Babble Best Picks:
Top 12 Listserv Parent Networks
Being a new parent can be an isolating, lonely experience, but signing up for a parenting listserv provides new moms and dads with an instant community. From finding out where to buy the best children's clothing and baby gear to getting support for mastitis or post-partum depression, parenting listservs offer help and advice 24-7. Even better, neighborhood listservs are a great source of information on local resources of interest to parents, such as which restaurants are toddler-friendly and where to get your stroller wheels repaired - and they're a great way to make new friends!
Here's a list of some of the most active and engaging parenting listservs from around the country. If your favorite isn't listed, make sure you tell us about it.
EAST COAST | Park Slope Parents
Name of Moderator/Founder: Susan Fox
Year Founded: 2002
Geographic Area: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Number of Members: 4,000
Fees/Membership Requirements: $25 annual fee; must be a parent in Brooklyn and agree to PSP’s “terms of service.”
What you need to know: After giving birth to her daughter Samantha (now 9), author Susan Fox started a group for local parents, including herself, to exchange information. Questions ranged from, “Where’s the best place to get shoes that fit?” to, “How do you get a baby to take a bottle?”. Within a year, Park Slope Parents had 450 members and continued to grow, but not without controversy; after years of donating her time to the group, Fox decided last year to charge for membership. Some members felt it would change the tone of the group and left to start their own group or join other Brooklyn listservs, but PSP continues to thrive.
What you should expect: In 2006, a PSP member innocently posted that she found a “boy’s hat” on the playground. When another member complained about the gender assumptions implicit in the description, a heated debate about political correctness and gender stereotyping ensued. New York Magazine and other publications wrote about the controversy soon afterward, where they poked fun at Park Slope parents for taking themselves too seriously. Recently, there have been discussions about the pros and cons of having children after age 40, and how to deal with lice and bed bugs.