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Meet Kazia Cumbler & Robyn Murgio of Mama Needs a Drink in West Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kazia Cumbler & Robyn Murgio.

Kazia & Robyn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We both religiously attended our own mother’s groups when our babies were born and these meetings were the beacons in our stormy waters of early parenthood. We both gained so much from the experience of having a weekly date with a comforting group of sympathetic moms and learned so much about parenting from the group leader. As our babies grew, Kazia became interested in early infant care and trained to be a postpartum doula. Robyn pursued professional cooking classes and found it was a great way to nurture the people she loves. We put it all together and realized we could create a place for new parents to get the kind of support they so desperately needed, in a more social atmosphere. We think of ourselves as hosts taking care of our moms—we don’t want them to worry about a thing while they are at our class so we cook and serve them food, are at the ready with a nursing pillow if a baby needs to eat and jump up to hold a baby if a mom needs some extra help. We also act as hosts and facilitators with the group discussion, making sure everyone feels heard, included and comfortable. As the group leaders, we share a very similar parenting philosophy, which is another reason the two of us clicked immediately as friends. In the class, we talk a lot about parenting (obviously) and we pull from lots of different approaches, but our basic cornerstone is respectful parenting—treating babies with love, kindness, and empathy. We try to bring humor, understanding, and support to each meeting while we deal with the lighter issues of naps and poop, as well as some of the heavier issues of marital strain, depression, and exhaustion. We try to encourage our members to think about what kind of parent they would like to be and help walk them through the different options of style, culture, and dynamics they want to cultivate with their growing families.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We opened our doors and immediately had a great response! At first, we served wine at all of our meetings – we were serious about mama needing a drink! A few years into the classes, someone mistakenly reported us to the ABC liquor license council telling them that we were selling wine to pregnant ladies and children, which was grossly inaccurate, but because of the report, ABC told us we could no longer serve wine. Which was fine with us because the ladies do not come for the wine, they come for the conversation and support. But of course, we still pamper them with tasty foods and fancy (non-alcoholic) drinks. Virgin sangria, anyone?

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mama Needs a Drink – what should we know?
We always say we are not your mother’s group. As young mothers ourselves, we don’t purport to be experts. We are totally in this phase with our members, with just a little more experience. We want to give the moms the things that we would have wanted when our babies were born. That’s why we serve food and drinks at every meeting—sometimes it’s the only meal the moms have time to eat all day! We bring in experts to speak on a wide variety of topics like Healthy Sleep Habits for Healthy Families, Parenting with a Partner, Mama Needs Some Physical Therapy and a Massage and Benefits of Developmental Play. Most importantly, however, we offer a forum for emotional support during this very tender time of becoming a new parent. MNaD is a safe, non-judgmental place for moms to candidly share the roller coaster of emotions and connect with others who are in the same boat. We are proud when something we suggest really works and makes life easier for our member or when we hear that the members develop friendships with each other outside of class. We are proudest when mamas tell us they look forward to our Wednesday class all week long because we have been a lifeline for them. Now we have been in business long enough to have multiple MNaD alumni joining us with their second baby. We have three members right now that were in the same group three years ago!

Lastly, we really believe in the importance of new parents finding time to relax and have time for themselves, so we also host Mamas Nights Out every few months, which are purely social evening events without babies, where we do something fun like a Chocolate and Wine Tasting or Movie Night.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The leaders of the mom’s groups we attended before we started Mama Needs a Drink became our parenting mentors. Tandy Parks and Barbara Olinger, both based in Santa Monica, are the gurus we try to conjure in any and all challenging parenting situation with our own kids. They are two of the most supportive, kind, empathetic and inspirational people either of us have ever met. Our new group leader Amanda Witt has given so much of her time and energy this past year – she just stepped right in and was an old pro running the class on her first day. Of course, we also owe a lot to our incredible marketing team, Sydney and Brit at Slice PR. We are also both fortunate to have amazing mothers of our own. Robyn’s mom is a nurse who has focused her career on prenatal and postnatal care and Kazia’s mom is a therapist, so both of our own mamas are great role models for leading support groups, offering us professional guidance and have even shared their own areas of expertise with our members in class. For many reasons, we wouldn’t be doing this without them!

Pricing:

  • First class is free, so new moms can come check us out. Then we ask people to purchase a six-week class pack for $198. They have eight weeks to use their six classes.

Image Credit:
Alonya Eisenberg

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