It’s a Tuesday or Wednesday morning and the door to the Center keeps opening. In they come – with their babies and strollers and their stories in tow. They are gathering for their weekly Mom-to-Mom Support Group.
One of our moms exclaims proudly that she is going to get her driver’s license, to which the rest of the group responds with cheers. Tears are shared over a driver’s license, although everyone in that room understands the show of emotion is about so much more than being allowed to operate a car.
When the Center launched support groups for moms (in English and Spanish) we were trying to get women to eat better and come hear about nutrition during pregnancy. “We never expected the results – or that these groups would become an integral part of so many woman’s walk through motherhood, through life,” says Nancy Vawter, Executive Director. “I think that we all – me, the women leading the groups, the women in the groups – are in awe of the connections forged and the power of the relationships to change lives.”
Megan, who leads the Mom-to-Mom support group on Tuesdays, shared this:
“I think the moms support groups do exactly that – support the moms with what all of us need: the knowledge that we are not alone in our trials. We talk about normal things in the support group, mothering, caring for our children, practical ideas for all aspects of parenting and single parenting. The Center addresses the physical and material needs of families and each person can speak one-on-one with their client counselor, but there is something special about sharing ideas, fears and joys in a group of other people facing similar challenges. The sharing of both the good and bad with other women helps them see other ways of doing things and builds self-confidence. It’s also a time of building friendships as the women grow close to each other and grow concerned about each other’s challenges. As I have facilitated the group over this last year, I have gained a profound respect for the courage of these young women to have their babies and strive to make a better life for those little ones, sometimes in the face of huge obstacles.”
In 2020, the Center will continue our support groups including bringing more workshops and presentations of import to our moms. Additionally, we are launching a dad-to-dad mentorship program.
If you are interested in getting involved or donating to help broaden the groups’ scope and reach, please email email@example.com. You can donate online at: columbia-babies.org/donate.