Mothers are caregivers. Day after day, we nurture, love, support and care for children, spouses and other family members, all while juggling household responsibilities, personal goals, friendships and for some, careers outside of the home (or in the home.)
Motherhood is a difficult and important vocation- if not the most difficult and the most important one.
Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’? I know I have.
Throughout history, mothers have banded together, shared in each other’s ups and downs, supported each other at all stages in life and have depended on multi-generational family members and friends to share experience, guidance and wisdom.
Unfortunately, today, mothers are lacking such support. Many of us are not living close or even remotely close to family members or friends. Many of us are alone and going through life’s ups and downs alone. Many of us have no one to lean on. Many of us have no village.
When I first had my son, I felt great joy, love and happiness. But I also felt isolated and alone.
When my husband went off to work in the mornings, it was just me and my son. For up to 10 hours, it was just me and him, all alone.
At times, I had no idea what I was doing with him and I could only depend on online forums, desperate calls to my mother, who was at work and sometimes for the bigger issues, calls to the pediatrician’s office.
There was no village for me to depend on. No community for me to turn to.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Along with other variables, I believe that this lack of a community or village attributed to my post-partum anxiety.
While I treasure the time that I spent and continue to spend alone with him and I will surely miss it one day, I wish that I had a village to help me in those early, hard days. Still, now I wish that I had a village to help me and that I could help in return.
Moms deserve and depend on this vital support in order to be the best versions of ourselves- in our vocations both in and out of the home.
God intended us to get through life together.
The angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary she will conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God and he also tells her that her cousin, Elizabeth, is six months pregnant despite her older age and barrenness. What does the Blessed Virgin Mary do? She immediately sets out "in haste" to "travel to the hill country to a town of Judah" to be with Elizabeth for three months.
"When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirits cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed* that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
I Know Times Have Changed, But Let's Bring Some Things Back
Growing up, I remember that my family and I were always with people we loved and that loved us. Not a day went by that I didn’t get to spend quality time with people who did not live in my house: cousins, aunts, uncles, friends of the family and their children, neighbors, etc.
Now, we usually only get to see friends and family members occasionally and very, very rarely each month.
We’re all busy and many of my family members and friends have either passed away, moved or we’ve simply lost touch.
As my son celebrated his first birthday and was surrounded by family members and friends, I realized that this what I was missing. This is what other moms were missing.
This is what I SO desperately needed when he was a few weeks old. When I was petrified to go downstairs while holding him. When I had no idea why he was crying. When I had no one to cry to.
I needed a village.
All moms need a village.
Catholic Mom Rhode Island is Born
A few months after my son’s first birthday, I started to have visions of something focused on motherhood and more specifically, Catholic motherhood.
They weren’t elaborate visions and were usually just passing moments in which ideas would randomly pop into my head. However, the visions and ideas themselves were not random and all focused on the idea of a community.
The morning after I went to confession for the first time in three years I woke up and the first thing that popped into my head was “Catholic Mom Rhode Island.”
I still believe that the Holy Spirit was willing me to come full circle and only allowed these visions and ideas to prophesize once I had cleansed my soul through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Catholic Mom Rhode Island is a community for Catholic mothers in Rhode Island to nurture, grow and support families and themselves through faith, hope and love. We are inspired by the original Catholic Mom, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
We are a group of Catholic moms that understand the need for a community, group, tribe, village, band, circle, club- whatever you want to call it- to support moms and our families.
We meet once a month to fulfill this mission (italicized above) and to grow in our Catholic faith.
I pray that you will join our community (or tribe or village or band….) at our next Catholic Mom's group. We will be meeting next on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018.
For more information and to sign up, please visit: CatholicMomRI.eventbrite.com
To be notified of upcoming meetings, please visit: CatholicMomRI.com/contact.
Also, please help us grow this ministry for Catholic moms in Rhode Island by “liking” our Facebook page and inviting your mom friends to do the same by sharing it as well.
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!