nurture

education AND support

Motherhood25 (2)

What a beautiful week for us as a staff of The Motherhood Collective. On Saturday we welcomed you to the Café Express. On Monday we held both the Café and our PPMD Support Group. Wednesday brought our Grief Support Group. What a gift to have the opportunity to serve so many women in such different ways. If you are new to our programming this week, welcome. As an organization we long to advocate for a societal shift in maternal health. We feel the way we accomplish this best is through education AND support by connecting you to each other and to your communities.

Education empowers. Education expands our knowledge. Education, on it's own, can also overwhelm and leave us without tools for success. This is where we feel woman to woman support must come in.

It is within the framework of support that women discover variances of normal. It is through the safety of support that women find assurance that they are not alone.

Thank you. Thank you for allowing us to serve you. Thank you for allowing us to learn what it looks like to connect you to each other and to your communities. Again, welcome to our new faces. Please let us know if there's anything we can do to further your education and support from pre-conception through postpartum.

All my love,

PS - Do you follow us on instagram? Here is a peek at what we've been up to this week!

What Every Mom Secretly Wants for Mother's Day - courtesy of Birdsong Brooklyn

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by Erica Livingston & Laura Interlandi of Birdsong Brooklyn  

Though the wonderful world of Social Media we have found many friends and kindred spirits. This post was written by two such souls in Brooklyn, NY. We hope it encourages your heart as it did ours. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram - Lauren Barnes | Executive Director | The Motherhood Collective

 

What Every Mom Secretly Wants for Mother's Day - courtesy of Birdsong Brooklyn

The most important holiday of the year is upon us…Mother’s Day.

If you had to guess what every mother wants for Mother’s Day what would it be? The cheap guesses are flowers, chocolate and jewelry…. More creative might be: that wooden teething necklace she pinned last night, a new Sakura Bloom silk ring sling she tried to win on instagram, a new bag for her breast pump, a gift card to the coffee shop around the corner from her work, a bottle of tequila with a pack of salt and a lime, a bi monthly cleaning service, a bag of every single flavor of M&M’s, the seasons pass to MadMen on iTunes, a homemade coupon for a night out with her bestie… Still however, we think the material exchange of thanks is always going to fall short and somehow miss the mark (and for the record… this is a “never instead of, always as well as” scenario so please do get us all of the above plus all of the following….)

What we think every mom is hoping for on mothers day is… to be mothered.

What does this mean? Rocked in a cradle and held and sung to? That sounds nice. But no- not exactly. What we want is to be considered, thought of, and shown in small moment to moment ways that you appreciate us by mirroring back the care we output the other 364 days of the year.

Think about it… its the way she is always thinking several steps ahead of everything going on,  with the burp cloth in her pocket to clean the inevitable impending mess or setting the kettle to brew before anyone has even thought they wanted tea. The way she remembers the kids ever-changing clothing and shoe sizes and knows exactly where everyone left their favorite hat or put the keys or stowed the diaper bag. She wants someone to make the itinerary for HER and make and execute all the choices that day and not be the one who decides what everyone eats and and when they eat it and where. And she definitely doesn’t want to clean it all up afterwards. She wants someone to metaphorically clean off her high chair, to figuratively get her favorite toys out and to symbolically wipe her butt.

Dads, friends, kids here’s what you can do for mom this year: sure, make her the cute card and buy her the gift you were saving up for but also…put a cup of tea or coffee in her hand as she rises. Have the three meals of the day planned, prepped and magically appearing before she can say “What should we do about lunch?”. Do not ask her where anything is that day. If you’ve lost something, find it, or wait and ask her on Monday. Don’t expect her to tell you what she wants to do or pick the kids outfits or make sure everyone eats at least two vegetables. For Mother’s Day this year don’t ask her to make any choices. You make the choices today and make the ones you know she loves: take the route that’s prettiest, decide to eat your lunch outside, and have the picnic blanket and basket all ready to go to her favorite spot in the park or backyard. Have her favorite movie or the bad reality TV show she secretly loves to watch already queued up and set to play after dinner when the littles are put to bed (or maybe while you do bedtime), draw her a lavender bath and put on her favorite pandora station while she soaks. Don’t offer to massage her feet or back just do it. Pick up those tired legs, set them in your lap and get rubbin’.

Don’t wait until 10AM and ask “Do you want to go for brunch?” and then wait in line with hungry kids making her feel like the day was an after thought. If you don’t have the time or money to plan an outing then make the day easy and special for her- get up and out of bed as soon as you hear the baby cry, change the diaper and let her sleep while you prep coffee (with the brown sugar and extra cream you know she takes).

Do the things she wants before she knows she wants them. She spends her days juggling schedules, commitments, expectations and clingy toddlers all the while trying to be 10 steps ahead reading everyones minds… or in other words- being a mom.

Today- be hers.

Happy Mother’s Day-

by Erica Livingston & Laura Interlandi of Birdsong Brooklyn

You're not alone.

