We've grown a lot from when I walked around the neighborhood asking people at stoop sales if they wanted me to sign them up to this "new" parenting Yahoo! Group. We’ve gone through our ups and downs from free to membership driven, one, to two, to over 100 different groups, a website with over 1,000 pages of parenting advice, NY Times articles, Gawker exposés, Lovgren Awards, and so much more.
Some of the highlights:
· The "Swingers" Discussion (where a couple was looking for a "soft swinging" couple; the incident was later incorporated into a mainstream fiction book) -2004
· The Lawsuit Threat (which caused us to shut down the archives for a week) -2005
· The Park Slope Parents Kids Album (with 16 Brooklyn-based artists like Randy Kaplan, Suzi Shelton, AudraRox, and Dan Zanes) -2007
· The "Sh*t Park Slope Parents Say" video (which still holds true 8 years later!) -2012
· Hurricane Sandy Support—Donation Drives, Operation BackPack, 50 meals for 50 families and more (see here) -2013
· PSP started Crossing Guard Appreciation Day for the 78th & 72nd precinct guards who keep our families safe! -2014
· The great Bubble Picnics, Spring Flings, Fall Festivals, Halloween Costume Contests, Summer Movies Under the Stars, Celebrate Brooklyn, and concerts we've been part of (Check out the photos here!)
· Our awesome Clothing Swaps (see this great time-lapse of the March 2020 swap right before the pandemic hit; trigger warning for un-socially-distanced crowds)
· The over 450,000 posts on the Classifieds, selling everything from cribs to cars, helping nannies get new jobs and parents find childcare, finding new homes for ferrets and families, and so much more.
PSP Dads at Young Ethel's
We started with the Advice and Classifieds Group and then added Pregnancy and New Baby Groups, the Career Networking List, Bilingual, PreK, Kindergarten, 3s, Elementary, and our Tween/Teens group. Now we’ve got 100+ subgroups, including Gardening, Crafting, Tabletop Gaming, Fitness, Hiking, Vegetarian, Homeschooling, Activist, and more. To check out all of our specialty groups, go here.
We've survived recessions, blackouts, hurricanes, and now a pandemic... and we're still here! We're trying hard to help create more balanced work/family lives and better statewide coverage for maternity and paternity leaves; provide ongoing support and information for domestic workers and their employers; and create a more open dialogue around PMADs and mental health in general and work for racial justice and equity. When we're not in quarantine, our strong belief in reduce, reuse, recycle has led us to create popular year-round kids and working moms clothing swaps so that everything from baby clothes and gear to maternity and work clothing can have many lives. We’ve helped the Family Justice Center, Little Essentials, Recovery House of Worship, Occupy Sandy, and so many other organizations.
Green-Wood Cemetery Stroller Tour
Those are some of the big highlights, but the BEST thing about Park Slope Parents is the small, seldom-discussed magic that happens every day. It's when people take extra time to write a post to say, "I've been there, you'll get through it, good luck.” When they walk a free bag of clothes across the neighborhood to someone whose new baby is sleeping or donate their stroller to the Family Justice Center. And sometimes it’s simply volunteering to be a baby group ringleader, plan a working moms happy hour, or produce a monthly poker night (thanks Ryan!).
Special thanks to all the PSP moderators, staff, and Advisory Board members (past and present) who have kept PSP running smoothly—especially Rachel Maurer (she is the REAL backbone of this community!)—Carla Weiss, Dorothy Scanlan, Colleen O’Connor-Grant, Sean Seu, Talya Phelps, and Sophie Fels.
We won’t get sentimental but rather say, "Here's to another 18 years of a GREAT Park Slope Parents Community!"