Replenishing with Pride

My top ten quintessentially queer self-care tips for East Bay parents.

A year after the birth of my son, I began to miss, sometimes ache for, the free-wheeling lifestyle of my pre-parenting days. I longed for those opportunities to luxuriate over a bestseller, or spontaneously meet with friends at an art opening, or dance the day away at El Rio’s Mango. 

Gone too, it seemed, were the days of other simple freedoms I easily took for granted: food that didn’t grow cold on the table while I was managing a twenty-minute meltdown, routine flossing, scream-free phone calls, and uninterrupted zzzzs.

I remember feeling that by my late thirties, I was still too young to stop having fun. Was this a typical condition of the new mom simply needing to get out more? Or was this just who I am at heart? I decided both were true, and that I needed to do something about it.

I knew that I had to find opportunities to create a more balanced lifestyle. I needed more me-time and to have a regular social and cultural life outside of the home. I knew that if I didn’t deal with these needs, burnout would be hovering right around the bend. I wanted to be my best not only for myself, but also for my rapidly developing toddler.

I decided to create a self-care practice, and found no-fee childcare solutions by trading four-hour blocks of time with other families. As a queer, solo parent by choice, I also needed to stay in close connection with my community. Luckily, that’s very easy to do in the East Bay. Here are my top ten quintessentially queer self-care tips:

1. Join the Berkeley-based queer solo moms by choice MeetUp group or Our Family Coalition’s parent support groups (

2. Make a friend-date and live it up with a double-shot mocha latte at dyke-owned Hive Café (, or partake in a picnic of queer-run food truck grub at Bites off Broadway (

3. Pound it out solo or lift with a personal trainer at the nation’s first LGBTQ gym, The Perfect Sidekick (

4. Break a sweat at Hella Gay at Jack London Square’s Brix 581 (

5. Bend it up with butch yoga (femmes welcome) at Namaste (

6. Take a hike along the Redwood Regional Park trail system with Gay and Lesbian Sierrans (

7. Sit with the Alphabet Sangha’s LGBTQI/SGL community at the East Bay Meditation Center (

8. Book a body-mind tune-up of acupuncture, chiropractic care, or holistic hypnotherapy with an Outstanding LGBTQ Perinatal Wellness Associate (

9. Attend the queer open mic night of music, visual art, dance, storytelling, comedy, and poetry at Perch Cafe (

10. Pop in to Oakland Queer Commons’ pop-up community and cultural celebration (

These self-care practices help fulfill my need for community connection and offer me a kind of parenthood replenished with pride.


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