It's working for Heather Nash
Whether it’s to ask a question about your child’s behavior, or gripe about something your partner did that is driving you crazy, or people who are having serious problems in their life, they can feel support, but not feel like anyone is judging them.
Heather had been working for the same company for 12 years, “I’ve grown up in the company,” she explains. “I’ve gone from a 20-something-year-old with no real responsibilities to a mother with two kids in the same working space.”
She took 12 weeks maternity leave after her daughter Marlo was born, but encountered a childcare crisis two days before scheduled to return to work. The woman who had an in-home daycare said she was closing it and she wouldn’t be able to watch Marlo.
“I was crying, like a Greek tragedy, pulling my hair out wailing,” said Heather. After scrambling to find a space, they found a daycare center closer to her husband’s work that had an opening.
“It was great that this happened because we found this place, they really take care of the kids. It worked out for the best.”
Once Heather returned to work, the other moms rallied around her. “The other moms in the workplace were supportive and it was so helpful on a personal level. One of my friends sent me flowers, which was super sweet. Another mom that I kind of knew, her child was in the same center as mine, and she called me and said, ‘I just wanted to let me know, my daughter is in the same school, and I saw your baby this morning and she looked great.’ It meant so much just to have that reassurance from another mother that understands what you are going through.”
Heather knew she wanted to find more ways to connect with other mothers, so she created a private Facebook group with the mothers she knew. “It was a way for us to connect with one another, share stories, post pictures and ask questions. Other women are powerful allies, who understand what you are going through and can support you. Even if it’s just a relationship where you chat online.” The group has since grown to over 100 women.
“A lot of people talk about the ‘mommy wars,’ and the drama of the internet message boards. I think because the group is private and people are always adding certain friends, you can stay away from that toxic environment. It’s been over 3 years and it’s so active every single day. Whether it’s to ask a question about your child’s behavior, or gripe about something your partner did that is driving you crazy, or people who are having serious problems in their life, they can feel support, but not feel like anyone is judging them.”
For her second child, the entire process was easier. “You know more of what to expect,” Heather explained. “With the first one, everything is totally new to you, you get a little cuckoo, you don’t know what’s going to happen when you hand over your baby for someone to take care of all day. You get these irrational thoughts: ‘they will think the women at the school are her mother, she won’t love you anymore.’ But the second time, you’re like, ‘of course he knows I’m his mother.’”