Have you heard that it takes a village to raise a family? Do you have your tribe? There has been so much talk about community and building “your tribe” when it comes to motherhood. I am here to tell you that in addition to its popularity, it is absolutely necessary to have a support system. This is not anything new that this generation of moms has created. This has been an old staple of family for many years. There is a reason mothers are following this trend and “building their tribe.” Let me share a little of my firsthand experience with building and creating my support system.
A couple years ago when we moved to Boston we didn’t know anyone or anything. We had no family around, let alone any friends, and we were 8 months pregnant with our first child. Yes, some say we were crazy. We quickly did what I knew best and established ourselves in a local church who set up a meal train for after the birth. Through that meal train I met Heather who was part of a Moms’ group and she soon started picking me and my daughter up to carpool to Moms’ group. This group was filled with real moms and their children who genuinely cared and invested in each other’s lives. It was a safe space for us to all gather and discuss parenting topics. Because of these wonderful moms I knew I wasn’t alone in my parenting struggles. I frequently called on these moms for help with childcare on those rough days when the nanny called in sick or my husband had a last minute trip and I didn’t have anyone to call for help. These ladies so graciously opened their homes and hearts to help with anything any one of us needed. They made that time in Boston for my family more enjoyable because we had friends and support for those hard days when family couldn’t help.
Now that my family has moved back to the Bay Area, we are building our support community again. We did, in fact, move back to be closer to family because we believe that it truly does take a village to raise children and we want that village in part to be family. However, mama needs her village with other mamas, too.
In a time where you can do most things on a computer, it can be so easy to slip into the routine of checking our Facebook, Instagram, and email to feel connected with our friends, but humans were created with a need for human connection and interaction. According to Brene Brown, Professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, who specializes in social connection, “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.” As a mom I think this is especially true and relevant. Human connection has so many other benefits. Particularly during postpartum it can be immensely helpful. We are wired for that human connection and during the transition from a couple to a family is a pivotal moment when connection is needed the most.
There have been many studies done on human connection, and one in particular focused on moms in postpartum and their social support. The study found that “partners were identified as the primary resource for emotional support, but some women also sought girlfriends, cousins, godmothers, and other mothers from mother support groups to talk about their feelings and experiences.” It also mentions that the women in the study “consider instrumental support an essential component for physical and emotional well-being.” The women in this study found that it wasn’t only helpful for them to get their everyday tasks completed, but for their mental well-being. The study concludes with stating that “instrumental support postpartum is an important factor in the emotional and physical well-being of mothers and their newborns.” I don't mean to bore you with studies, but want to further emphasize the importance of this connection.
When I was nursing alone in the middle of the night I kept thinking this was the loneliest I have ever felt. The next day would come and I would be stuck inside with my beautiful baby, but I was craving some adult conversation. It was a few lonely months before I met my friends at my Moms’ group and had some much needed mommy time. My heart breaks for those moms who are in a similar position and I don’t want another mama to feel like they are alone in this parenting transition. I would get together weekly with my Moms’ group and I always looked forward to seeing them and talking about adult topics that usually turned into mom topics. We cried and celebrated with each other and when it came to say goodbye, I had another lump in my throat knowing it would be hard to find a wonderful group like this again.
So, I am announcing for the first time that Hamilton Chiropractic will be offering their first ever moms group which we are calling Bloom. This will be a space to allow new parents to come together and get that much needed adult time while our babies play and interact. Come meet new friends that will hopefully turn into life changing relationships, ask your questions in our safe space, and laugh with others who understand the difficult challenges of becoming a mom.
If you are interested in joining our Bloom Moms’ Group, please email Dr. Elise at firstname.lastname@example.org to get all the meeting details.