The one thing I’m certain a mom anywhere in this world cannot live without is a support group.
I was glad to have found mine in Chapel Hill and I still miss them all to this day. They have become great friends and co-moms and certainly treasured friends in a short span of time. The invited us to playgroups and parties and even just the regular moms brunch or dinner out (which we all needed every now and then). They brought me food when I had given birth to Jamie, and offered to take Sam on days when I couldn’t be with her, and run errands on my behalf. We talked about our kids and husbands and different lives and tried to keep each other sane. They are and will always be, family away from home. Thank God for the internet, the Scramble games and Skype! (Hugs, You all know who you are!)
I am also incredibly lucky and fortunate for my support group here, and I cannot deny that it is one of the unquantifiable benefits of coming home. As we go through this difficult transition and adjustment (It’s no secret that I’m having a hard time adjusting to our new life…), I am thankful every exhausted evening for the family and friends who are there to extend help in all kinds of shapes and forms everyday. And of course, to the best friends who put up with the earfuls that they get from me whether they like it our not! (Again, you all know who you are!!).
And then there’s also the New Beginnings Community. This is a group of mums that come together to learn how to be better parents. Coach Pia Acevedo-Nazareno (author of the bestseller Born to Be a Hero) guides the group through the progressive parenting discussions and offers tools for everyone to help become more self-aware of how they (we) were parented, and what our parenting styles are. She enables us to help find the best mix of parenting tactics that work for our respective families. As OCMominmanila says in her blog, it’s not about venting to one another about each other’s problems, but rather, “it is a venue to raise our concerns that stress us out and affect the way we parent”. It’s a process that we try to see each other through, because at the end of the day we all have one common goal: to be better parents to our kids.
There have been four gatherings thus far and already I have learned so much. Just this last weekend there was so much to take away — from understanding the behavioral differences in parenting to having house rules and finding the perfect teaching moment for your child (I could go on). It’s all rooted what Coach Pia calls “filling the child’s emotional love tank”. Again, that is easier said than done — because you need the right mindset and tools to carry it out.
I am a willing participant (I am after all a self-declared student of motherhood!). It couldn’t have come at a better time in my life too, as I feel I need to re-learn how to be a mum to my girls in this new, somewhat more complicated, environment.
I feel rejuvenated after every session and there is something very concrete that I can use immediately. For instance just this last weekend, Coach Pia stressed the importance of “getting down to your child’s level” – literally and figurative speaking – and show her you understand what she is feeling and what she is going through, most especially when it comes to disciplinary actions, tantrums and breakdowns. I have tried it with both girls (and literally I find myself sprawled on the floor beside them to meet their gaze), and I feel that I can get through to them better. I also feel more connected to them, and I think they can sense it too. At the very least, I hope they see the effort. It’s a hard process for sure, but well worth it in the end.
Any parent who is open to learning about progressive parenting and is humble enough to listen as to how best adapt it to their family is welcome to join the group (They keywords in that statement being “open” and “humble”). There’s a regular meet-up with Coach Pia, and there’s also the Facebook page for parents to follow and pick-up quips from the sessions. Feel free to post your own questions and concerns, and we will forward them to Coach Pia to answer (with your permission of course).
Many people will easily default to the phrase, “We didn’t have that growing up and we turned out ok.” But personally this doesn’t hold water in my book for so many reasons. Times have changed from before, and really if there is anything we’ve learned these days, it is the fact that there is no one right way to parent a child. I feel that as the new generation of mums, we need to adapt to cope with the changing times to raise our kids in the best possible way. After all, wouldn’t you want to be the best you can be for your child?
Thank you, FrisoMum for bringing the New Beginnings Community to Life. Other favorite blog posts on the lessons we learned from Coach Pia are the following: