MAMISTAD – A Community for New, First-time Moms to Come Together

Join me as we learn about MAMISTAD a community that Cynthia Tinajero has developed to bring new and first time moms together. Placing women in groups with similar aged babies and due dates so that they can support one another as they transition to Motherhood.

Episode Transcript:

Hi, welcome back to first breaths to first steps. I’m Bev Garrison and I am here today with my friends, Cynthia, Tinajero. She is the founder of MAMI- STAD, which is a great networking group for new moms, first time, baby moms. . Her mission is to connect first-time moms and ease their unique and transformative introductions to motherhood. Isolation during pregnancy, especially right now during our pandemic or new motherhood is definitely quicksand. Unfortunately, has never been more true than right now during this pandemic. The need for new moms to connect in person or virtually to other moms is so important and it is crucial for their Well being as a new mom. Where is MAMISTAD located? It’s a large network of thousands of first-time pregnant or new moms in Denver, Austin, and Nova DC. So welcome, Cynthia. Thank you for joining me today. For having me.

Some of Cynthia’s accolades, she is a graduate of the university of Texas go Longhorns with a marketing degree, she went to California to act and returned to Texas to take care of her

mom, met her husband and moved to Virginia, had a lovely daughter. Who’s now 16 years old. In taking care of her mom, she realized how important she was in her life and gave birth to a business of supporting new and first-time pregnant moms. She’s been listed in the Washington parents pregnancy resource award and has been a resource for tons of new moms.

So let’s meet Cynthia. We’re going to start out with some questions besides your own mom, what do you think inspired you to develop this group?

Well, I always say, you know, your passion comes out of your pain if you’re lucky. And so my mom inspired me because of her love of babies, which I definitely got from her. But I think just going through the whole experience, you mentioned that I moved back to Texas to take care of my mom. She had Alzheimer’s and it was a very difficult time, dealing with that. And I think I learned a lot from her about struggle. When I got pregnant, I was still in the midst of everything. Watching her deal with things inspired me. When I got pregnant,

I suffered with depression very early on. Everything just kind of started to hit me all at once. I knew that I had to fight. I knew I had to do well. I knew that my mom would have wanted me to be a happy, healthy mom. That was the main thing that inspired me to start finding friends. Then the impetus for MAMISTAD, the big group is realizing just how much joy and love I got from the other women that I had connected with while I was pregnant. I decided to come back and help other moms do the same.

So being in the new mom- space, I was just amazed with your mission. It’s kind of a sorority of new motherhood. I knew right away, I needed to know more about how to bring this new moms group together to the women that I serve, because it is so important know that you have collaboration together. And you’re not alone, which is great, right? Absolutely. Yes.

Being a new mom 22 years ago, I was blessed to have my mom and sister, but you and I have definitely talked. It’s so important to have someone with you on this walk on this journey, that’s at the same stage so that they can relate to you daily, what you’re going through and maybe what some of the ,challenges are.

How do you go about joining these groups of women together? What do you feel like is the ideal number of participants? The way it works is that started basically started as kind of a hobby for me, and then I just kept doing it because I loved it and I loved watching moms connect. I decided to set up a very simple business model and all I do is -moms come to now a we’ve been on so many different platforms before. We finally have our own website. You come in, you sign up. And when the moms sign up, they’re asked to fill out their profile, which includes their due date and of course their location.

Right now I’m forming two types of groups, virtual or local. The local groups are for moms who are living in either the DC area, the Denver area or the Austin area. When I say DC, I mean, DC and Nova, Arlington Northern Virginia area. I sort them by their due dates, when I have enough moms of a certain due date range that are in the same general area, then I have them come to a new member, zoom call. So we can meet you and tell you more about Mamistad and make sure the group is for you. And that you like it. You’re happy with it. Then if they want to go forward, I add them to the group.

As new moms come along, I keep adding members until their group has at least 10 to 12 members. That’s basically the way it works. Right now, like I said, we are in those three areas. , but I’m looking to expand to other areas. Right now, any mom from anywhere in the country can join Mamistad and she can be placed in a virtual group with other moms who are due within the same month as she is.

They all meet, I house their groups on our website. They can connect any way they want to once they’ve connected, it’s a great way to meet other moms who are due within the same month as you are, who are going through the same things that you’re going through.

You mentioned ideal number being about 10 to 12. Once a group is establish, what does Mamistad provide for them? The main thing is that I like to give you a home on our website. Once the moms have been placed in a group and the group has a group number, they’re invited to come back to the website and joined the “members only” section. There we have, the Mamistad forum. We have a Mamistad blog. I’m working on the website is still relatively new. I just posted about a nanny share. I’m going to have a place where we can have more information about babysitters and possibly, swapping information. We’re also going to have a mommy exchange where you can come on and sell. If you want to sell your clothes, clothes that you have, or you’re looking for I’m trying to get rid of these zero to three month olds because my baby probably never wore them. Now they’re just straight into 12 months. That is really important for moms because we’re always trying to get rid of stuff as you know, or trying to acquire some. That’s fantastic. Even with equipment, right? I mean, they exactly real quick, right? Stroller, high chair, whatever it is. That is awesome. That is just a really, that’s a great, great sense of community. It brings people together.

A main focus of the website is going to the way like I connected with you. I want to be able to bring people, information about services like yours and to be able to say, “okay, moms,” this is a Mamistad recommended service or product because, poor moms, I feel so bad for them. They’re bombarded from everywhere with things, they should be buying, classes they should be taking and you’d like to know somebody can filter through this for And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you get pregnant and have to come to the, “I got to try everything out. Who, do I believe?” Right now, especially the way the internet is, there’s so much stuff. There are new businesses coming every day. I want to be able to filter through these things and vet people in businesses for the moms. I’m going to have a place where I list the services. I’m getting contacted all the time by people that want to work with the Mamistad mommies, but I want to make sure these are legitimate, Businesses that are going to really serve them. Not be, a waste of time or money.

Exactly. I feel like once any woman is pregnant, they’re a magnet for all these people and you really want to make sure that you’re getting safe, good information. That’s evidence-based and is going to put you in a good spot. Instead of creating habits or things that you would have to undo. Exactly.

Exactly. So what have you found that these moms are doing in your groups when the groups are most successful? They’re obviously now having the opportunity to meet online because of COVID and restrictions with our friends. But what do you find the most successful groups are doing? when I connect them, because I’ve been doing this now for 16 years, when they first started, the groups were about getting together.

Every group usually started their connection with a brunch and then. I encourage the moms, have your weekly meeting, be a brunch. During COVID, which has really done a number on not just Mamistad groups, as far as them wanting to get out Thank God they’re able to connect via zoom. It’s so hard for me to deal with right now. I feel so bad. I wish that I could go to every pregnant woman out there and just give him a hug. First of all, and say, “you’re beautiful. You’re going to be fine. You got this.” And then have them connect with other first time pregnant moms, as opposed to just other moms. Who’ve got a, two-year-old a, five-year-old a ten-year-old or, you know, we all love our sisters, our cousins, everybody who’s giving us advice, but there’s nothing like being in a group with other moms who are going through it for the first time. Like you are a granted, you don’t have the most information because you’re going through it together. But that’s why I want Mamistad to be there to give you guidance. What are good products that our moms have used and what they like and the services. And Hey, you come here and you’re going to meet Bev Garrison, and she’s going to help you , things like that. It’s really easy to build the group I think about what I wish I had when I was pregnant.

What I know most pregnant moms think about and what they want to do. They want to go to breastfeeding classes. They want to know, how does this, that could work. I need to talk about daycare. I need to talk about all these different things. The reason that groups are so successful is because these women are going through these stages in their lives, in these major transitions together. They’re learning things together. They do classes together. They do prenatal classes, or they go to prenatal yoga and with COVID, a lot of them are doing walks and they’re not not meeting because of COVID. I’m really surprised.

It’s all up to the mom. I tell them, don’t feel stressed. Some prefer to stay in and just do the zoom calls, but others are going out. One of the major gifts of Mamistad that I love, because there are so many smart, strong women. They’re sharing so much information with each other and they’re bringing their significant others. We’re an inclusive group, we’ve got single moms, but whether it’s your mom, that’s living with you to take care of you or help you, or even if you’re doing it by yourself, it doesn’t matter. If you’ve got a significant other or somebody else with you, husband, friend, I say, bring them into the group, help them. We want them all to meet because what you’re going to have then as a community, after your baby arrives, and that is the best thing you can ever wish for, it’s an amazing, amazing feeling to have. It’s a really great experience. Yeah. I really wanted to hone in on two things that you talked about.

I think it’s super important that the groups that you’re establishing are at the same stage. Because I think you bring up such a good point. It’s like, there’s all these other new mom groups out there. They call them quote, unquote, new mom groups. They may have kids that are two and three or 18 months versus a newborn.

It’s very different. Obviously developmentally when we’re, on the spectrum of growing and you feel those growing pains together. Is a really great way to bond and form a relationship. You and I talking right away. It’s like we have older kids, so we automatically have that connection as women and moms. And so I think that that is huge. I also think it is important as much as I think sometimes we could have death by zoom meeting, but I think it’s important to have that option, right. Sometimes when numbers in the community are different or mom’s in Denver, maybe experiencing something different than moms in Virginia versus moms in Austin. There might be certain restraints depending on that community. So still having that availability to online, have that meeting, not necessarily ask you drag your baby out is a good thing right now. I encourage people to see people. I love seeing people on zoom because there’s no mask. I can see your face. I can see your expression, but I do think as much as we want to be with each other and give a hug and hold hands as we’re walking through this stuff that online piece is super important in these new moms. Everything is on their phone. If I can access it here, sometimes this makes them feel connected.

So both If I could say one more thing about the first-time moms too. I think that. I found that they bond on together is the fact that they realize it’s not just them, we’ve barely touched the iceberg of the whole new mom piece and becoming a new mom. There’s so much to it when the emotional component is the greatest thing that, It’s the biggest reward, but it’s also, it’s difficult. It can be very hard in this day and age, when women are out there, we’re working jobs, we’re CEOs, we’re, you , we’re in boardrooms, whatever it is that you do. The contrast between doing that. And then all of a sudden being at home, changing diapers all day. Whether it’s just for three months that you’re home or even a month, The contrast is very stark. That sets a lot of moms into a direction that isn’t comfortable for them. It’s a time where you, transition that, requires, you’ve gotta be kind to yourself. You have to slow down. When you have other women that are around you that are going through the same exact thing. Oh my gosh, it is such a blessing. A lot of women don’t realize that until they’re there with the baby, everything slows down, all the shopping, all the, baby mooning and all it was they’ve been doing, which is all great. They have been so busy preparing for baby that didn’t prepare for mom.

Now they sit there, they’re holding the baby and” oh my gosh, the walls are closing”. What am I going to do? Is this really going to be, what I’m doing for the next several days until I go back to work or while I’m at home it can be really daunting. I want to minimize that time. I want them to be able to say no, “let me go call Bev.” She just had a baby too. Are you exhausted? Yes, me too. We can bond on things. Just relating to someone else is such a huge healer. We underestimate, but especially for brand new moms. That’s the magic of the group. That you’ve got to hang in and get to know those people while you’re pregnant so that once the baby comes, you’ve already built your arsenal of mom, friends. You’re going to breathe a sigh of relief – the last thing you want to do when you just had a baby is go out and try to find new friends. It’s great to have it built in, then you have your built-in moms group after that. Exactly.

I know in, in my first breaths to first steps program, I spent a lot of time on the transition into what we call the fourth trimester. The first 12 weeks of your baby being there. And half of that information is about mom. Babies here. Right. But all of a sudden, this huge shift of all this attention on mom and mom and dad coming together and we kind of leave mom and we go straight to baby. Right. Which right. Exactly. Working in pediatrics. I get it. I understand. It’s like a new person here, but we can’t leave that mom out. It’s such an important piece. Of that transition and making you feel like I can do this. Okay. Someone else is suffering the same way or has the same challenges and it’s going to be okay. And I got great suggestions from my girlfriend, Cynthia, who told me try X, Y, and Z. Right. That group setting is just incredible for that.

Exactly it is. It is. And not only that, what we find a lot of times in the groups, because there’s moms with different levels of ability. Some, some have doulas, some can’t even can’t afford one, some might have a midwife. But. If I have a doula and you’re in my group, then you kind of have a doula too, I had a doula when I was pregnant and the moms in my group, did not, they were just starting to get really popular then. When I had a doula, I was constantly sharing the things she was teaching me and telling me, and she even, she was awesome. And she came in, met with. And talk to all of them too. And they just, everybody loved Deborah. That was my doula, when you have that, your references are just multiplied by however many moms are in your group.

Maybe I’m not communicating well with my OB. Well, you know what Bev, what is your OB say? Oh my, midwife has told me this or that. And those little gems , can be lifesaving Sometimes . , especially when you are in the midst of you’ve got the baby and you can’t figure out breastfeeding and you’re nervous

I can’t tell you how many times my mom group helped me through things. The first time my daughter fell out of her crib, I thought I was going to lose my mind. I was so upset and I just happened to call one mom who Christina, if you’re listening, she was phenomenal. She was, she had just been through it herself and she just calmed me down. Instantly told me what to do Whether I should go to the emergency room but , the thing is she was, she had been through it. She told no, do this, you know, look at her face. Otherwise, you know, she stopped crying right away. It was so great having her to calm me down and to be there, to listen. Those little things you underestimate, but when you have it and you’re like, oh my God, thank God. It’s really helpful.

When you tell those stories, we all have them, right. ” Oh my gosh, my child just rolled off the counter.” Yeah. I know. I put them there and they shouldn’t have been there or rolled off the bed. I always explained to people, you know, my role here is to help you kind of bridge that gap between maybe what you’re hearing in your primary care office, what you’re hearing in your pediatrician’s office, your OBS office and what actually is happening at home. For babies, it’s like, “oh, I got to the office and now I didn’t ask any of those questions.” In your Mamistad groups. You could be like, “Hey, I was there last week. I forgot to ask about this. Do you know anything about that?” those women can really share their knowledge. Knowledge is power. Absolutely. Absolutely. And not only that there’s so many, I don’t know how many times people, you know, you hear people that, that are just first time oregnant. After their baby arrives, nobody told me this, I didn’t know this. How did I know this was going to happen? I’m not saying that you’re going to learn that from the other moms in your group. But what I’m saying is with your part of the big organization. You’re going to have your resources. They can always reach out to me and I can connect them with another mom who has had the same situation

Nothing has to be overwhelming, but when you’re pregnant and you’re by yourself, you feel isolated. There’s the pregnancy bubble and the new mommy bubble as I refer to them. And if you’re there by yourself, your mind is going to go crazy. And your. Oh, there’s something wrong with me or I’m the worst mom or my husband’s the worst dad and really it’s just, it’s normal mommy fears and thoughts and concerns.

But when you’re trying to figure them all out by yourself, you can be waste time trying to come to the right thing when somebody can just say it’s normal. We all think about that.

We all worry about that. Here’s what, let’s try this or we can do this. there’s so many different options and ways to deal with the baby too. When you’re in your group and you have a baby that won’t stop crying. It’s funny. I remember when. Pregnant. My daughter loved the sound of a water bottle. I had frozen a bottle of water. I took it out to drink and it was, partially melted. I was crying and I was like,” look, sweetheart” I kind of shook it. She loved it. She was fascinated by it. She was fascinated by the water in the bottle. From then on I’ve. If she ever cried, I did that and it always took her attention and she loved it. It’s some little trick that I did that she liked. I told my group about it and another mom said it worked for her too. It’s those little tiny things that you learn from each other. They can play that saved my life. It was a great.

After 16 years of doing this and developing these groups. What are your three top takeaways or benefits that you think are occurring because of your gatherings? The top benefit, the first one. Is don’t miss the miracle. It turns out there are many miracles. Having your first baby. And the birth of the baby. But the second one is the birth of a mother. I read this beautiful quote it was referring to when a mom has her first baby, she is transforming from a maiden to a mother. That journey is so beautiful and it’s so incredible. When a mom is at a place where she can have a baby, she feels supported. She feels loved. If she can stand up, she’ll be able to look at herself and say, wow, I did it. That confidence is just such an amazing and beautiful thing that you’ll take with you for the rest of your life. that’s why that first pregnancy is so important to me. Being able to hold on a mom’s hand and say, you know what? You got this and yeah, it’s crazy. And yeah, you’re nervous and you’re scared. Or maybe you’re overjoyed and dancing on the ceiling. That’s all part of it and take it in we’re going to get through this together. Birth of a mom. The third amazing thing. The family and community, because we love our daddies, our significant others, whoever our support systems. We love them and we want them to be part of the group. My ultimate goal is a community for every mom and baby out there.

I made it to the play date by first trip in the car with the baby in the car seat. And you get there to the other moms, all breathing a sigh of relief too. It’s a great feeling. If the dads can come into it, I tell everyone story about the dads is are the dads scenarios. Where they all took the babies for the first swim lesson. It was a bonding thing for them. The moms, we got to spend some time together and chill out. In this crazy, crazy world, let’s find a safe Haven for ourselves and our families. That community happens automatically, which is great.

You and I have discussed my boys always like to say,” oh mom, dad, you would have no friends if it wasn’t for us”. Because they really are connected to those in our surroundings that are doing the same things that are experiencing the same things.

Absolutely. It’s very true. Then what’s beautiful too, is you love your friends, kids too, right? Your true friends. Yeah. It’s a great feeling. If I know Bev loves Jasmine. Jasmine’s in Bev’s care, then I know she’s going to be okay. Because I love Bev Bev loves my daughter. It’s the best thing. I remember you before you were even born, it’s the best feeling, right? It definitely is.

Tell me if moms want more information about Mamistad , how and where do we find you? Easy mommy’s is the first place. You’ll go there. You’ll see where you can sign in. You can learn all about Mamistad . We’re also on Instagram and Facebook at mamistad mommy’s for Instagram, but I encourage people to follow me there. Not because I . Fantastic poster that’s doing all this amazing stuff. But I make it my business to follow some really great people . I’m trying to combat the whole information overload of what you need to buy and do. I follow some amazing moms that are doing some really great things.

There’s a big focus on health and wellness. And so I think that those moms really seek each other out, which is why having your group in Denver, in Colorado. It’s vital. It’s so important. Thank you. I hope so. We’ll spread will slowly but surely. Hopefully our podcast will get, get you out there reaching other groups.

On average. How long do you think it takes for a group to join? It depends on what stage a mom joins the group, some moms are joining the, got pregnant yesterday. I’m not going to have a group for you that quickly. You’re always welcome to join at any point in your pregnancy. I like to wait until moms are about 12 weeks to launch their group. If I have, which I often do lately, a lot of moms. I haven’t reached 12 weeks ago, but they want to be connected. I will connect them. Depends on your due date range and how many moms are joining at that time. If you join and you’re at around week 17 to 2020 you’re going to be connected pretty quickly. It just depends on when you get to that new mommy zoom call. So we can connect with you. There’s a spirit to this group that I have to convey. You’re coming into an inclusive group and there’s a spirit and we want you to be loving, and to be accepting of each other.

Everyone listening. Thank you so much Cynthia for your time today, but if you are looking to get ahold of Cynthia and join your new MAMISTAD group, go to Mamistad. , M a M I S T a And you’ll get. A ton of information on how to join groups.

If you found the information in our podcast today, helpful, you can download an episode transcript. And if you’re interested in working with me with your new baby from first breath to first steps, you can also contact me at BEVGARRISON.COM. Thanks again until next time be well.

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