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LA Mommies: A Modern Resource For Parents

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Imagine, you just had your first baby (yes men, you too). Diapers, bottles, and sleep training become part of your regular vernacular. This total life transformation hits you hard. Resources such as books, articles, classes and videos serve as valuable aids. However, after a long evening of cradling, feeding, and burping with no relief in sight for your relentless baby, no book or article could provide the support you need. That is, until the popular Facebook group “LA Mommies” was formed by Michelle Yasharpour, M.D. She was kind enough to take the time to sit down to be interviewed. Yasharpour has currently amassed over 12,000 members and counting. The majority of the group is comprised of women, but Michelle allows men in the group as well because she believes it should be a resource for all parents.

Creating A Collective Community

Michelle, a wife, mother of 3, and an Allergist and Immunologist started LA Mommies about four and a half years ago inspired by the tribulations of delivering her first born. Initially, started with her immediate Persian- Jewish friends and family, but it slowly grew to become a resource for anyone on their path towards conscious parenting.  Instead of having to read different books, or take the time to make several phone calls to friends and family to resolve a parenting qualm, individuals are able to get reliable advice from other experienced parents with a click of a few buttons. “As soon as they get pregnant, mothers are quick to sign up for different mommy groups and attend lectures. The waitlists and costs would be prohibitive to some.  Nowadays, it’s not as crucial when there is a source where they can ask a massive network of other moms and get an instant response from people who have gone through it already.  No longer do they feel alone. It’s a really warm and supportive community which has been indispensable to some” said Yasharpour.  

The group’s most popular topics range from discussions about “nanny politics” to sleep training techniques, vaccinations and has even extended to beauty advice.  It serves as a modern framework for parenting, exposing parents to a plethora of advice and knowledge to which they wouldn’t otherwise have access. “LA Mommies allows us to get advice and learn from each other’s experiences in all aspects of motherhood. After all, ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’” said Hilda Kohanchi, a new mother and member of LA Mommies.

What makes LA Mommies a better resource than all the other options available is the fact that it is centered around real people in the same geographical area and not anonymous people posting on Yahoo answers. LA Mommies is a unique forum not only because it provides priceless resources, but because there’s accountability and comfort when one has mutual friends that are experiencing the same obstacles and worries. “Being a mom is very hard. When you see that all these other moms are going through the same thing, it’s reassuring. It is like its own community” said Yasharpour.

From Generation To Generation

A quick comparison of parenting today from previous generations reveals how drastically parenting methods have shifted. The relatable questions mothers post daily provides insight into the life of a new parent in this generation, and more specifically, a mother who is trying to take on parenting to the T. Today, one small tasks such as finding the right diaper and searching for the perfect nanny slowly become grandiose undertakings, although they may have been seen as mediocre issues in previous generations. However, access to instant responses to posts such as, “I need an emergency pediatric orthopedic for a 6 year old who has a broken arm,” shows the mere power this group has for a mother in need. la mommies pic


Connecting People For the Good

Numerous acts of kindness have been facilitated through LA Mommies, as well. It is safe to say that LA mommies, a group started by one mother in need, currently serves as a priceless tool for virtually allowing the modern parent to thrive and help others. “The things that happen behind the scenes, reminds me of what an amazing community we live in. Moms that don’t need the recognition but private message me to help other moms that are in a bind have showed me the power of such a group.” Michelle stated countless scenarios where mothers in need were connected for the good. Here are just a few examples from recent posts:la mommies helpingla mmommies

 

The Power of LA Mommies

LA Mommies isn’t simply a group where mothers post about random topics. It serves as a force for parents who strive to raise children with intention. It also doesn’t hurt that the group is run by an individual who dedicated a tremendous amount of her life and time for the well-being of others. She is not only humble, but facilitates the group in a professional and respectful manner so that multiple people with vast backgrounds are able to access this resource, not just one racial or cultural group. When I asked her what she has learned from this amazing network of women, she answered, “I learn something new all the time. Whether it be a new trick with handing my own kids or being connected to resources within the community. You realize that everyone is going through something even though things may look pristine on the outside. Everyone has the same questions and concerns and just want to be the best parent they can be. When others identify with your concerns you feel better about having them and sharing them. I think that’s the amazing thing about this group, its not just a group, but a community of people that are SO supportive of one another.”  