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I've had two hard weeks personally. Snow, sickness and the lack of school has not really helped my outlook. Do you have weeks like this? Weeks where you can't get ahead? Where laundry piles up, emails go unwritten, texts and messages pile up on your phone? You ever feel like you're failing as a mother, partner, friend, employee? Perhaps your struggles run even deeper. Perhaps you roll your eyes at the things above and think, "if only she knew the extent of my pain." Well, I might not know each hurt, each ache, each problem. But I know this. You're not alone. I'm so sorry for your bad week. Your bad month. Your bad year. I'm sorry for the pain that might run beneath it all. My heart hurts for you that this journey of MOTHERHOOD is not as simple as we all dreamed.

It is easy to isolate myself when I feel this way. To imagine my problems (small or large) will annoy my friends. But we need each other, don't we? We need to walk MOTHERHOOD together. This is one of the reasons I am so thankful for this organization. I has brought me into relationship with women I never would have known. Women who are nothing like me, but are my who are my partners in MOTHERHOOD.

Even if your little world is pain free, don't do MOTHERHOOD alone. Pour into someone else now, today. For, together we are SERVING WOMEN and CHANGING LIVES. I know you've changed mine.

Most sincerely,

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"Nurturing the mother to grow the child."

Photo by Liz Cook of Sincerely, Liz, Inc.

January is almost over. Winter storms cover the East Coast. What an honor it has been to serve you wherever motherhood finds you this winter. Are you familiar with our tagline? "Nurturing the mother to grow the child." Do you know how deeply we believe this? Motherhood is challenging. Our primary goal is to nurture, support and educate you; enabling you to make the choices best for your family. We are passionate about cheering you on - helping you find your truth.

My heart was filled to overflowing as I watched so many of you play with different baby carriers at the Saturday Café Express and Monday Café. Your laughter and encouragement was contagious. For those of you who joined us for the first time, I applaud you for your bravery in stepping out to connect with women you did not know. For those of you who missed your time with us, be sure to visit the blog for recaps and valuable information.

Be sure to check out all of the upcoming events listed on the calendar. There are many opportunities for connection and support wherever you have need. If there is any way in which we could be serving you better, please let me know.

All my love,

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Meet The Motherhood Collective© Staff: Barbie Sutton

Ever wonder who's behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we'll be introducing you to our dedicated team of volunteers. These women are all mothers - once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support. Meet our Café Monday Mama and C0-Founder! Barbie helped design who we are today, read on to get to know her!

0009Barbie is a mother to many; both physically and emotionally. Encouragement exudes from her and she has walked many of us through our delicate transition into motherhood. When we began the process of forming this organization we knew we would need Barbie at our side. Through our initial days of dreaming and grunt work, she has been a needed voice of reason. Her dedication to women in our community is beautiful.

While her own children are almost all completely out of the home, Barbie continues to remain active in the lives of women in their childbearing years. A registered nurse, event planner, health and childbirth advocate, Barbie is a beautiful soul who delights in enjoying this life to its fullest.

Currently Barbie serves the women of The Motherhood Collective© on Café Mondays overseeing activities in our Café kitchen and continually thinking up new ways to serve our mamas. She consistently sits as a panelist and often leads our small group on Parenthood offering advice that is tempered by her many years of experience.

With an open heart, optimism and constant support, we truly could not imagine this organization without our Barbie.

Thank you, Barbie, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.

Meet the Motherhood Collective Staff: Erica Wolfe

Ever wonder who's behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we'll be introducing you to our dedicated team. These women are all mothers - once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support. Meet the mama behind this blog! Erica has single-handedly brought it to life and given it breath!

Erica Wolfe

Want to write for this blog? This is the woman to speak to -- or email to! In addition to keeping the blog current and substantive, she generously volunteers her time on Café mornings. She often sits among you as a Small Group Leader on Infancy and more recently, as moderator for Panel Discussions.

Erica stumbled upon the Café during her first pregnancy in 2011. Now she is mother to TWO beautiful daughters. What fun it has been to walk with Erica through her pregnancies and early years of motherhood.

With a Northern bluntness and dry sense of humor, Erica grounds our team as she strives to keep us true to our mission of "Nurturing the Mother to Grow the Child."

Thank you, Erica, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.

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Are you a writer? Are you passionate about pregnancy, birth, parenting or just motherhood in general? Do you have recipes you want to share with our readers? Email Erica at submissions@themotherhoodcollective.org. We love to add new voices to our site and we always welcome ideas about how to improve content!

Meet the Motherhood Collective Staff: Edi Remark

Ever wonder who's behind The Motherhood Collective? Over the next few weeks we'll be introducing you to our dedicated team. These women are all mothers - once, twice or many times over. While they come from different backgrounds and have various approaches to pregnancy, birth and parenting, each one is dedicated to creating a place where ALL mothers can find education and support. Edi - Director of Social Media The face behind all you see on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Meet our Director of Social Media!

As the Director of Social Media, Edi graciously volunteers her time and talents to bring you the quality information, funny quotes and touching articles you read daily. If you contact us on Facebook, Edi will respond. Need a mama question answered by the Motherhood Collective followers? She'll post it for you anonymously and make sure you get the feedback.

In 2011, Edi was pregnant and her mother-in-law shared a newspaper article featuring our organization. It is fitting that now Edi is the one spreading the news about us!

With an always fresh perspective and refreshing honesty, Edi challenges our team as she seeks to be true to our mission of "Nurturing the Mother to Grow the Child".

Thank you, Edi, for serving the women and families of The Motherhood Collective©.