Q&A with Wright Mommy and Me Class Leader Julie Sitomer
1. Tell us about yourself?
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience. I currently work part-time at a Los Angeles Unified School District high school. Before that I assisted families of preschool age children access special education services. I have a private practice in the San Fernando Valley focusing on women/families issues and I facilitate parenting workshops on a variety of topics throughout Los Angeles. I am a mother of 3 daughters who I adore and who push me every day to be the best mom I can be personally and professionally!
2. How did you first get involved with The Wright Mommy and Me?
When I first became a mom almost 9 years ago I joined a mommy and me program. It was a great opportunity for me to get my many questions answered and to get the support from a community of moms. I was already an LCSW with a passion for working with children and families and I knew that I would really love to be a group leader within the mommy and me forum. I had been facilitating groups with children and parents for many years in the school setting and I felt passionately about finding a way to connect with new moms at this critical stage of early parenting.
Once I got a few years of real life experience with parenting under my belt and had 2 more kids (twins), I decided it was time to do some research on the various mommy and me programs in the community. The Wright Mommy and Me teaching philosophy and mindful approach stood out as the right fit for me. A friend introduced me to a fellow Wright Mommy and Me instructor and after having a conversation with her about her experiences being a group leader, I knew that their approach to supporting new parenthood was something I needed to be a part of.
3. What is it that drew you in to the Wright Mommy and Me program?
The mommy and me programs in the LA area are widespread and diverse in what they offer. In some, the group leader provides a lot of information and not as much time for conversations with the moms to flow. Or some offer a lot of opportunities for talk without a lot of information. The WMM program really finds balance between giving new moms valuable information and allowing them to share their experiences and build their new mommy village. They also respect that there is not a one size fits all approach to parenting. At WMM diversity is embraced and valued. Leaders provide wonderful information to help support new moms on this wild ride, however we also know that moms need to make choices that feel best for them.
4. What do you see as the biggest benefit for new mommies joining a Mommy and Me, especially the working moms Mommy and Me?
I’m very excited about leading a class for working moms! Many women feel that their world has been turned upside down after having a baby. Everything feels new and different and they feel isolated. Wright Mommy and Me classes are a great way to normalize and get support and information for this natural transition in to motherhood. Groups create opportunities to make new mommy friends and build a community, which is especially challenging for women returning to work after having a baby. Working moms face unique challenges and being part of a community of others in the same or similar position is incredibly helpful.
5. Outside of Wright Mommy, what do you like to do for fun?
I love spending time with my husband, 3 daughters and our puppy Remy. We spend a lot of time exploring Los Angeles by going on hikes. With our family of 5 and a puppy, we don’t get anywhere quickly, so we enjoy the journey of our adventure wherever that leads us. I also love to travel and learning about different cultures. My husband and I traveled extensively prior to having children and now we are bringing our passion of traveling in to their lives.