LA Mommies is an invaluable platform for modern parents to interact and engage with other people facing similar circumstances. LA Mommies group member Natalie Haghnazari-Zangan explains,

“LA Babies playingMommies, is a group where a mother is able to connect and bond and not feel alone, as a professional, and working mother, the first few weeks of being a new mom is a very tough transition and LA Mommies is a place mom’s can turn to for the moral and social support needed from other mothers. I remember when my good friend Michelle just started the group and added me and I asked “can I please also add my other friends to it, this is simply a great idea.

This group has really changed the lives of many moms. Thank you, Michelle Yasharpour, for expanding our society and creating a community for both current and future parents that is based around mutual aid and support.

I leave you with an anonymous post from a fellow LA Mommies mother making fun of all the different personas that exist on LA Mommies.

“ANONYMOUS POST:
For some laughs!!
Typical day on LA mommies-
Hi mommies! Which brand of diapers are better- pampers or huggies? TIA!
Person A- I really like huggies.
Person B- I say go with huggies! It’s cheaper and you end up changing diapers so often it won’t make a difference anyway! Good luck!
Person C- How can you say that? So you let your child suffer in uncomfortable cheap diapers just to save yourself money? You’re probably the type of mom who lets her child cry it out at night. Shame on you!
Person D- What is wrong with the crying it out method?
Person E- I saw a child at the park wearing Huggies and his nanny was verbally abusive. I would really reconsider Huggies.
Person F- I used the cry it out method on all ONE of my children and it worked out great for us! Do not judge!
Person G- (tags) Person C I’m deeply offended. It’s judgmental people like you with offensive comments that force parents into vaccinating their kids! People have to do what’s best for themselves!
Person H- Hi! I’m a diaper technician and have studied diapers my entire life. I have my PHd in diapers from Harvard University. Please call me so I can help you choose the best diaper for your child’s Tushie.
(310)567-7887 fax- (310)567-5678! Hope to hear from you.
Person I- DO NOT VACCINATE. It can cause autism. I read it online. It’s true.
Person J- (male) My wife buys huggies and we are so happy.
Person K- Ummmmmm. Isn’t this LA MOMMIES??? Why is there a MAN on here? Michelle Yasharpour I’m so uncomfortable I think I’m about to leave this group!
Person L- You can exit on the top right side of the page.
Person M- Following.
Person N- HI! I’m selling a diaper changing table if you need (I figured you would need one if your asking about diapers!) I’m also selling a car, a home and one of my children.
Person O- I don’t think it’s appropriate to sell your furniture or children on here! This is not Craig’s list! Michelle Yasharpour can you remove her post?
Person P- Hi, I’m a photographer and if you want pictures of you changing your baby’s diaper I have a special going on. Www.dirtydiaperphotography.com
Person Q- I am deeply offended at person K. You want to leave this group -LEAVE! However, I have found LA mommies super helpful! I have seen first hand lives that were saved because of this group. Medical and emotional attention was given to so many people! I’m so offended.
Person R- (tags someone) Weren’t you asking about diapers earlier today?
Person S- LOL!!!!!!!
Person T- Pampers
Person U- Please don’t insult men in this group. My husband is apart of this group as well and we both find it very helpful. (If you’re reading this honey, I love you!!!!)
Person V- Hello.. I am a psychologist and its sounds like you are having major anxiety choosing between which diaper to use. I pmd you all my information. Please contact me so I can help with your anxiety. It sounds very unhealthy and can cause a strain on your relationships and with the way you are parenting. Please be careful and call me.
Person W- Looking for a live in housekeeper . Please PM me.
Person X- This is getting out of hand. I mean are moms SERIOUSLY suggesting huggies? Michelle Yasharpour?
Person Y- I’m collecting diapers for a mother in need. Please let me know if you can donate. She lost everything in World War 1 and we are trying to help her get back on her feet.
Person Z- Huggies.”

