One of Here and Now Moherhood’s goals is opening a Mommy Lounge. Before we get into what a Mommy Lounge is, let’s talk about why we need a Mommy Lounge.
The reason? Mothers are lonely.
Most women in the United States visits her doctor 6 weeks after having a baby, and that is the extent of the support she receives postpartum. After having a baby, women are left socially, emotionally, and physically alone. Not only is this overwhelming, but at Here and Now Motherhood believes that’s not the way that motherhood should be.
The transition into motherhood is called “matrescence.” Think of how adolescents are children changing into adults - matrescence is women changing into mothers. Adolescents have tons of support; they go to school surrounded by their peers, they have many teachers looking after them, often have a coach or a part-time job with a manager, they live at home and (hopefully) don’t need to worry about money, and they live with their parents who provide for them. During this difficult transition period into adulthood, they are supported almost every second of the day by peers or adults.
In contrast, if stay at home moms don’t take matters into their own hands, they will likely go days without seeing another adult. If they do see another adult, it may be their partner coming home from work - a well-meaning partner, of course, but he doesn’t really understand how she spent the last 9 hours. Cleaning up messes just to have the house destroyed again, nursing until her nipples cracked, maybe peeing her pants, or having a toddler scream “mom” repeatedly while she tried to fix him food.
The only people that understand the heroic yet mundane day-to-day life of a mother are other mothers. If moms want to feel less lonely and not only thrive in motherhood but ENJOY it, they need to spend time with other moms.
Moms need other moms
When I moved to Tennessee, we left our family in Oregon and Arizona, and went on an adventure by moving our toddler, dog, and my husband and I to a state we had never even visited before. We took a gamble and knew we’d love it - I’m happy to say that yes, we absolutely love it here in Tennessee.
The only person I knew in Tennessee was a cousin in Memphis, on the other side of the state. I knew that if I was going to (literally) survive, then I was going to need to make some really good friends, and fast. Every single interaction I had, I was looking for friends. If there was anything remotely similar to us having something in common, I asked to exchange numbers and set up a play date. I filled my days with spending time one-on-one (plus kids) with other moms because I knew that I couldn’t be lonely here. I couldn’t raise my toddler without any support or help.
I’m happy to say that this method worked and I’ve made some amazing friends. Last week, one of my close friends had family in town for the week so I didn’t get to see her. We usually see each other a few times a week, and by Friday I was noticing that I was compulsively checking instagram - that was unlike me (at least lately). Every scroll of my finger made me feel worse. “Oh my gosh, my friends in California are having fun without me!” (Yes, I know that is illogical but it’s what I felt). I had feelings of boredom, hopelessness, and little direction. I realized, “Oooh! I’m lonely!”
Spending time with my friends prevented these “symptoms” of lonely motherhood. Being with moms is important!
So what is a Mommy Lounge?
The Mommy Lounge is a center where mothers can come and connect, while their children play. This center will offer services to mothers like our mom-centered yoga classes with free childcare, age-appropriate toy stations for kids, mom-serving services, and events to connect mothers.
When we have the pleasure of opening our doors, we will move our yoga program to the Mommy Lounge. The exterior grounds will also feature a children’s garden, and we hope to have mom-centered services there while we provide free childcare, services like acupuncture and massage.
Think of the Mommy Lounge like a communal living room for moms - come any time during the day and hang out on a couch while your kids play within eye sight with new toys that actually intrigue them. Use that time to either connect with other moms, or get lost in a good book. The programs we offer will always include free childcare, because if it’s not kid-friendly, it’s not mom-friendly.
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