The first time I went to the pub with a group of other new moms, I noticed that the people around my table all ordered something non-alcoholic: a pop, an iced tea…I’m fine with just water.
‘Oh no,’ I thought. ‘Am I the only mom in need of a glass of wine?’
As the server came to me, I paused for a moment, bit my lip and then went for it: ‘I will have a glass of white wine please.’ I winced and scanned the room, waiting for someone to tut or roll their eyes. But no one was giving me dirty looks, no one looked like they were judging me. In fact, the room almost felt lighter.
‘That sounds good,’ another Mom said. ‘I’ll have a glass too.’
‘Red for me please.’
‘Can I grab a beer?’
Suddenly it seemed like everyone was happy to have an alcoholic beverage. We were all waiting for some sort of permission from the other mothers, when it turns out we all just wanted the same thing.
Toronto is a great place to be a Mom on mat leave. There are so many different opportunities to get out of the house and meet other like-minded mommies. Whether you are west end, east end or smack dab downtown, there are opportunities for you to grab a grown-up beverage, hold the judgment. All of these Moms are as much in need of a break as you are and can’t wait to chat away and cheers with you. Cue momsTO.
momsTO is a grassroots organization charged with reinventing how Toronto women spend their maternity leave. They are redefining the parameters of behaviour and give moms the permission to enjoy the journey of entering motherhood, wine and all. momsTO hosts hold monthly meetups across the GTA at Toronto’s top restaurants and eateries with delicious wine and a wide variety of guest experts discussing various parenting topics.
Next month, momsTO is hosting the first-ever mommy and baby wine festival on September 13, 2017 at the Artscape Wychwood Barns. The momsTO: A Very Mommy Wine Festival will bring together over 500 women and babies from across the GTA to celebrate the life-changing experience of motherhood.
The festival will feature over 26 wine varietals from across the globe, delicious eats, guest experts from diverse backgrounds and dynamic baby programming. Mommy guests will leave with rich swag bags, raffle prizes and much more. This event is the first of its kind, creating a judgement-free, inclusive and supportive place where the paradigm of a new mother’s experience will be celebrated and honoured with a true toast.
The best part? A portion of the proceeds from the momsTO Wine Festival will go to support The New Mom Project. This charity outfits mothers in need with all they require for the early years of motherhood. Inspired by Europe’s baby box, The New Mom Project works in a similar manner.
Big brands are getting excited and involved about this, too. Sponsors of the momsTO Wine Festival include: Bugaboo Strollers, FLOW water, Ikea, Joe Fresh, Poppy’s Collection, Mommy Connections West Toronto, Rebel Babies, The Mom RANT, Cineplex and more.
So while wine is the keystone of the project, the real magic is creating a safe space; a judgement-free zone where women can connect and be real. Cheers to that!
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.momsto.com