Elise Tumbas is a PEPS Leader volunteering in 2018 to lead a Newborn Group for moms group that meets in the evenings in Woodinville.
Elise moved to the area from New York in 2013 with a 6-week old and 22-month old in tow. “With no family or friends in the area – and two very small boys – I found the first six months of the transition exhausting and quite lonely,” she said.
She learned about PEPS through a local parenting magazine and signed up right away for a Little Peppers group (2 children, a toddler (3 or under) and a newborn (0-6 months when the group starts).
“From the very first meeting, I knew I had found a group of women I could relate to and learn from. We represented a broad demographic, with so many different backgrounds, both personally and professionally. For those 12 weeks, that 10 o’clock hour on Wednesday became my salvation.”
Elise’s group continued to meet after the 12 weeks. “I cannot thank those women enough for helping me navigate that difficult time,” she added. “And it warms my heart thinking that our little ones have played together through these formative years.”
Two years ago, Elise started working part-time in a winery/tasting room here in Woodinville. Now, in addition to caring for the boys (one in K and one in pre-K), I run the events program at W.T. Vintners. I love working for a small family owned-operated business!
This will be Elise’s first group as a leader, and she said that she was inspired to volunteer now that her boys are older – they are 4 and 6. “I feel that I can focus on a group of women who may individually need a a shoulder to lean on or a little pick-me-up while on this challenging parenthood path. No one should ever feel alone while navigating this journey!” she said.
Her own PEPS Group continues to support her, saying “I learned so much from the women in my PEPS group and I still refer to conversations we had during those months together.”
Elise says it’s the friendships that mean the most to her: “Life is busy, but we still make sure to reach out when the other needs a hand. It’s amazing that a community of trust can be built in such a relatively short period of time. Survival can be like that!”
Thank you, Elise, for volunteering to lead your first group and for bringing this new evening option to moms in Woodinville!