 

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Farah currently serves as Director of IsraAID’s Humanitarian Professionals Network (IHPN), a program that trains professionals in humanitarian aid and disaster response and deploys them around the world. Farah has worked with IsraAID implementing programs for refugees in Greece, and acting as head of mission for the emergency response to the Volcan de Fuego eruption in Guatemala. Farah has also responded to disasters and implemented public health programs in the U.S., India, Israel and Haiti. In addition to health sciences, disease prevention, humanitarian aid, and emergency response to disasters, Farah is an expert in community engagement, having co-founded The Skribe Magazine and Chayacommunity.com, an organization supporting thousands of young Iranian-American Jews through events that deepen their sense of self. Farah earned an undergrad degree from UCLA and graduate degree from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. When she is not working, Farah loves practicing and teaching yoga, painting, hiking, and spending time with her parents and four siblings. Farah lives in Los Angeles, California. farah@theskribe.com

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IsraAID is launching the Humanitarian Professionals Network (IHPN) in Los Angeles and Bay Area

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 World-renowned Israeli Humanitarian and disaster relief organization expands presence in U.S. by offering Americans training andopportunities for Disaster relief deployment

Los Angeles, CA – On January 10, 2019, in Los Angeles, disaster relief NGO IsraAID will launch its new aid initiative, The IsraAID Humanitarian Professionals Network (IHPN), an elite program that trains doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and mental health professionals in disaster response and deploys them around the world to helpsave lives.

IHPN members become part of a network of likeminded professionals at the top of theirfields, joining a robust roster of professionals in Israel, and have a chanceto share Israel’s humanitarian ethos with communities in need. Current IsraAID missions span disasters such as the wildfires in California, refugee crises in Greece, Kenya, Bangladesh, violence in Uganda, and cyclones in Vanuatu.

“IsraAID draws on Israeli social innovation and expertise to benefit people in need around the world. We are now leveraging our organization’s unique capabilities to train professionals in the U.S. interested in developing life-saving skills and joining humanitarian relief missions globally, hand in hand with professionals from Israel” said Seth H. Davis, Executive Director of IsraAID U.S. “IHPN will equip skilled individuals in hands-on disaster relief experience and provide enhanced capacity if local disaster were too strike.”

The first event, entitled “What You Need to Know About Humanitarian Aid,” will feature speaker Tim Burke, MA, MPH, who lead IsraAID’s work in South Sudan for five years, where he oversaw programs in public health and post-conflict development. Subsequent speakers include atmospheric physicist Colin Price and refugee crises expert Dr. Nir Boms.

With deployment in 49 countries, and currently active in 19 countries, IsraAID is an expert in training professionals to deploy. In the U.S. alone in the last year, IsraAID has provided humanitarian relief in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, California, and Puerto Rico.

“IsraAID will make Los Angeles more secure by leveraging their unique expertise in disaster response to train professionals in our community,” said [Paul Koretz]. “I look forward to working with IsraAID to help them rollout their IHPN program in California”

Professionals interested in attending should RSVP here  and/or learn more and join the network here.

#

About IHPN: The IsraAID HumanitarianProfessionals Network (IHPN) is an exclusive network of professionals at thevanguard of global aid relief activities. Members of IHPN receive expert briefings, emergency-preparedness training, access to enrichment with field leaders,and priority access to deploy on IsraAID missions.

About IsraAID: IsraAID is anon-governmental organization that provides lifesaving emergency relief andlong-term, sustainable solutions for populations affected by natural disasters, epidemics and post-conflict situations. Our teams leverage Israeli innovation,work in full collaboration with local partners, and educate the public and professionals on disaster prevention and relief. IsraAID (US) Global Humanitarian Assistance, Inc. is an independent 501c(3)organization.

