The mothers I met sustained me through post partum depression, my mothering insecurities, deciding not to go back to work, and now through the stress of having teenagers. Our homes and children are different, but I always feel understood and supported at our sessions and beyond.

    What would you say to other moms considering joining MumNet?

    Get registered! You don’t have to wait in line at 5 am anymore, but it is worth the effort of getting out of bed and to your computer. Not only will it change your experience of community in a world where personal connections are harder to make, but you will also be helping others through one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences they will ever be part of as you help yourself.

    We still have space in many of our Fall groups! 

    Register here and join a supportive and fun community today!

  • Mon, August 27, 2018 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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

    Name: Daniela
    Group: Roncy I

    Why did you originally join MumNet?

    A friend told me it was one of the highlights of her mat leave. Enough said.

    What do you love most about MumNet?

    The awesome community of moms I am part of. I now have people I can go to and ask, what's this rash all about? How can I get the babe to sleep longer? Will I ever sleep more than four hours in a row again? What's the best product to deal with [insert random baby issue here]? We also plan nights out sans babies, which are always lots of fun.

    Why was being a MumNet Group Leader important to you?

    Walking into my first MumNet session was scary, and the leaders made me feel welcome and supported. I wanted to be able to do that for others. And I love organizing stuff.

    What is one thing that MumNet has taught you?

    Everything changes. Right when you think you have this whole parenting thing down, your kid will do something different. Enjoy the highs and ride out the lows. 

    What would you say to other moms considering joining MumNet?

    As Nike would say, Just Do It! It's a great (non-intimidating) way to meet people. And we serve coffee.

  • Tue, July 31, 2018 7:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Originally written by Tellent, an online community and resource for professional women to pursue flexible careers.

    Jennifer shares the ups, downs and challenges of her journey back into the workforce after a five year career break. The first step is often the hardest and her story will help you take yours.

    I have three children – ages 3, 6 and 8. I returned to the workforce after my first maternity leave (I was with TD Bank). However, after my second child was born I found I really wanted to be with these two little people more than 3 hours every night. Also, truthfully, I worried whether I could manage the stress of work coupled with the demands of raising young children. And I knew we wanted a third child in the near future.

    So, although it was an extremely difficult decision with clear financial implications, I decided to leave the paid workforce and be a full-time mom.

    By the way, this was never something I’d dreamed I’d be: a stay-at-home mom! I have three university degrees. I had been working hard to take risks and advance my career. I quite enjoyed my work, the social aspects and the salary.

    Once I had been at home for 5 years, I started to fret about the possibility of staying out of the labour market too long.

    Five years had always been my magic number (for no particular reason) and once I was in my fifth year, I got the urge to make some progress towards finding a job. I guess I got antsy and anxious about how long it would take if I waited too much longer. Also please note that I have a PhD in procrastination.

    With my two older kids in full-day school and my youngest headed for daycare, I felt the moment might be here. Now, I must qualify this “moment” was a very messy, icky, complex feeling. It wasn’t like I skipped down the yellow brick road with confidence and certainty. I felt excruciatingly guilty, confused, pressures to stay home and a lack of direction about where to begin!

    I had no mentor. I felt lost.

    I participated in the Rotman Back to Work Program, which provided a catalyst for me to overcome some of the obstacles I had placed in my own way (e.g. questions about what employers might think about my labour market absence, feeling isolated since most of my friends were working moms, doubting my prospects for success).

    I also found an excellent interview coach who helped me break through my fears of the interview process. She taught me how to respond to a variety of commonly-asked questions and how to navigate some of the really tough ones. We did a few lengthy practice interviews and I started to get my groove back. She’s also a mom, which for some reason really helped.

    I also considered the LinkedIn profile creation process to be lots of fun. At first I hated it because it forced me to invent/re-invent myself in a way that was so public and uncomfortable. But I had to get a professional headshot for the page (which made me feel more professional), and I also had to start thinking hard about my skills and talents to write the profile.

    Be ready for the emotions – all of them…and the intensity of them. Here’s a nice little preview (self-doubt, regret, guilt, anger, excitement, nervousness, giddiness). You could be in for a wild ride that way, but you’re truly not alone in this regard. Almost all women in the Rotman program experienced these emotions, and some even shared them openly which helped all of us learn and grow.

    Be proud of your story and own it. Many people will respect you having the courage to take a labour market absence. Indeed, there’s every possibility they’ll be delighted to snatch you up when you tell your story with purpose. This doesn’t mean being arrogant or boastful, of course. In some interviews I was asked my greatest professional regret, and I often answered that, at times, I’ve regretted leaving the workforce. That’s being honest and that’s ok too. In fact, I’m currently employed with the organization where I said that exact remark in my interview.

    For more information about the Rotman Back to Work program click here. They are now offering the Back to Work program at $1500 for those who register before August 17th. The next Information Session will be on August 8 from 10-11am at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, 105 St. George Street.

    Read the original post on We Are Tellent

  • Tue, July 17, 2018 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At MumNet, we're fortunate to have the support of some incredible volunteers. Today Kimberly, a leader and past board member answers the same five questions we always ask, about her MumNet experience.

    Name: Kimberly

    Group: Bloor West MumNet II

    Why did you originally join MumNet?

    I joined MumNet because I moved to the neighbourhood when I was 38 weeks pregnant and I didn't know anyone. My new neighbour suggested it and I started in my group in January when my daughter was just 12 weeks old. That was 7 years ago! I am still friends with the moms I met that year. 

    What do you love most about MumNet? 

    I love that MumNet has given me such a sense of belonging and community. I can't go to the local grocery store without running into someone I know. I also love that I have a regularly scheduled fitness class every week. It's consistent and something I can count on. Over the weeks you get to know the other women in your group and friendships develop – you find people to have coffee and go for walks with, friends who will make you a meal when you're sick or talk you through a really tough day. I can't think of anything better for a mom's mental health. 

    Why was being a MumNet Group Leader important to you? 

    I became a MumNet leader because I felt ready to give back to the group that had given me so much. At the time, I was also feeling ready for a challenge and it was nice to have something to focus on each week. 

    What is one thing that MumNet has taught you? 

    MumNet has taught me to appreciate that there are many different ways to be a good parent and there is so much to learn from other moms. 

    What would you say to other moms considering joining MumNet? 

    I would say "You have to join MumNet!!!" It's such a great way to meet other moms who are going through all the same challenges and triumphs as you are. It's an opportunity to get out of your house each week, exercise and enjoy some time with other adults. Also, it's helpful to get your baby used to being with other people and it gives them a new place to explore and learn. There are so many good reasons to join MumNet!

    Registration is open now for our fall term at MumNet! Take a break with your fellow mamasMumNet is your chance to exercise and connect with other moms in your neighbourhood! Connect over issues that are important to you and your kids and make life-long friends in the process.

  • Fri, July 06, 2018 1:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MumNet is thrilled to welcome a new member to our team as Program Coordinator (formerly Office Manager). Natalie Castellino Higginson has a background in publishing as a producer and photo editor for Maclean’s magazine, and is a freelance photographer and videographer. She is passionate about perinatal mental health and is an advocate for increasing awareness in her community.

    Natalie is thrilled to bring her passion and skills to MumNet, an organization that made a huge difference in her life as a new mother. She has taken over the email so drop her a note and say hi!

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