Tag Archives: Connecticut

Connect With Local Moms and Dads Through The Parent Collective

Expecting moms and dads often need one common thing – support. The Parent Collective provides just that by helping to establish connections with other expecting parents through classes that minimize stress, and ultimately, make people feel like they are in this together.
We had the opportunity to partner with Jessica Hill, one of the Co-Founders of The Parent Collective, to learn a little bit more about her, her company, and what makes TPC so special.
Q: What inspired or influenced you to create The Parent Collective? 
A: I decided to start TPC back in 2016 after hearing from countless friends that they spent their early months and years with their baby feeling lonely and isolated. Because I was lucky enough to have my boys in the UK and benefit from the NCT, my experience was wildly different, and I wanted to give a similar feeling of support through education to others. Quite simply – I don’t know how I would have gotten through the early months of my first baby without my village of NCT moms who got me out of the house, listened to me vent when I was struggling, swap strategies for dealing with the latest feeding/sleeping/illness issues that crop up, and filled countless afternoons with conversation and companionship. Everyone needs that support and I hope that TPC will fill this need.
Q: What are the variety of classes that you offer and what can parents expect to learn in each of them? 
A: We offer a prenatal class series for expectant parents and after babies arrive, we offer CPR & First Aid classes, postpartum support groups as well as a wide range of workshops and online content developed in response to participant questions.
Our prenatal class, which is our core offering, is a 4-week series and in it, participants will discuss:

  • Session 1: What to expect in labor and delivery
  • Session 2: Relaxation techniques to help you through the early stages of labor, options for pain management and C-sections
  • Session 3: Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding information and advice, including latching on, pumping, milk storage, getting on a feeding schedule, and how to manage problems that may arise
  • Session 4: Newborn care

Q: How are your classes unique to the classes at my local hospital?
A: The Parent Collective offers a new style of prenatal class which is designed to provide evidence-based information, foster open, judgment-free discussion and establish friendships among couples living in close proximity and due at the same time. We see ourselves as an alternative to other childbirth education classes and hope that couples taking the series will develop a social network through participation, gather playmates for the little ones on the way and of course, provide that crucial support system that parents so need.
I am always banging on about how important it is to have friends with babies the same age as yours. I absolutely realize that it is hard to make friends as adults but with pregnancy as the common thread, it can sometimes be easier. Mom and dad friends at every stage of the parenthood journey are super helpful, but friends who have kids the same age as yours are essential. No one can fully appreciate the daily trials of a newborn like your friend who is also navigating life with a newborn. From spilling preciously pumped milk to dealing with an explosive poo in-transit. When you are in it, these feel like total disasters. However, these stories will not elicit a visceral “gasp!” from a new parent, but rather a breath of relief as you realize another real person has experienced something similar – like, yesterday.
Parents need this camaraderie so you can enjoy/survive the early days (and hopefully beyond) together. Our classes allow parents to solidify these relationships before babies arrive, so you don’t have to work so hard once they do. You can already be texting from the hospital about the terrible food and a love you never thought possible.
Q: Who are some of the facilitators that women can expect to meet in your classes (background, experience, mission etc.)?
A: All of our facilitators are nurses and midwives who can offer our expectant parents an accurate picture of what to expect in the hospital. Most are also mothers who can provide that additional layer of support having experienced first-hand what a world-rocking experience having a baby can be. Here is the background of one of our facilitators as an example but you can view all of them here.
Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC
Allegra is a registered nurse, Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mother of three. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley in California as well as a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in New York City. Allegra has 13 years of experience in hospitals, classrooms, and in-home care and instruction around Maternal/Child Health and specifically breastfeeding. Allegra works to help each person feel equipped and ready for the wonder, transitions, and joy of a new baby with special attention to feeding and bonding.
Q: Where are your locations and how can someone sign-up to learn more about The Parent Collective or join a class? 
A: We currently host regular classes in Fairfield County, CT, Manhattan, Long Island, NY, Bergen County, NJ and we will very soon be launching in Westchester NY.
TPC will also soon be launching our prenatal series as a webinar. Watch this space!
To learn more, visit our website and sign-up for our newsletter, which offers information for expectant and new parents, as well as the opportunity to connect with parents who live local to you and have kids the same age.
Jessica Hill
Jessica Hill, Co-Founder of The Parent Collective
Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Home Life in Greenwich, Connecticut

