A Community for Parents
To prepare for the birth of my first child, I was blessed with a community of supportive, like-minded mothers while in chiropractic school. When my husband and I moved away and had our second child, I realized how amazing it had been to have a group of us parents who met regularly and shared our concerns and experiences. It allowed us to make decisions with the assurance that comes with a community of support. As a group, we could venture into unchartered lifestyle choices that felt right to us but were unfamiliar to how our parents had raised us. Homebirth, breastfeeding, and co-sleeping were little-known practices at that time, and I’m grateful that together we gained the confidence and strength to seek these options for our children.
When my husband and I opened our practice, we noticed a similar community come together. Some of the greatest insights into conscious parenting would come out of mom-to-mom, parent-to-parent conversations in our reception area. Sharing their experiences and wisdom with each other as they waited to get their adjustments turned out to be as valuable to them and their families as the adjustments themselves.
Today, with almost too much information at hand via the Internet, it is a blessing to have a real, live, trusted group of open-minded parents to share concerns and successes with. Out of this simple gift of togetherness and real engagement, the ICPA built the platform called Pathways Connect. It has been utilized by many parents and families around the United States and in other parts of the world. Unlike most monthly or weekly parent meetups, Pathways Connect is sponsored by ICPA doctors, giving interested parents an opportunity to join with no fees or requirements.
There are now hundreds of active Pathways Connect meetups in North America alone. They have expanded to include play dates, cooking events, and larger social gatherings, as well as other creative forums. These groups result in new friendships and mutual support systems. Pathways Connect, or whatever parents eventually come to call their groups, provides the opportunity for moms to get together to laugh, cry, and share stories. Young parents report the liberating feeling that occurs when they replace online communication with the deep, invaluable connectivity of face-to-face conversations.
From the gift it has given me in my own life, I encourage you to find a Pathways community in your area. Visit the online Pathways Connect Facebook page, or get in touch with your ICPA chiropractor directly to find a group of people who share your parenting passions. The value of human-to-human connection will be greatly received by your children and the community of families around you.
— Jeanne Ohm, D.C., Pathways to Family Wellness
“Someday, women will be told that we already hold all of our own answers. We will approach childbirth and motherhood from a place of fullness and abundance, rather than from a place of need and want. We will gather in circles of women to bathe in our own innate wisdom while celebrating the gifts that our children will bring. Our transitions into motherhood will be supported, honored, and held with great consciousness.”
—Laurel Bay Connell
How important is community for moms?
“The research is clear: Since the beginning of womankind, mothering has been a communal effort…. So many mothers feel like something is out of joint, something is missing, and maybe the truth is that we are all just missing each other.”
“There was one word that kept repeating itself, an echo of wisdom from deep in my womb, over and over and over again as the months of depression carried on. One word that captured what a solution would feel like. One word that spoke of the medicine a mother like me so painfully needed. Village.”
“I love the idea that it doesn’t take one person only to achieve your potential. It takes a village, it takes a community, a street, a teacher, a mother.”
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #60.
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