When we have kids, we mark the passing of time by referring to certain milestones or “firsts”: The first time the kids sit upright on their own, their first foods, their first attempts at crawling, their first steps. As parents we watch these moments with a mixture of excitement and sadness - the joy of discovering a new stage in our child’s development, and the quiet lament for the stage left behind. Time moves forward. And keeps moving.
This week I marked another milestone - not for my kids, for me. It was my last week as the co-leader of my mom’s group. Five years ago, when my first child arrived, I had difficulty adjusting to my new reality (who doesn't?). The women I met at my moms' group were my lifeline. I am not exaggerating when I say that I don’t think I would have gotten through those first few months without the support of this group.
Once I found my feet and came out of “the fog”, I vowed to do everything I could to help and support other new moms. So when I was asked to take over the leadership of our moms' group - right around the time when my second child arrived - I jumped at the chance.
For the past two years my dear friend Jenn and I have lead our neighbourhood chapter of Mumnet. As co-leaders, we were responsible for the weekly programming, for organizing guest speakers on topics such as post-partum depression to post-natal fitness. But most importantly, we were there to create a safe place for new moms to hang out. A place to cultivate friendships with other moms in the community, a place to share knowledge and experiences, a place to celebrate milestones (“Oh my God I actually got 5 hours straight sleep!” to “She’s-standing-all-on-her-own!”), and a place to find support in difficult times. Jenn and I sought to create a place for moms without judgment and where there was no lack of love and hugs.
When I started as co-leader, my daughter was 2 ½ and my son was a newborn. But time moves on. Our moms' group grew and changed and welcomed new bundles. All the while, my children were growing. Now my daughter is almost finished Junior Kindergarten and my son is almost 2 ½.
As Jenn and I hand over the reins to the next leaders of our moms' group, I’m acutely aware that I am no longer the mother of two small babies. And although I am excited to be at this milestone (and out of the baby years!), my heart aches as I give away boxes of baby clothes. But something else is also very clear: regardless of the passing of time, regardless of the fact that I’m no longer leading a moms' group, I will always remain passionate about helping new mothers and will do all I can to support moms in this incredible journey of motherhood.