"Hello this is Melissa, founder of 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. Let me say thank you for finding us and congratulations on Motherhood. I am glad the "Bowery Babes" community has grown and continued to provide support for downtown mothers over the past 10 plus years. It is great to see the LES, Soho, Chinatown, Flatiron, Gramercy and downtown areas, women connecting, sharing and making new friendships".
Why Join Bowery Babes? What is it to actually JOIN and be a member? Bowery Babes is NOT just an online group or a list serve for networking, online dialogue and sharing information. Yes, we use our platform to converse and chat, but we also have playdates, educational seminars 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, I started to collect emails, and we had lunches and spent quiet days together pregnant, and even had 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. The name I selected "Bowery Babes" so it would retain some of Lila in it as well as the "babes"- both moms and babies.
The group began to organically grow and blossom into something in which we never imagined possible. Over the years, so many soon to be moms and mothers already sought us out. 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 truly depend on the members to participate and initiate things. (Pretty much anything you want to create, you can!) On the message board, everyone is so grateful when someone shares a story, asks for advice or speaks openly. Sometimes a personal or down-to-earth post can make others feel less alone or scared (or that they aren't the only exhausted mom!!). For me, it’s been about sharing this passage into motherhood, and knowing what to do to stay creative and inspired with our kids. Our leadership is made up of volunteers, and we are always looking for connection in any way, even if it's just an annual helping hand decorating at a holiday party. We really are the Bowery Babes community!
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, learn, be healthy and happy, and to 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, your partner and your child.
Warmly, Melissa Errico (Daughters - Victoria, Diana and Juliette)