They say if you don’t have a village, build one. And that’s just what Jaime Duggan did. While on maternity leave with her second son, she yearned for a connection with other mothers. However, after searching online for meet-ups, events, groups, and activities that could accommodate both her boys, she found herself shorthanded. Knowing how crucial her mom-group was during her first maternity leave, especially in helping her overcome postpartum depression, Jaime decided to host a small get-together for Waterdown moms at her home.
A few moms attended her first event and from there she decided to host a second – but this time she added crafts and songs. The get-togethers were well received, and with more moms attending each event, she eventually found herself in a room surrounded by upwards of 25 mothers.
Quickly, Jaime outgrew her home and was on the search for a local space that could accommodate her growing village. This is when The Common Moms came alive.
Jaime began forming partnerships in the community, many of them lending her the use of their space in exchange for advertising. As a registered Early Childhood Educator, she began expanding her programs to sensory play, stroller fit, toddler tumble time, art, music and coffee chats to name a few. With her growing programs and additional space, her village grew.
In 2016, a mutual friend introduced Jaime to Rebecca Brennan, a mother who shares the same passion for connecting mothers – especially ones struggling postpartum. Rebecca had fantastic ideas on how to grow the business, and the two instantly clicked. As a professor of marketing at Mohawk, Rebecca was able to bring a new spin to the business, but her own postpartum survival story is what truly bonded the two moms. Knowing that their own stories are important in understanding new moms, Jaime and Rebecca are able to provide meaningful support in addition to providing fun programs.
Today, The Common Moms has grown from Waterdown by offering programs and connecting mothers in Binbrook, Stoney Creek, Oakville, and Burlington – with dreams of expanding even further. Their Facebook community consists of over 3,000 members. Many of them are on their first or second maternity leave, dealing with struggles such as breastfeeding, postpartum depression, sleep, nutrition, birthing, and more.
In addition to the Facebook page and structured programs, Jaime and Rebecca run various events as part of The Common Moms umbrella. For example, on September 22nd they will be hosting their annual Fall Mom2Mom Sale and Artisan Marketplace at Eaglefield Community Church in Waterdown. Moms are invited to secure a 10×10 booth and sell any household or baby items to other mothers that attend. Artisans are also welcome to purchase a booth and sell their unique products.
If you have yet to find your village, The Common Moms are always welcoming new mothers with open arms. They invite you to try class for $2 on Try It Toonie Tuesday.
To explore more of what The Common Moms has to offer, see future events (such as their pancake breakfast with Santa), or simply find support, visit their website or connect socially.
by Anneliese Lawton