Leigh Sims: Mom of the Month [February 2024]


The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms. There are working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, foster moms, adoptive moms, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms like Leigh Sims. Each month we will feature one special mom as the Mom of the Month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!

Meet our February Mom of the Month Leigh Sims!

Meet our February Mom of the Month: Leigh Sims

Leigh Sims is a developmental therapist for children birth through five here in DC. Leigh loves Washington DC, being a mom, the arts and supporting her community. A native of Minnesota, Leigh has spent the last two decades on the East Coast.  Travel is always on her list of dreams as well as summers on her patio with friends and food. In 2020 Leigh combined her experience in early childhood education, maternal health and advocacy to create EdCoSpace, an early childhood consulting firm designed to reduce the challenges of caregiving and increase ease in raising young children.

Leigh finds fortune in sharing what she knows with families as a developmental therapist, moments to read a good book or research, opportunities to learn from those she admires.  Her favorite part of the day is cuddling during story time with her kid after a long day.  2024 is her year of “expand” where she hopes to expand in ways of learning, increasing kindness to self and community, and expand spiritual practice and opportunities for exercise!

Here is our Q&A with Leigh Sims

1. Tell me about the trends you have seen working with families in the pandemic.

Parenting in isolation produced a few stand-out trends that I am sure researchers will continue to focus on in years to come about the impacts of the pandemic on parenting and child development.  Meeting with families during the pandemic gave me a lot of perspective (and major solidarity) for my journey as a first-time toddler mom. I experienced feelings of isolation, concern about health and safety, the need for connection and activity, the heavy realization of being the default parent; whoa what a load we survived!

As parents, there was so much that we were experiencing that was unique to our parenting generation.  Now that the pandemic is behind us (thank goodness) you hear parents jokingly and lovingly saying things like, “These pandemic kids are built differently!” With no value judgment, the reality is that many of our children had experiences that were devoid of some very typical elements of childhood and same for parents and parenthood!

Our environment impacts our parenting and the environment and our parenting impacts how our children develop. We were living in isolation; the need for a “mom village” was very real. As a developmental therapist, the unique challenge was supporting families to find creative ways to build a village and find systems that worked despite all of this isolation. Conversely, isolation provided many parents a full view of how their child was developing and discovered all of the ways aspects of maturation were interconnected.  Parents learned that sensory diets during the day impacted their child’s sleep at night or that movement and crawling on the floor supported language development; parents responded to a holistic approach to raising their child and now carry that philosophy moving forward.

2.  What recommendations do you have to  advocate for your child with needs?

Advocating for your child is a full-time job; full stop. Knowing that, you have to do a few simple yet important things to ease the challenge. I strongly suggest families reach out to an advocate to talk through their questions and concerns. Bouncing off sensitive information with well-meaning family members and friends can sometimes impact us in ways we don’t expect like finding it harder to follow your mom gut or reduction of your concerns to the point you don’t take action.

The second recommendation many families find useful is to create a support map to identify your needs and available resources, reducing cognitive load and highlighting gaps, ultimately enhancing your ability to meet future needs effectively.

Leigh Sims and her family Photo credit: Shoott Photography

3.  Tell me about your transition to corporate as a developmental therapist.

On a walk around my block, I randomly checked my LinkedIn and found a request for an interview. As an educator, my LinkedIn inbox isn’t, let’s say, well-utilized, so it was a definite shock! My transition to corporate is something I never expected; it’s all still very new but I’m thankful that mommyhood got me here. As a mom, I’ve developed a strong drive to achieve. During the pandemic, I connected with people pursuing fascinating endeavors. A lot of those meetings involved people in “education-adjacent” roles like policy, non-profit, etc.

In 2020, I started EdCoSpace, a consulting firm. EdCoSpace aims to ease the burdens of parents and introduce practical routines and strategies to homes, daycares, and schools during the pandemic. Re-writing my resume with another person’s perspective was crucial in connecting with those outside my niche. Even though I’m now in corporate, I am keeping my work as a developmental therapist at EdCoSpace.

I’m excited to start this new chapter. A quote from my mother inspires me: “You’re never too old to try something new.” I’m sending good vibes out to all the moms, especially those who conquered the pandemic and are adjusting to being parents in new ways.

Do you know an amazing mom? Nominate a mom of the month here!


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