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Nothing Matters More Than This

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We live in a world where FOCUS is even MORE important than your INTELLIGENCE.

From our never-ending Facebook feed, to our freshly-updated YouTube subscription page, to our email inbox, we live in an abundant world of information.

However, is it really necessary to consume all of this general information?

Will it ever be useful? Will it ever make any difference in your life?

No. Most likely not.

Learning a little about a lot of different things doesn’t really amount to much.

Instead, you should FOCUS.

Focus on learning and applying ONE skill as intensely and deeply as possible.

Focus is where mastery kicks in.

Kobe Bryant wasn’t the best basketball player that ever played because he was the best all-around person.

Kobe Bryant was world-class because he was absolutely great at ONE thing and one thing only: playing basketball.

So instead of consuming as much general information as you possibly can… instead FOCUS.

FOCUS on one topic. FOCUS on one task. FOCUS on one goal.

Because today, more than ever, focus is way more important than your intelligence.

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New Initiative Launched to Restore Memories and a Legacy

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On Tuesday January 30th, Thirty Years After (30 YA) hosted the Legacy Launch, one of their largest, most innovative and interactive projects to date, at the Ahyra Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills.

Sam Yebri, President of Thirty Years After, explains the Legacy Project, “The Project is a grassroots initiative that will help preserve and honor the Iranian  Jewish experience through video for future generations,  and provide an opportunity for every family to capture their parents’  and grandparents’ most compelling memories and anecdotes before it is  too late.”

Doors opened to guest at 7:00 pm where they were greeted with smiles from 30 YA volunteers and staff members. The lobby was packed with guests who were treated to wonderful Iranian street food not often seen or eaten in the United States. The delicious cuisine included Labu (beets baked in their own juice, and typically served steaming hot in a street cart during the dead of winter), Baghali (beans topped with spices, typically served the same way as Labu), Dizi (a meat mash/stew– usually made with lamb, but made with beef and chickpeas at our event), Shohleh Zard (saffron rice pudding), Chos-e-fil (otherwise known as popcorn) and Mahi-Cheh Polo (herbed rice with beef shanks).

The large number of attendees was a testament to the genuine and unprecedented support for the new generation of leaders of the Los Angeles Iranian-American Jewish community.  The printed program for the event listed over 25 generous families and businesses that supported the Legacy Launch and congratulated 30 YA on celebrating their 10 year anniversary.

This event was magical because of the broad range of emotions experienced just by being shoulder to shoulder with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins born in Tehran. Sadness is one emotion that could have been felt while standing in the room, because of all of the untold stories that were not recorded, told or heard. How many stories have we “missed out” on because family members have passed away, younger generations have gone off to college, or simply because we took time for granted? At the Legacy Launch, time stood still for a few hours for the sake of a community recording the past, but very aware of time, embracing beloved memories on video, but also progressively moving toward the future.

Yebri explained, “Our history informs our present and powers our future. This is especially true when our families and community have such a rich legacy of inspiring memories and experiences in Iran and during our exodus to America.  30 Years After  is thrilled to launch ‘The Legacy Project’ as part of the organization’s 10th anniversary celebration.”

Bobby Zolekhian, former President of Nessah Young Professionals expressed, “It was one of the most inspirational events I have been to. I am recruiting people to share their stories. This is something extraordinary!”

Featured guest speakers during the screening included Mrs. Susan Azizzadeh, President of the Iranian American Jewish Federation, Dr. Saba Soomekh, Assistant Director of Interreligious and Intercommunity Affairs at AJC, Megan Nemandoust, Margalit Rosenthal, Liora Simozar and 30 YA President, Sam Yebri.

The dynamic presentation of the screening and its intimate interviews clearly validated that the second and third generations of Iranian Jews growing up in the United States are confidently embracing their unspoken responsibility to record the stories of generations before them for a purpose with a greater cause– maintaining their identity, culture, and traditions.

Learn more about preserving your legacy with 30 YA at https://legacy.30yearsafter.org/

 

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