Since I embarked on this motherhood adventure 4.5 years ago I've come to this realization: motherhood is a very personal experience and yet I've had many people who I don't know tell me how to do some part of it, from strangers on the street to professionals. I want you to know that this is NOT where I am coming from in my desire to offer support to fellow mamas.
For me, being a mom has been the most wonderful, incredible experience of my life and I wouldn't trade it for the world. AND... at least I found it to be, the most draining pursuit (physically and emotionally) that I have ever done. I am astonished by the impact of becoming a parent and am naturally eager to learn ways to cope with what I find difficult. So, early in my struggles, I joined several moms groups in hopes of finding some respite. But when I brought up difficult topics to these groups (like how let down I felt by my partner, who wasn't helping me enough at home and couldn't understand why I was so overwhelmed and depressed) I heard crickets. Was I the ONLY ONE dealing with these issues? The groups just didn't feel like a safe place to be vulnerable.
Every mother needs to lower her stresses, replenish her body and create a strong relationship with her partner- or else she will become physically depleted, which is exactly what happened to me despite my efforts to get the support I so desperately needed. So, rather than give up and fall even deeper into my depression (well, actually, I did do this at one point, but I climbed out of that hole by telling myself that if this was hard for me it was probably hard for other women even if they were't owning up to it.) I decided to form the circle I always wanted to be a part of and I couldn't do that from the depths of my despair.
So, I began to study the pertinent research, talked with experts in the self care fields, and asked joyful mamas what worked for them. I drew on my background in yoga, started meditating with new purpose, and took a course in the mothering arts... all in an effort to form a circle in which moms could be themselves, relax, and learn to deal with the stressors that come with motherhood.
I realized thaI have control over how I want to feel. I don't need to wait for support to come to me, I can create it myself.
The focus of these circles is on those years before our children are in grade school, because from my research I have learned that that is when the demands on us are the greatest; and since I now have a preschooler and an infant those are naturally the ages stages that will be addressed in by the speakers who will come weekly. (They will also address our minds, bodies and relationships because each of these aspects of our lives is also affected by motherhood.)
Some of the topics that speakers will cover during our circles (you can find more details on the home page):
- Ways to cope with stress and manage the thornier emotions that often intensify with motherhood, including sadness, anxiety, shame and anger
- How to keep your body well in the first place, and what to do if it gets depleted
- Building teamwork and intimacy with your partner
- How to juggle motherhood and work
If you have other topics that you are interested in learning about please share them in the comments below or contact me.
The lord hath decreed... that ye shall show kindness to parents.
-The Koran, 17:23