Where Do We Start? Part 2: The Community

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So… there are two parts to the business; 1. Coffee, 2. Community – both are interdependent.

To be able to deliver our mission of strengthening peer support for mums, we need to build a community. An HONEST and INCLUSIVE community for ALL. Our aim is to bring Mums together and ensure that quality coffee and conversation is ACCESSIBLE to ALL and is HAPPENING all over the UK. Together we can enjoy the highs, share/support the lows and most importantly normalise what is NORMAL.

The Current Situation

We know that since COVID service provisions for supporting mums have changed, and that there’s an increasing call for focus on maternal wellbeing now more than ever to support those in need. We have a duty to help other Mums if we can, as this gig is undoubtedly a tough one for all of us. We are in it TOGETHER and we are/can be the much-needed village.

How We Want to Build Our Community

To bring mums together we wanted to provide something that initially local mums could benefit from physically, as well as being able to reach a bigger target audience with some online content. We live in a rural community, and what was apparent through our experiences was that there isn’t enough quality peer support for mums (this may be different in a big city, we don’t know). There is plenty for ‘mum and baby’ and a huge focus on baby but much less purely on MUM.

And what was also strikingly apparent within the wider mum community for the UK and beyond was the lack of focus on what is normal everyday life and a strong focus on some kind of false perfection. Particularly across platforms of social media. These displays of perceived perfection within motherhood which will undoubtedly lead to dangerous comparison for many mums, particularly those that might be dealing with struggles, are a part of what sparked us into wanting to shine a light into what IS normal. The ugly but beautiful reality of motherhood.

We want to build a virtual/online platform that can reach as many mums as possible and one that sees many mums all interacting with each other – not in a way like mumsnet where you might ask a question and get 30k+ responses that are possibly relevant, possibly not and ulitmately leave you feeling so overwhelmed and confused that you can’t remember where you started – but in a way that says ‘I see you, I hear you and I’ve been there. You’ve got this.’ or ‘I’m in this with you, let’s catch up’ and so on.

We also want to create a local space across Shropshire and North Wales initially – it would be wrong if we didn’t aim for this. A space where we can provide peer support, encourage others to do the same, where we can influence change by being as OPEN, HONEST and REAL as we can be. Hopefully this will grow and we can then reach areas further afield.

Combine these two elements and hopefully in addition we can come up with some kind of survival guide for mums based on other mums REAL experiences. Almost like the guide book that you wished you’d had when you went through it. But we can’t do this on our own, we need mums, we need a community, we need YOU!

(You never know, one day maybe we will have those coffee roasteries with cafe and workshop space in every city that provides the perfect community we are after. But apparently you have to walk before you can run…………)

Where We Are Now

  • We have created a growing peer support community within social media that is accessible to all.
  • We launched our virtual chat series with special guests via Facebook and YouTube in January 2023, and were guests on a well-known podcast in February 2023.
  • We held our first peer support session in March 2023 and our first face-to-face mini-workshop in April 2023. We have been busy!

There are plenty more virtual chats planned with more brilliant guest speakers and the aim of these is that mums can watch them at whatever time suits and get something useful from them that they can put into practice. Whether its tips on top-down fitness, practical skills for dealing with difficult parenting days or nutritional habits, we’ve got you covered! What has been really lovely is that mums will reach out and ask what type of thing is coming up as they are struggling with ‘X’ or ‘Y’ and this means that we can tailor our content to things mums want to see and hear about. So if there’s something you would like us to cover, please just drop us a message via any forum you like!

Going forward we are hoping to hold some bigger workshops and connect a whole host of relevant and wonderful people to support this. It seems to be the natural progression and again, possibly due to the rural community that are particularly exposed to, our digging around into this subject has found that there are wonderful things going on out there aimed at mums but people don’t necessarily know about them. Like there are plenty of dots on the page but no-one has connected them all together, which is where we come in.

Another way for us to connect dots is to launch some regular peer support sessions (involving coffee of course!) where we can feature a different topic of use to all mums whether they are first time mums of have three teenagers. For example women’s health, sleep, nutrition, mindfulness, and so on – though we have to point out that this is subject to these people actually agreeing to work with us! It will also provide a regular space for people to come and have some REAL conversations about motherhood and its challenges (i.e. avoiding those ‘are they walking/sleeping/crawling/reading Shakespeare yet?’ conversations that we all know and hate – why do people always ask this?? Is it an automatic reaction like asking a taxi driver if they’ve been busy or what time they finish??)

#mumsarefine Campaign

We saw such a positive reaction and engagement with the very start of the community that it quickly led to the launch of the #mumsarefine campaign. Just like anyone, mums will mostly say they’re ‘fine’. The juggle, the mental load, the anxieties, the guilt, the hopelessness, the sometimes shame that all mums feel but rarely talk openly about is something we need to change.

Hopefully this campaign will grow and reach enough mums to be of help, and as we have said all along, if we can be a part of bringing just one mum back from a negative place then all of this is worth it. (Whilst I could write another 500+ words here on the campaign, it wouldn’t do it justice, and so that’s why we are building a dedicated page on the website, so check back soon! In the meantime check out our social media on all platforms for the latest info, posts and mums getting involved – oh, and don’t forget to subscribe!)

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