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

A Fun Morning Outdoors at the Miles with Moms Fundraiser

Over the weekend, we welcomed everyone from devoted runners to happy babies in strollers at our 7th annual NJ Miles with Moms fundraiser at Nomahegan Park in Cranford. It was so much fun to cheer on familiar faces and new ones as they made their way towards the finish line in the 5K and 1-mile races. And our “kids fun run” that featured children racing their hearts out to the cheers of proud parents was just as exciting as the race itself.

We would like to thank all participants, sponsors, volunteers, EMS, the Cranford Police Department, Union County College, the Union County Police Department, and our planning committee members for making this event a success. It was a wonderful morning filled with happy cheers, activities by Tinkergarten, Creative Kids, Exercise Outside the Box, face painting, and giveaways. Enjoy the below collection of photos from our fundraiser. See you next year!

A new season, a new look!

We are so excited to reveal our new Mothers’ Center of Central NJ logo! Designed in partnership with Gregory Flores, a very talented local graphic designer, our logo truly represents who we are – an organization that provides support to all moms and their children through programs that promote peer-to-peer interactions, socialization and support. The result is three moms – one expecting, the other holding an infant and the third holding a toddler – joined together in the journey of motherhood. In addition to all that our logo represents, it also reflects another change in the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ. After our parent organization, Mom-mentum, suspended operations last year, we spent a large part of 2017 organizing ourselves as an independent non-profit. In the upcoming weeks we will be updating our website and promotional materials. Stay tuned for updated bumper stickers!

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

The Spirit of the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ

One of the wonderful offerings of the Mothers’ Center is the meal train for new moms or moms going through a difficult time. I have always participated in the meal trains as a way to support other mothers of the Center. Just recently, as my husband and I welcomed the birth of our daughter, we were the grateful recipients of those meals.

I am immensely grateful for all the moms who brought us dinner. And I am equally grateful for the adult conversation, flowers, words of encouragement, wisdom and sympathetic ears that came with those delicious meals. The Mothers’ Center brings together moms from different towns and backgrounds who care about each other, especially as we go through one of life’s most difficult – and joyous – transitions. The simple texts and emails I received while awaiting my daughter’s arrival – hi, how are you, do you want me to watch your firstborn, do you want me to get you anything from the store, hang in there – meant the world to me. After our daughter’s arrival,the emails and texts continued and it made the isolation that comes with the first couple of weeks of a newborn so much easier to bear.

The past three years have brought many changes in my life, first as my husband and I welcomed our son and, now most recently, our daughter. I went from being a career-focused young professional to a new mom trying to find a balance between my career and motherhood. There is no handbook or instructional manual for this, but the connections and experiences I gained through the Mothers’ Center have helped me to write my own – and for this, I am forever thankful.

Join me in a special Thanksgiving event

As the holiday approaches, I invite you to give special thanks to one or more of the special moms who inspire you and have made a difference in your life. Post your appreciation on your Facebook wall, using #MCCNJthanksmoms, and tag Mothers’ Center of Central NJ. Taking a few minutes to post your Thanksgiving “attitude of gratitude” will create a loving and joyous start to the holidays for the special moms in your life—and you!

Here is my video of appreciation.

– HaVi J,  MCCNJ member

#MCCNJthanksmom

To kick off this holiday season, MCCNJ challenges you to express your appreciation for a mom (or more) who have inspired you and made a difference in your life over the past year. Post your appreciation on your Facebook wall, using the #MCCNJthanksmoms, and tag Mothers’ Center of Central NJ. Taking a few minutes to post your Thanksgiving “attitude of gratitude” will create a loving and joyous start to the holidays for the special moms in your life—and you!

You have 24 hours to complete this challenge and invite others to participate. If you opt out from the challenge, consider donating a case of diapers. You can drop off your donation at the Garwood Presbyterian Church starting December or make a purchase via our wishlist on Amazon.

This challenge runs from 11/19/2017 until 11/25/2017.

Brrrrrr it is cold outside! Stay warm at MCCNJ this Winter!

Come join us for our Winter mini-session! It starts right after Thanksgiving and ends just before Christmas.

We have a hot chocolate meetup, cookie exchange, spa morning, holiday party, and more!

