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.
MIDWEST | Chicago’s Neighborhood Parents Network
Name of Moderator/Founder: Sarah Cobb
Year Founded: 1980
Geographic Area: Chicago
Number of Members: 4,500 Chicago families
Fees/Membership Requirements: $45 for a one-year family membership.
What you need to know: In 1974, swamped with calls from new mothers seeking advice, three Chicago Lamaze instructors organized a hotline to help new mothers. The group first evolved into the Northside Parents Network in 1980, then changed its name to the Neighborhood Parents Network in 2008. In addition to Sarah Cobb, who works full-time as NPN’s executive director, the group is run by a team of 12 part-time work-from-home parents and more than 70 volunteers.
What you should expect: Because of the urban setting, schools are a hot-button topic. Standard posts regarding childcare, getting babies to sleep and which baby products to buy are also common. Moms ask for advice on a variety of topics, from the serious (“Unexpected pregnancy might end my marriage”) to the slightly silly (“Am I crazy to try to get pregnant when we’ve got an upcoming trip to Italy?”).