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MontanaMama2009 posted:
So I've realized that today's young mother doesn't always have a strong support group that women of yesterday had.

For instance, in the '50s, a young mother had lots of other young mothers in her neighborhood with which to lean on and learn from, not to mention her family unit, which usually included a mother and one or two grandmothers, as well as aunts and great-aunts.

These older, more experienced mothers would assist the young mother in her parenting by offering encouragement, advice, and a wealth of personal experience.

Seems like today's young mother is living five states away from her mother, maybe doesn't even have a close relationship with her grandmother, and may or may not know the neighbors on either side of her.

So I was thinking then about how important this board is and others like it for women, where the more experienced mothers offer their experience/advice.

I thought, too, about the Mothers of Preschool groups and how those are positively assisting new, young mothers...except that you don't really get a host of older, more experienced mamas attending those groups.

So I threw around an idea with DH that I would like to start a "Mentoring Young Mothers" group here in my home town, where older, more experienced mothers could mentor the younger, less experienced mothers. It would be completely voluntary, of course, and FREE, but a young mother would be matched up with a more experienced mother and the two could form a bond and build a strong relationship together, and the younger mother could learn from the more experienced mother.

I dunno...just kinda thinking out loud, here.

I would like this group to revolve around "nourishing" mothering, like breastfeeding, cloth diapering, homeschooling, attachment parenting, healthy eating...you name it.

What would your thoughts or additional advice or critiques be??
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ariannasmommy1125 responded:
I think it would be an awesome idea! I will admit I was totally lost when I had DD. BF was a disaster and there was no one there to help me so I gave up, probably too soon. It could even possibly evolve eventually into some of the mommies doing a home school group together. I have one close friend that shares a lot of my parenting values, but since we live about an hour apart now, we really don't see each other much. Just make sure it doesn't become something where the younger mommies feel judged or put down if they don't make the choice to CD for example. I don't feel at all that you would do that, but some more experienced mommis might.
 
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sbgldngrl responded:
i definitely think it would work as long as the more "experienced" mothers treaded carefully. Lots of new moms young or old can take "helpful" advice the wrong way and feel instead that they are being preached to or looked down upon. I doubt any of your mentors would be "trying" to do that but a frazzled mom can be rather sensitive. i think it would be a great idea but i wouldnt just stick to the "crunchy" way of life unless thats big in your town. I know thats more of your comfort zone but again it might turn off some moms that would otherwise be open to the idea. I would discuss all ideas but maybe explain that the more "crunchy" way of living is your passion.
 
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ad1978 responded:
I've had a similar thought. I agree that today's society doesn't allow us to have a lot of help...if you go way back past the 50s and industrialization...think about when people used to live in villages. You literally had experienced mothers of all ages LIVING with you...no wonder mothers were able to carry their newborns and BF - they were lucky to have other mothers to help them (with mentoring and with their other chores).

Now, as you said, we are so much on our own. Just mother and father. We don't have anyone else living with us to help.

This is one reason why I think new mothers should have more realistic expecations of what we can handle (but I digress).

I think Mentoring Young Mothers could be a good program to help prevent/identify moms with PPD - and help them get through it! I would say not only could you mentor, but you could even stop by regularly to help with cooking, laundry, etc. Just imagine how great that would be for a new mom!

I'd suggest reaching out to your local hospital and see if there is a Dr who runs a new mom group, or a PPD group (mine does) and pitch the idea.

But I also agree with others that the point should be simply support (and to avoid the tragedies that sometimes come from new moms feeling depressed and alienated). I wouldn't push a specific parenting style.

I also have to comment, and I know people will think this is "drama", but I've held back long enough. To say your style of parenting is "nourishing" can be viewed as an insult. Just b/c a mom decides not to BF, cloth diaper, etc, does not make her a mother who doesn't "nourish". ALL mothers who care for and love their kids are "nourishing". Perhaps you could rethink this wording?
 
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daisy729 replied to ad1978's response:
I think maybe you are misinterpreting nourishing. I didn't BF, I don't cloth diaper, all my food isn't organic, but I like this board because it's much more supportive of the differences between mom's than any other board I have been on (webmd or not). No one on here has ever made me feel bad about any of the decisions I have made regarding DS because they know that I'm doing what I think is best. So, I think it as nourishing the bond between us mom's and not necesarily our parenting style.

I looked up nourish on dictionary.com:

1. to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.
2. to cherish, foster, keep alive, etc.: He had long nourished the dream of living abroad. 3. to strengthen, build up, or promote: to nourish discontent among the workers; to nourish the arts in one's community. I think this board is more centered around #3. But, of course, that's just my opinion.
 
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ad1978 replied to daisy729's response:
*I* am not misinterpreting nourishing. I'm saying the author of this thread is misusing this word. I completely agree that you don't need to do any of these things to nourish your child.

I am referring to this exact quote:

"I would like this group to revolve around "nourishing" mothering, like breastfeeding, cloth diapering, homeschooling, attachment parenting, healthy eating...you name it."


Is this not flat out saying that to be nourishing as a mother you'd have to do many of these things?

I don't know most of these things, but I am certainly nourish my child.
 
