Montreal Families – By Alissa Sklar
In my three years as a parenting writer and blogger, I’ve encountered all kinds of questions and comments from readers. Some want to know more about the subjects I typically address — digital technologies, bullying and risky behaviours. But others ask about various topics: Do I have any kid-friendly recipes to share, or who do we use to groom our dog?
These readers are clearly going online for a variety of information, some of it specifically about local resources. And now they — and I — have a new site where we can connect and share. It’s called WiseWomenMontreal.com, and was launched last September by Montrealers Elizabeth Weiner and Lisa Brookman.
The site includes more than 30 bloggers who tackle topics including food, fashion and financial advice. All of the bloggers are women from the Greater Montreal area who contribute their personal expertise on topics of interest. Many (like myself) maintain their own separate blogs, but enjoy this website as a way to be part of a larger community of local knowledgeable voices.
Brookman, a clinical psychotherapist and mom of three, says the idea for the website came from her clients, many of them women searching for ways to live life more fully. They would discuss with Brookman not only their larger goals and dreams, but also ask about practical matters like where to find a great hair salon or how to survive winter with little ones at home. “I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great to have a website where women could go to find resources on everything from nail technicians to veterinarians to travelling with their kids,’” she said.
Brookman began contacting people she knew, including Weiner, a long-time friend, teacher, style consultant and also a mom of three. Together, the two women built a community of contributors, which now includes health professionals, aestheticians, realtors, chefs, finance and business experts, a photographer, a veterinarian as well as a personal trainer, a social worker and a sexuality educator.
The site emphasizes diversity. “Some women just want to read about nails and makeup and that’s totally cool,” Weiner said. “But others want parenting advice on how to help their kids safely navigate the Internet.”