Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Mtg Notes: Future of cityMamas, Books & Lunch

Thanks to all who attended our meeting today.  Lunch was hosted by DEEP, our parent organization (thank you!). We have an awesome group of Moms working at the City!  We know there are many more of you who could not attend today but who gave us great feedback and who will be a large and active part of cityMamas moving forward.
Thank you also to all of our Moms who filled out the survey!  The results were posted earlier this week - they can be found here.  Today, we shared a brief overview of what we heard, and discussed how we can together respond to your voices! 

Here's the short version of what we heard:
  • We mostly represent moms with young children (babies to early education), but there are many others with children from middle school and beyond.
  • We need to work more on outreach (Thank you to those who volunteered to help with this!  I will be contacting you soon...)
  • Although the timing and location of our meetings often do not work for everyone, the group collectively does not want to just be a "social network" via the web.  That said, many of you read our blog or Facebook posts, and want us to continue to expand our blog functions.
  • Our most popular meetings and topics of highest interest are: parental coaching, life coaching, organizing, home/work balance, finances, and health and food.
  • Many of you responded that you can help us!  If you haven't, but you are interested in outreach, blog posting, meeting organizing, or you-name-it, please contact us!  We'd love to hear from you.
Based on what we heard from you, for 2012, cityMamas would like to make the following changes:
  • We will start rotating format of meetings: once a quarter host a professional (e.g. Practical Parenting, life coach, organizing solutions, etc.); once a quarter host a social event; once a quarter have a mom-lead topic
  • According to the survey, happy hour was popular for a social event, so we’ll host the first one DECEMBER 15 at Trees, 4:30 to 6:30.  Come when you can, come for 15 minutes, stay for all two hours, come meet fellow CityMamas!
  • We’ll post more to the blog: book reviews, “what’s for lunch?”, mom testimonials, guest posts from our quarterly professionals, food topics – in addition to the weekly recipes.  A number of moms notified us that they want to help us with posts, so we will tap into you!  Please let us know if you want to write/post on a topic.  We will either allow you permissions to post, or you can send us your post/book review, etc.
  • ‘New Mom Buddies’ – a number of you responded that you want to help us with this.  We will get organized and hopefully start making this available starting in 2012.  This is not a full-time commitment!  Just a chance to give a new mom your support or listening ears.  Another mom offered to be support to moms who are in the throes of teenage years.  Let us know if you’d like to be a buddy!
  • If your location/schedule does not allow you to meet with the larger group, but you want to host a cityMamas gathering in your office (PDC, 1900 bldg, etc.), let us know!  We'll post it!  cityMamas is for you - if you have any ideas for how you want to be involved, contact us! 
 We had a great discussion during our meeting today.  Here's some of what we heard:
  • HR should have CityMamas info/flier for new moms as part of FMLA packet (Lora to check in with “outreach team” and new moms to weigh in on what would have helped them as new moms returning to work)
  • Can moms post that they are attending an event/activity outside the group (e.g. zoolights, children’s museum) to the blog?  (YES – email one of the co-chairs and they can post to blog)
  • Are there guidelines for pump rooms?  CityMamas should do draft something up (In the past, CM advocated for pump rooms in the Portland Building and gave some desired features – we could revive this list and contact Debbie?  DEEP?)
  • How much advocacy can CityMamas do? (co-chairs to check in with Debbie/DEEP)
  • Other ideas for meeting topics: 
    • Safety/Emergency preparedness (future mom-lead/city-lead topic?  Darcy will post her family’s experience/tips/what’s in her emergency kit)
    • “Mom tips” – e.g. technology or otherwise (future mom-lead topic?)
    • PTA/School involvement (future mom-lead topic or blog?)
    • "Family-friendly" city - how can we advocate for change via the Portland Plan or otherwise? (future mom-lead topic or blog?)
Moms - did I miss something?  Comment below...
Courtney also gave us a quick reminder about cityMamas' Fourth Annual Adopt-A-Family.  This is a great way to help families in need and to teach our children about giving to others.  If you are interested in giving this year, please look at the spread sheet and let Courtney know what you'd like to donate.  If you want to give cash, that is always welcome too.  Or, better yet, if your child is enrolled in a Portland Public School that uses Scrip, use it to purchase gift cards at participating stores, such as Fred Meyer and "double dip"!  Talk to Courtney for details.  

No December meeting - See you at Happy Hour!  Details/reminder to follow.


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