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daisy729 responded:
I do think this is a great idea. I was very lucky in that I have a great support system, however, I purposly did that. I made sure I had my mom close by because I knew I would need her a lot! But, I know that not every person can do that.

So, I know someone suggested that you talk to doctor's (ob's) and hospitals in your area. I think that is a great place to start. Also, is there a community center or ymca/ywca in your town, that might be a great place too. Or talk to someone who teaches a birthing class, they might be able to help.

You might want to start a list of things you might think are helpful to teach. They may seem like second nature to us now, but were monumental when you were first a mom like:
burping, diapering, dressing, swaddling, breast feeding,
sleeping, just search the newborn boards, you'll find a ton of things

And you know what, I think more than anything, having just a group of new mom's in the same room will be more support than anything else. You will then learn that you are not alone, a lot of women are feeling the same exact thing and you can just lean on each other, offer advice, etc.
 
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cheeezie25 responded:
I think you have a good idea there; I think many new mothers, especially transient mothers, would like to have that assistance and support. I have two thoughts that might serve to improve further upon your initial idea.

1) Like ad1979 pointed out, I think it would be best to avoid revolving the program around a specific parenting style, and rather have it be more of an open forum to discuss the options that are out there in terms of how to parent. There are probably mant moms who don't really know much about cloth diapering, but would like to learn more, but there are porbalby also alot of moms who may want to know more about bottle feeding if they choose not to BF or if it doesn't work out for them, KWIM?

2) I would opt to call it the "New" Mothers Support Group rather than the "Young" Mothers Support Group. I think being a new mother is difficult regardless of age, so I think calling it a "Young" mothers support group would dissuade later-in-life first time mothers from joining, even if they would really benefit from the support/help. Also on the contrary, I would think it would also be beneficial to include young, yet experienced mothers as mentors, because they may be more in tune with the issues and social environment new, young mothers face. HTH!
 
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RunninMama replied to daisy729's response:
ad1978, did you read the very first post made to this board, the "why are you here?" post? It states that you don't have to be doing any of those things! Everyone is welcome to post, no matter what your circumstance. I don't CD, I didn't BF, I didn't wear my baby. But you know what? No one here has made me feel less of a mother because I didn't. This board is about supporting each other in a safe, and yes DRAMA free environment. I like daisy's listing of the definitions for nourishing. I think all 3 fit what all of us as mothers try to do.
 
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daisy729 replied to ad1978's response:
*I* am sorry, I misinterpreted what you were saying, it wasn't clear that you were talking about a specific quote.
 
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ad1978 replied to RunninMama's response:
runninmama, I am specifically referring to the quote in THIS thread, not the ENTIRE board. I understand the board is supposed to include anyone with even a remote interest in these topics.

But the quote in THIS thread more than indicated her feeling that a "nourishing" mother is one who follows this style.

I'm dissapointed that you didn't bother to read/acknowledge my entire post here, which for the most part SUPPORTS montana's idea. I have the right to say "how about rethink the wording" without you getting this upset and pointing the drama finger at me.

Your post isn't even a little bit supportive.
 
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Jackie03291 replied to ad1978's response:
I'm going to say what I know a lot of us have been wanting to say and that is that you (ad1978) are in instigator and constantly have to throw your two cents out there in a negative way. It is one thing to have an opinion one way or another, but it is another thing to constantly pull apart what someone else is saying. And if we're going to start pulling apart quotes from everything that people write, maybe next time you start to write these words "I also have to comment, and I know people will think this is "drama" you should think twice, because that is exactly what you are doing.
 
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KCAimee responded:
Great points about calling it "new" mothers and not young mothers. I was 29 when I had my first and I was as green as a 19 yr old! :)

Also about not gearing it specifically towards those who CD, BW, BF, etc as that might scare people away. Just make it a true SUPPORT group for "new" moms
 
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simerlm responded:
O.k. I think we are all just getting caught up in semantics here. When MM said nourishing, she put it in quotations. I don't think for a second that she meant that unless you cd, bf, homeschool, etc, that you are not nourishing your child. I think it is just the term she chose to use. If she had said natural, instead someone else may have been offended. Know what I mean?

As for the original post, I think it is a great idea. I really applaud you, Kim, for being so willing to give up some of your precious time to help others.
 
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MontanaMama2009 responded:
So I like the idea of "new" mothers, not "young" mothers, for sure. That's a great critique. Thank you.

I like the idea of searching the newborn board for topics...because I'm already so far removed from infancy that I've forgotten the struggles of that age/stage.

I have a few doctor friends in town who would love to put up brochures for this in their offices. And I already thought of using the public library's free meeting room for meetings. Also, the public library has a board to post events/meetings, so I could advertise there. I haven't been to the Y, but I chould check into that, too.

And I do tend to sit more on the granola/hippie side of the fence, no doubts, so for me, those are the topics I'm most comfortable with. But I could always have a different experienced mom discuss other topics that she's most familiar with.

I also thought of:
home births

yoga for preggo moms or yoga for moms/babies class

having a homeopath come and discuss some childhood issues and how to treat them without medication or before medication?

sign language for babies



I appreciate all of your helpful suggestions. Thank you!


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