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 | Ft. Greene Kids
Name of Moderator/Founder: Sarah Chinn
Year Founded: 1999
Geographic Area: Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Number of Members: 2,300
Fees/Membership Requirements: None
What you need to know: Sarah Chinn has been a member of Ft. Greene Kids since her now 9-year-old twins were a few months old. Geared toward parents with kids ages 2 to 10, the site hosts intense debates – “about breastfeeding vs. formula and working moms vs. stay-at-home moms,” said Chinn, an English professor at Hunter College. “But by the time the kids turn two, it’s a lot more low key.”
What you should expect: “People who live in this neighborhood and are on the listserv want to live in a racially mixed, economically mixed neighborhood,” says Chinn, and the group does not shy away from sensitive issues (they even have a separate “debates list”). There was recently a discussion about a group of young black teenagers who were hanging out at a local park and started throwing stones at a mom and her children. The mom wrote to the list saying, “Be careful, these kids threw stones at my kids.” Someone else responded, “Let’s not demonize black teenagers,” according to Chinn, who said that some members agreed to hold a meeting to discuss the issue.