Have you been thinking more and more about moving outside the hustle and bustle of the big city? How does Greenwich, CT sound?
In our final week of talking all things real estate, we partnered up with Margaret Vorder Bruegge and Sharon Kinney, our experts of real estate in the Greenwich, CT area (don’t worry, Bell Family has sitters in Greenwich)! Read below for our Q&A, and then find yourself browsing their listings like I did.
Q: What are some common requests that families make when looking for a home?
A: When looking for a new home, families prioritize neighborhoods, school districts and extra curricular activities available to their children. Greenwich has an abundance of sports, social and education resources for all ages. Parents who work in the city ask about access to the train and highways, and about services that make their lives manageable – references for nannys, dogwalkers and doctors and dentists.
Q: When working with a family to find a new home do they come with a clear idea what they are looking for or do you steer them to a home best suited for family?
A: Today’s buyers are smart and have a list of features that they are looking for in their new home.  They know how many bedrooms and bathrooms they want, they have an idea of what size home and property they desire. When buyers don’t know the town well, we help them pinpoint which of the many areas of Greenwich – each with its own lifestyle – meets their desired location needs, which is information not available on the internet.
Q: What are some tips you give to families looking for a new home?
A: We have each lived in Greenwich for over 30 years and raised our own families here. We share resources about schools – public and private, extracurricular sports programs and the fabulous Greenwich public parks, which include a golf course, three local beaches, marinas, a town pool, paddle and tennis courts and hiking trails.
Q: Life with kiddo’s can get hectic and spare time can be limited.  What are some good ways to go about home searching if someone has little extra time in their day.
A: We make the homebuying experience very efficient by understanding our buyers wants and needs and price range. Together we develop a finely tuned profile of the “perfect” home. We then preview homes on the market on their behalf and call them to see the right one when it becomes available. We can add the most value when our clients trust us to be their eyes, ears and advocates.
Learn more about Margi Vorder Bruegge and Sharon Kinney, and be on your way to calling Greenwich, CT home.
Sharon and Margi (2)
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell
 

Bell Family in Connecticut

Bell Family has been servicing the Greenwich, CT and surrounding southern CT/Westchester County areas for approximately five years. It all started when our families began to move from the city to expand their families.
Greenwich Moms.com’s founder, Layla, recently did a feature on our company and three of our super sitters in the area. Our sitters in the Greenwich area are all college educated, have valid driver’s license, and are experienced childcare providers and LOVE kids!
To read the feature, click here !
We are excited to meet more families, as well as sitters and nannies in the area! If you are interested in joining our group, please e-mail us at info@bellfamilycompany.com.
House
 
Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Get to Know Bruce Plotkin Photography!

We’re introducing one of our favorite event photographers, Bruce Plotkin, in our latest Q&A blog post.

Get to know the face behind the photographer who is snapping great memories for clients all around the New York and Connecticut Metropolitan area.

Q: You grew up being surrounded by photography with your father being a photographer himself. Is your father the biggest inspiration as to why you chose to be a photographer?
Dad was certainly a big influence in my becoming a photographer. He was a wedding and portrait photographer in Worcester, Mass, where I grew up, for 40 years and photographed generations of families, many of whom still stop me to tell me how his photographs grace their homes. A week ago I actually photographed a wedding in the Adirondacks and the mother of the groom was not only someone I graduated high school with, but my dad photographed her wedding.  A wonderful feeling of continuity.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing you get from being a photographer? Is there a particular event/subject you enjoy capturing the most?
The most rewarding part of being a wedding photographer is in delivering the finished product to the bride and groom and their families, whether on-line or in album form, and hearing from them about thrilled they were with the results, and that I was able to capture all the key moments (including at times ones they never even witnessed), and that I clearly succeeded in creating a document of their wedding day that they’ll be able to share with generations to come.

Initially I wanted nothing to do with wedding photography and spent the first two decades of my career as a NYC based advertising and magazine photographer, with kids as my primary focus. I photographed everything from ads for Huggies diapers to Jello, and had covers of both Time and US News and World Report.  When I decided to shift gears and devote myself to photographing weddings, which has been my principal focus for nearly the last two decades, I discovered the world of contemporary wedding photojournalism, more of a story telling approach to creatively and unobtrusively documenting the wedding day. For me this new life was truly coming full circle, and I never looked back.

Q: It looks like most weddings that you’ve covered are in the New York and Connecticut areas. Are these your primary locations? What other events could people hire you for?
While most of my weddings take place in the New York/Ct. Metropolitan area, they have indeed taken me everywhere from Maine to the Caribbean. This year, in addition to last week’s trip to Lake George’s wedding,  I’ve travelled from Washington, DC to the campus of Penn State U. Always excited by these new adventures.

While I do, on occasion, photograph other types of events, and often photograph the babies of my brides and grooms, my main focus remains photographing beautiful wedding celebrations.

Bruce Plotkin

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell