This is a very important post for the AM team. This is our 500th post on the website since we launched in May 2012. We thought it would be fitting to make such an achievement, a celebration. Read on...
This month is PARTY! month at Amsterdam Mamas, not only did we just celebrate the 3rd anniversary of our Facebook group, but we will also (fingers crossed!) welcome our 3,000th member!
To celebrate our third birthday we asked The Mamas, what it means to them to be a member of Amsterdam Mamas, what difference has being a member of our community made to their lives and why they enjoy being a member. Here is what they had to say:
“We moved to Amsterdam with a 3 month old baby and a 20 month old toddler. I still remember looking out of the window and thinking what am I going to do here, I don't know anyone, I have no friends nor do I know the language and then I met someone who told me about Amsterdam Mamas and the rest was history....I have come across some fantastic mums, my kids have such great friends, we have been part of so many activities, seen so much of Amsterdam all thanks to Amsterdam Mamas. You all have made my life so much easier....it's such a pleasure to be a part of this group.”
Anonymous via email
“Being a re-expat after leaving for a second time a country I loved I felt very lost when I arrived to Netherlands inspite I had been here before. The difference: I was a mom. However when I came in contact with Amsterdam Mamas I didn´t feel alone, I felt I could ask mostly anything and suddenly I had a huge support inspite being far away from home. So what does it mean to me: It has been my saviour in soo many ways!”
“AMs showed me we are not special or weird or terrible parents. it made me realize there are others of our kind, and other kinds, out there and we all share similar problems! And even if we're all different, we are all awesome parents!! In our own way! And that's ok!! (and I never felt embarrassed to ask any question here, no matter how silly asking it has seemed to me) I AM!”
“Sharing of knowledge, experiences & ideas. Provided free access to allow one to recycle baby & house hold items.”
“AM is proving to be a valuable recourse & I'm not even living in Amsterdam yet. AM is allowing me to learn all about Amsterdam before I even get there! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication”
“I moved to Amsterdam just before the expat fair last year. That was the first thing I participated in the city. As I have two kids (5months and 27 months at that time) AM's stand was the first thing that caught my attention. The Ladies were extremely kind when they found out that I am very new here. They made me promise that I will join their Facebook page. They meant it seriously. And to my greatest surprise, this was my first thing to do when I got back to our hotel room. Because I felt that they really care. The last thing I expected after moving to a totally new country without any friends/relatives here was to feel cared about. And this is what I feel each and every time when I log in here, ask your advise, read your posts, receiving your newsletters, attending your programs... Thank you for doing what you do and being who you are!”
“AM made me realize that you never know a city well without help. Having lived in Amsterdam since 2003,and speaking Dutch (I'm only Belgian - no exotic mama speaking), I thought I knew Amsterdam pretty well. But when my new and wonderful friend Lynne pointed me towards AM on Facebook, I realized I didn't know Amsterdam at all from a mother's point of view. I've been an avid fan ever since! Thank you, Team AM, for making it possible to get the best out of Amsterdam (and thanks, Lynne!)”
“It's my home-away-from-home (even though I am originally from here), a huge pool of resources and a great insight into Amsterdam (having lived there for 8 years but realizing I don't know the city at all!) and motherhood.
AM is like a cellphone - HOW the hell did we get by before we had it??!!”
“AM is the best support I have ever had in my entire life ... I can feel a genuine warmth and care in all the responses I have received with whatever issues I have posted. I enjoy the newsletter and learnt so much about the city's activities through it ... I even worry what will I do when I go back to India as this huge group will not be there ... I don't feel lonely or lost in NL as a new parent after joining AM .. I'm addicted to it and reading the posts is a stress buster for me . Its an encyclopaedia you will always find right answers . I admire all the effort put in my the management and volunteers ..thanks for bringing such a positive experience in my life”
“It's like a good cup of tea, always there when needed...”
“AM is an amazing support system for those of us so far away from home and from our immediate family. someone there to give you advice, listen to your rant”
“AM is incredible! Absolutely treasure it! The funny anecdotes, the advice to all questions, and what moves me most ...the generous support & help always offered to a parent in need. Thinking of copying the concept & setting it up in my own hometown.”
“This really has been a family away from home. A *great* family. When I joined this group a year ago I had no idea how much it would change my life. The group gave me all the information I could dream of. People have great responses with first hand experience. From top tips on the best tapas in town to emotional support and to more serious stuff such as rescuing from tough situations. In the darkest hours in the fall out of my relationship, some of these women, whom I never met at that time have been there for me. Ready at the waiting for anything I needed. I cannot tell you how much that has meant to me. It meant *everything*. I have a strong belief in community. That societies work best together. I never thought that I would be fortunate enough to be at the receiving end of such an amazing community. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude. I don't know how I would have survived without you. Thank you so much to the amazing women (and men) out there that make this group what it is. Cheers to all of you and I hope it continues for a long time to come XXX”
“Over a year ago, I joined Amsterdam Mamas as one of the out-of-towners. Thanks to Alodia S who spoke so highly of the group. AM's sense of community is humanity in action, a celebration of diversity and respect for every other parent out there. I am honored to watch it grow, to participate in very intense discussions and to be made very welcome by the other members. Although I am Hague-based, the AM group is truly extraordinary with the banter, the support and the sincerity in every post. I occasionally drop by to catch up and it always feels like coming 'home' even if I only know a few of you in person. Do note you are one of the role models for Parenting and The Hague and I am glad to follow your trail. Hats off to AM and congratulations on your 3rd year!”
“I am always amazed by how fast you get an answer on your post here and how useful those answers are! Even as a Dutch mother I get a lot of information from here. And my biggest personal accomplishment was having my birth story published on the AM website!"
“We were here in Amsterdam for 7 years before I joined this group, but the friendship and support of this group has made it truly feel like home”
“Any Q on AM, could be baby related or be a random question, and 19 people take the time to answer your post. Whereas we are all Mamas and time is scarce!”
Anon via FB
“Amsterdam Mamas is great though, most of all in an emotionally supportive way. I see us as a big, big net, thousands of us holding it round the edges, a new mama drops out of the sky, we all shout "CATCH!"
Anon via FB
“Yesterday I was 6 days overdue. I ordered a Village Card in the afternoon. In the evening, labour started, and 2,5 hours later I had a beautiful daughter. How quick is that for service?”
“Congrats to AM!!!!! Wow I joined as a newly prego mama and from that day on AM has been my group friend/support network. It's such a valuable resource for parents, a real community!! I have always been helped when in a pinch for milk, diaper recommendations, things to do, finding plumbers, schools, therapists..... you name it and we've got someone who can help! AM has great shoulders to cry on as well. Thank you for being a friend as individuals and as a group! Xoxo”
“What I value most is the knowledge that this group exists. If I ever have a doubt or a question I know that all I have to do is ask and tap into the collective wisdom of other experienced mamas. Sometimes even the thought of formulating the question is enough reassurance. Sometimes I have to remind myself to limit to 1 question per day. Thank you for being such a great support network. Thank you for being there when we need you.”
Thank you Mamas. Everybody working on Amsterdam Mamas was really touched by your words. We love what we do and we are committed to building Amsterdam Mamas into a sustainable resource for the international parenting community here in the city. Roll on year 4!