“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.” – Calvin Trillin
Most of us have witnessed the awesome power of mothers. Aside from bringing new life into the world, they make us sit up straight, eat our vegetables and do our homework. Imagine that incredible force multiplied a thousand-fold into an enormous social network. Yes, this is the Greenlake Moms.
Before the Greenlake Moms was 1500 moms strong, it was one mom: Melissa Benaroya (doesn’t her family look glad that she’s their mom?).
I started Green Lake Moms when I moved to Seattle almost 6 years ago. I did not know anyone in the city and I was at Meridian Park with my 10 month old the first week we moved into our home and there was a group of moms having a play date. . . . . I introduced myself and joined the playdate. By the end of the playdate I suggested everyone give me their e-mail and I could set up a group for us online to communicate.
Over time, this small email list morphed into a remarkably supportive, resourceful, generous group. A lucky member since November 15, 2005 here are a few of my own experiences:
- Located mother of another jigsaw puzzle-addicted kid to trade with
- Loaned someone a booster seat and got a thank you of surprise home-baked treats
- Swapped rides to and from the airport (infinitely nicer than a cab)
- Sold a car. Yes, a car. Also many other outgrown items to the sweetest, most considerate and reasonable buyers ever. Purchased many such items from ditto.
- Innumerable freebies. Seattle Mariners crazy straws. Hula costumes. Brita water pitcher. Free haircut coupon. Cat post. Etc. Given away many of the same.
- Loaned a car club to a pregnant woman with a toddler who just had a car stolen, the keys lost for the other car and a husband who was out of town. Needless to say, she was grateful. She later told me another Greenlake Mom helped locate the stolen car after she posted to the group.
- And, finally, my favorite. Unaccountably, a pair of my shoes was taken from our front porch. I posted as a rant and a GL Mom who lives across the street emailed later that my shoes were lying on someone’s lawn nearby and I ran over and recovered them (and am wearing them to this day!).
Speaking of lost items, this is the most remarkable story I’ve run across on the site, posted on March, 2009:
Lost gold wedding ring found: THANK you Greenlake Moms!! Through this wonderful group, one of our members was at the park with a friend who FOUND THE RING!!! Yes, it is amazing and a miracle that in a crowded park a day after losing it, her friend’s 8yr old son found the ring in the bark on the ground and she happened to remember seeing the post on GLMs . . .
Just wanted to say thanks and that this group is pretty amazing and it is a miracle the ring was found.
I heartily second the reactions:
Wow – what a great story! The power of this group is truly amazing!
AHHHHH-MAZING!!!!! .the 5 o’clock news should cover this! Seriously!
You must be a parent living in the 98103 area to be part of this awesome entity (contact Melissa directly at Melissa@benaroya.net). If you are, you can join an incredible force of mother-power working for the good of humanity. Now, sit up straight and eat your peas.
I love that parents are benefitting all the time from being a member of the group. I have had many people share with me their personal stories of the wonderful nanny they found, the car they bought, the new friends they have made, and most importantly the amazing parenting advice/feedback that they received from being a member of this group. Parenting is a tough job and it is wonderful to know there are others nearby that are there to help us through this journey! – Melissa Benaroya
Here is a small sampling of further stories about the awesomeness of the Greenlake Moms:
a friend of a friend become the emergency adoptive parent of a 2 month old boy. . . . . People were sending me mails for days and 2 trips worth of baby gear (toys, clothes, strollers, bottles, etc). It made me really glad and proud of the people in this community. Everyone was so willing to share and give to a new family. . . . . People really like helping others and it is very humbling to see people be so kind. – Laura
I bought our daughter’s bassinet which we loved for $10. But its not about buying items – it’s about sharing advice, getting great tips on services (I’ve used a plumber and repair man who were recommended and worth it!), posting cool findings, making friends, and feeling connected. My other Momma friends who don’t live in GL are jealous of what GLMs offers us lucky ones.
Just last week a Mom was giving away something free that I was interested in, but I had a cold and explained via email that I’d have to pick up later once I felt better. But instead of waiting, she dropped it off at my house – wishing me well. – Cat
A couple years ago, I learned about a school open house for new Kindergartners through Green Lake Moms. It’s a small school that both my children attend now. I would not have heard about the school otherwise, at least not in time to apply.
I have quickly swapped books, for book club reading, with a couple of other mamas. Both books were so popular that the library waitlist had over 200 holds. It’s a small savings, but books add up over time.
A mom asked for stuffed animal donations for group of doctors headed to Haiti soon after the earthquake. It was a very positive experience for my two children to select their special, new-looking stuffed animals to send to the kids. I heard she was overwhelmed with gifts for the trip. – A GL Mom
I have met another wonderful GLM, and we go on play dates every week. – Sophie
Once I offered something free on Greenlake Moms, and made arrangements to leave it on the front porch for the person who was interested. When I came home the item was gone, and the mom had left a jar of jam she and her daughter had made, with a sweet note. It made my day, encouraged me to put more stuff up to pass along, and my kids and I enjoyed that jam and the story behind it. – A GL Mom
- Found our preschool
- Have bought, sold, given away and traded A LOT
- Found CoolMom, a group of moms concerned about the planet/global warming. The Greenwood group essentially formed from moms who read Brooke’s post on GLM.
- Have had sleep/eating/allergy/is this NORMAL??! questions answered and always been relieved to hear that I am not the only one going through it.
- Have been able to give some of that same advice and felt really good reaching out to other moms (and also to have survived whatever hellish stage it was . . . I feel like a seasoned vet sometimes!)
- Have discovered countless cool activities and events. Never would have known about Fire Truck day at the Museum of Flight, or local houses being demolished, or Storybook Theater.
- Have learned new ways of having an impact on my city, such as attending City Council meetings with kids – Kimberley
I saw a post on the GLM’s list about a mom’s running group. The group meets five days a week, rain or shine, at 6:15. . . . . I know the first time, I was dragging, but it didn’t take long before I was feeling fitter and stronger. Everyone has an off day, and the group is tremendously positive and supportive.
I rarely see the group outside of running, but having them makes me feel more connected to my community. This group of women kept me going through many a dark, wet winter mornings. We’ve shared births, deaths, surgeries, diseases, joys and sorrows over many miles. I’m so grateful we’re out there together! – M.J.