Sometimes Change is Hard
We hope this change will positively impact the Chicago parents. We’ve received a few comments about how crowded the Chicago meeting is, and we’ve noticed that we were starting to out grow the space in the meeting room. And the April meeting was officially over capacity for the room.
We really appreciate that Be By Baby always let us use the space for free, and even allowed us to keep our storage bin full of carriers there between meetings. We respect and appreciate the large babywearing selection of products that they carry, and still encourage you to check them out if you’re looking for a new baby carrier at a local brick and mortar store. In addition to baby carriers and accessories, they have a ton of maternity and nursing wear, clothes, cloth diapers, etc. Check them out! While you’re there thank them for letting us have meetings in their space. Thank you Be By Baby!
Why We’re Moving
We have been growing exponentially the past year, and we don’t expect the meeting sizes to decrease. The meeting in Des Plaines yesterday had over 40 people including children! So we’re seeing this trend across all our meetings.
We’re always excited to see so many families so interested in how to use baby carriers for their children. And we love that so many of our “regulars” are knowledgeable and willing to share with new people joining our meetings. It’s great to see this group effort in action.
We discussed adding a cap to the RSVP feature of our Facebook group. We decided in the end we don’t want to limit the number of people welcome. At a future time, we might want to split into a few different monthly meetings; we’re just not at that place developmentally yet.
And we have a large fear that limiting the number of participants will be detrimental to the group. The “regulars” who tend to RSVP early and attend pretty regularly. We fear it’s the parents who need the most help who will lose if we limit people at meetings (new parents, new babies, new babywearers).
What’s Next for Chicago’s Meetings?
Finding another suitable location is really the only alternative to capping the number of attendees at the meeting. We don’t have a permanent solution for this, but we hope you will appreciate the temporary solution we’ve come up with. One of our members in the city has been stalking high and low to find a space that could accommodate our meetings that is:
1. large enough
2. off public transit/ easy to find or get to
3. FREE (we are in fact a non-profit)
4. welcoming to the babies and children of various ages that might accompany us.
We have a meeting room booked for the next two months at the Chicago Public Library Lincoln Belmont Branch (Friday March 4th and June 1st). These will be added to the calendar shortly. We will continue to try and rotate to different libraries if we can get booked in different rooms. We will probably have to move locations pretty frequently, and maybe use some local parks for meet ups, but that would better accommodate the numbers we’re seeing lately.
If you have or know of a great location that fits the criteria above, (and isn’t TOOO far south… since the current leaders all live in the northern and northwest suburbs:) we’d love to hear suggestions on places to contact.