By Joy Peacock, incoming Membership VP 2011-12
Having a baby can seem overwhelming, especially if it is your first. Many members feel that they need to resign or become an inactive member due to the new pressures and time constraints of having a baby. For me, staying in the League during and after having my children turned out to be one of the best decisions I made!
Starting a family was a HUGE transition for me. I hadn't been married for very long, I left my career as an attorney, and I moved from San Francisco to the Peninsula. The League helped me through this transitions in so many ways. Here is my top ten list of why you should STAY in the League if you are having a baby:
1. You Get to Talk to Adults!
And not just any adults, like-minded, smart women that are worth listening to.
2. You Can Wear Something Other Than Your Yoga Pants.
Attending a League event gives you a reason to wear those cute new shoes, or cute old shoes!
3. You Can Bring Your Baby, and Dress Him or Her Up!
A baby is always the best accessory, and a League meeting is a great opportunity to put on that cute outfit from Grandma.
4. The League is the Ultimate Mom's Group.
Forget about PAMP Mother's Club. Our membership knows it all, from which stroller to buy (and where to get the best discount) to the best lactation consultant. Our members have been there, done that, researched it, made a spreadsheet and maybe even written a book on it.
5. Honey, It's Parenting, not Babysitting
A League meeting is a great bonding opportunity for your little one and your husband or partner.
6. Emphasize the "Me" in Meeting
A night out for a League meeting is a great way to spend and plan "me" time. A League meeting is "me" time. Time to connect to the community, see and meet friends and learn things. The Gatehouse is just minutes from Trader Joe's, Keplers and Stanford Mall. So plan a little time before or after a committee meeting.
7. Keep Your Skills Updated and Contacts Growing
I didn't work for eight years while I was raising my children. Going back to work was daunting. However, I quickly found a job in large part due to the skills that I developed as a League Leader and the contacts I made.
8. Set an Example
Membership in the Junior League and volunteering in the community is a great way to set an example for your children.
9. Learn Parenting Skills While You Volunteer
Many of our community projects focus on delivering quality education and skills to children. Did you know that Fostering Families has a curriculum that teaches coping skills that are applicable to all children? Our new project, Project Read, will train you to teach your child to read. Kids in the Kitchen teaches you the importance of healthy eating and ways to prepare healthy food for your family. This type of training is highly valuable and would cost hundreds of dollars if you enrolled in similar types of training programs.
10. Learn to Be A Community Leader
As your babies grow and enter school, there will be many opportunities to be a school volunteer. The League prepares you to take on these roles so that you can make an impact. Many of our current members and sustainers are PTA presidents, sit on educational boards, and are school board members or trustees. Ask any of them and they will tell you the League prepared them for these leadership roles, as well as leadership roles in other community non-profit organizations.
To further discuss your placement options in the League, contact your Member Resources advisor.