Five years after giving birth to her first child, North Arlington mom Laurie Cordova found herself alone in a new neighborhood with a newborn daughter and little interaction with other moms.
“I didn’t know anyone home on maternity leave,” Cordova says. “Given the nature of baby caretaking, I wanted proximity on my side for stroller walks and coffee shop dates.”
After that period, Cordova went back to work full-time and found most playgroups took place during the day. Then her son entered kindergarten, and she met many moms who she didn’t even realize were just a couple of blocks away from her the whole time.
“I would have appreciated an earlier opportunity to have met the families that I’d be interacting with for years to come in a way that fit my schedule,” she says.
Cordova thought of a solution to provide her and other mothers with opportunities to meet fellow moms in the neighborhood, find friends for her daughter and accommodate her working schedule.
“I like to pad in some unscheduled time into my weekend, but if we decide to go to the park or a local event, it would be fun to cast a wide net and see if anyone else wants to join,” she says.
Cordova created the new app, MamaLeave—which is free in the Apple and Google Play app stores—for moms to meet and continue to connect with other local moms. The app is designed to help moms instantly create or join playdates with other moms in their neighborhood on their own schedules. Plus, existing groups can streamline communication by generating private groups and events.
Since moms today are often overscheduled and don’t know their neighbors, Cordova hopes MamaLeave will make it easier for moms to connect. The app’s target audience is moms of kids who still require supervision during play. It also encourages meeting other mothers in the community, especially before children start kindergarten.
“I’ve seen so many posts on message boards from moms looking for playdates for their kids and have had a lot of conversations with moms wondering how to meet more people in their neighborhood,” Cordova says. “Proximity becomes key once we have children. I hope MamaLeave can help moms strengthen their sense of community.”