PO BOX 294 Cranford NJ 07016 motherscentercnj@gmail.com (908) 514-8693

Drawing from the Collective Wisdom of Women

Recently, I had the great pleasure of facilitating the Mom and Baby Group. If you
haven’t attended one of these meetings, it’s a great way for new moms (and
babies) to share the joys and challenges of motherhood in a welcoming, nonjudgmental
environment. Some of the amazing women in the group are trying to
find their identities as first-time moms; others, like me, are trying to figure out
how to balance the needs of a toddler with those of a newborn. The strategies
and tips that are generously offered truly make a difference in helping each of us
deal with the daily hurdles of managing a growing family.

The kind of honest, authentic conversation that makes these Group meetings so
worthwhile serves another equally important purpose: It helps to ease the
feelings of isolation that often come with motherhood, especially when FOMO is
looming large. Whether it’s the fear that working moms share of missing out on
everyday moments with their children or the worry that stay-at-home moms
harbor that, with every passing month focused on their children, they’re
somehow losing their relevance in the workplace.

As I transition back to work, my fear of missing out on my children’s lives is
strong. Despite having done this “dance” before, after the birth of my first child,
already I find myself anxious and filled with questions about my readiness to
return.

In talking to other working moms who just returned or about to return to work, I
find that my worries are not unique. The ability to talk through concerns about
finding an affordable and reliable childcare is critical. So is finding tricks to
streamline the process of getting our babies to feed from a bottle and making
sure we have sufficient milk. Learning how others got their little ones on a good
sleep schedule is the holy grail of feeling like you’ve got life under control –
although, I’ve learned it’s a task that is a lot easier said than done. Last, but not
least, figuring out how to get out of the house in time for school drop off … the
train … the meeting … whatever, and then turning around at the end of the day
and dealing with evening rush can be complex and chaotic.

Still, I’ve learned that drawing from the collective wisdom of women who are
experiencing the same challenges is affirming and energizing. That’s why I
believe that by creating an opportunity to continuously engage ALL moms – both
those pursuing a career and those who choose to stay at home – we can help
each other regain our optimism that we’re making the right choices for our
children and ourselves.

With my anxieties validated, I am ready to start work. I know that along the way, I
can always count on the Mothers’ Center moms to guide me the right direction.
And I hope I can pay it forward and help another mom. Let’s keep talking!

— HaVi J, MCCNJ Member

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