Our Winter Mini Session Groups include:

Monday Morning Playgroup 9:30-11am (no group fee)
Tuesday Mom and Baby 9:30-11:00am (no group fee and onsite babysitting available for older siblings)
Wednesday Discussion Group for Moms 9:30-11:00am (no group fee and onsite babysitting available)
Thursday Creative Expressions (Music and Art) 9:30-10:15 ($30 for 4 weeks). Please note this group usually fills quickly and has limited spots available.

Read our full newsletter and register online now! https://motherscentercnj.org/members/groups-registration/

Fall 2017 Newsletter, Open Houses, and Collection for Hurricane Relief

Fall 2017 Newsletter is HERE!! MCCNJ_Fall_2017_Newsletter

See you at Open House on September 12 9:30-11am or September 13 8-10pm.

Please know our new online registration will open at 9am September 14.

Also– Due to the horrible devastation due to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma- MCCNJ will be collecting money to support diaper drives in the effected areas. You will be able to make a donation with your membership payment- please see the added line on the form to indicate if you would like to contribute. ** MCCNJ will match up to $500 of all funds collected**

Thank you!

 

Hello Summer 2017!

This week, the Mothers’ Center of Central NJ kicked off its summer season of activities for moms and their children! We started the week with our weekly Playgroup in the newly renovated playroom and craft room – it was wonderful to see new and familiar faces come together to play, chat and share wisdom.

On Tuesday morning, moms came together for discussion group to talk about the challenges and joys of motherhood and in the evening, more moms gathered for our first Moms’ Night Out at the Jazz festival in Westfield. It was a wonderful day full of bonding and laughter.

Today, we welcomed moms and their kids at our first Creative Expressions class where everyone sang, danced, listened to wonderful stories, and drew with chalks. Seeing the happy faces of the children (and moms) reminded us of the great community that we have and why the Mothers’ Center plays an important role in each families’ lives.

2017 Summer Groups

Happy Summer! We hope to see you this summer at one of our events and/or programs. See our newsletter for a full listing of events and programs.

This summer, we continue to offer outings at the farm, zoo, pool, playgrounds, and more. In addition, our programs will feature the popular Monday Morning Playgroup, Discussion Group, and Creative Expressions Monday through Wednesday mornings. Click HERE to register and see below for more details about these programs.

  • Morning Playgroup | Mondays 9:30-11am at Garwood Presbyterian Church

Fee: N/A

Dates: 7/3, 7/10, 7/17, 7/24, 7/31, 8/7, 8/14, 8/21, 8/28

Moms and kids enjoying each other’s company in free play in the childcare room filled with age-appropriate toys, puzzles, coloring books and storybooks. Until our Mom and Baby group returns in September, we welcome all moms with infants to join our Monday playgroup and/or Tuesday discussion group this summer.

  • Discussion Group | Tuesdays 9:30-11am at Garwood Presbyterian Church

Fee: Babysitting fee is applicable, if used

Dates: 7/11, 7/18, 7/25, 8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29

This informal discussion group will be an opportunity for members to share their experiences, reflect on themselves and their own relationships, and connect with other women in the group. Until our Mom and Baby group returns in September, we welcome all moms with infants to join our Monday playgroup and/or Tuesday discussion group this summer.

  • Creative Expressions | Wednesdays 10:00-10:45 at Garwood Presbyterian Church

Fee: $10/child

Dates: 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9

Bring out the creative genius in your child! Join us for the 5 week session and enjoy stories, art, music and movement. Come ready to sing some familiar songs with your child and learn some new ones! For ages 1-4 years.

 

Another Fun Family Event: 6th Annual 2017 NJ Miles with Moms

On Sunday, April 23rd 2017, the Mothers’ Center of Central New Jersey hosted its 6th annual NJ Miles with Moms fundraiser. Everyone from devoted runners to happy babies in strollers participated in the one-mile and 5K races. Additionally, the “kids fun run” had children racing their hearts out to the cheers of proud parents. Not all realized the shortest distance between two points is a straight line but all were rewarded with a shiny medal regardless.

The event also featured activities by Tinkergarten and Creative Kids, face painting, a DJ, and giveaways. We are so grateful for all of our sponsors, participants, volunteers and the 5K committee for making this event a success – THANK YOU! Enjoy the below collection of photos from our fundraiser. See you next year!