Mother of two, Founder of Mamma Knows Melbourne, All Round Nice Lady.
In the hustle and bustle of inner city Melbourne, little playgroup nooks house big memories.
“I loved how everyone ‘grew’ up at our playgroup and when siblings were added to the mix they got their turn at watching the older kids while ‘growing up’ too,” said Sammi Dobinson.
Sammi is memorable. The mother of two has a little quirky edge. Whether she is in a trendy hat or overalls, there is a certain charm to the founder of Mamma Knows Melbourne. She has the wonderful ability to put people and ease. She is charismatic and warm.
Sammi well and truly hit the jackpot when she and her pal Mandy Couzens created a little nook of their own online, in the form of a website, inviting others to see and share in their fun.
“Mamma Mandy Couzens (the sensational other half of Mamma Knows West) and I decided to build a place where we could put all our fave places to go and things to do in the one spot and then we could share experiences with others –so we built the website to celebrate and share everything we loved about our local area hoping to inspire others to get out and about with their families and make a difference in THEIR day too.”
Mamma Knows West has since expanded to cover the North, East and South of Melbourne and why not too, as Melbourne has a lot to offer, but can often be rather elusive. Things come and go so swiftly and by the time you have caught up, you have missed out. The women of Mamma Knows are quick on the dial and keep busy families in the loop. Whether it be a theatre show worth seeing, a park to play in, comedy that makes you laugh or wonderful coffee to drink, Mamma Knows Melbourne are on the pulse with daily updates notifying families of things to do and see.
Playgroup began the opening chapters of Sammi’s ‘Mamma Knows Melbourne’ story, sparking ideas that quickly came to fruition. Playgroup gave Sammi something to look forward to and often motivated her to get out of the house. She quickly made friends, and they became her friends outside of playgroup too.
“After just one hour of playgroup I knew it was the perfect place for me and my little one. There were plenty of kids for Matilda to hang out with and plenty of parents to chat with. I instantly felt like I wasn’t alone in the parenting world as we shared both the difficult and the wonderful things that come with becoming a parent.”
Sammi is not one to sit idle and was destined to do something creative, with her kids in tow.
“To be honest we just love adventures and find all our troubles (and the housework!) disappear when you are knee deep in something outdoorsy.”
With that fantastic attitude, Sammi was away and has managed to mould a great work and life balance, all the while doing a job that she loves.
“Quite simply –we love what our local area has offer and we noticed the difference that it can make in your day when you connect with others in the community. We would attend a fabulous storytime, playgroup or playground and noticed the difference getting out of the house made in our day.”
The concept may seem simple but it is powerful. Mamma Knows Melbourne is a saviour for many families that are time poor or isolated. When the responsibilities of parenthood weigh heavily, a simple trip to the park or the local coffee shop lifts the burden.
“There is lots of pressure on everyone these days. We put pressure on ourselves and there are channels of external pressure for all kinds of things. The main thing is to try and get a balance of what is important right for you.”
The content on the Mamma Knows Melbourne website, Facebook and Instagram page is continually growing, offering more options, to more people. It can be the first step a new Mother or Father takes out of the house after the birth of a child. It may be a new journey for someone who has moved, or it might simply be a wonderful bonding thing to do with your child. Whatever the case, both Mamma Knows and playgroup create meaningful connections.
“One thing is for certain, there was someone going through something, or had just been through a ‘stage’ of some kind – sometimes, not sleeping, learning to toilet train, tantrums or just general kids stuff – everyone has advice for all kinds of trials and tribulations and sharing those ideas and getting inspiration from others makes things so much easier.”
A natural partnership blossomed between Mamma Knows and Playgroup Victoria for they both share the same endeavour- to bring people happiness, to share, to nurture and help children learn through the best thing in the world, play.
Sammi enjoys reading to her kids and does it each night. Fruit picking is a favourite activity for her family, too. They recommend visiting Clip n’ Climb in Williamstown.
“We all climb and have a great time, it is like a play centre for kids and grown-ups! We like anything to do with nature too – the beach, Newport Lakes, parks and playgrounds. We have only recently got a dog and I like to take him to dog parks so we are on the lookout for good ones!”
Childhood is such a wonderful time, and the joy of it extends to the parents, the grandparents, carers and friends. Mamma Knows are helping create great bursts of joy. They are helping to create memories, that last a lifetime.
“We like to think of it as a tool to inspire you to get out and about and have some fun with the family – we really want to save everyone time LOOKING for fun and just have more time HAVING fun. Come to Mamma, pick your adventure and then GO.”
Article by Sinead Halliday
To discover more about Sammi Dobinson and Mamma Knows Melbourne visit the website: mammaknowsmelbourne.com.au or visit Mamma Knows Facebook (North, East, South and West all have their own Facebook page)
Instagram: @mammaknowsnorth, @mammaknowssouth, @mammaknowseast, @mammaknowswest.