Mothers help each other through local Facebook groups – Boston 25 News
DEDHAM, Mass. – Offering everything from second-hand toys to parenting tips and pediatrician recommendations, moms in local Facebook groups are making the world’s toughest job a little easier.
Sasha DiMarsico, mom to boys Rafi and Luca, tells Boston 25 News that her go-to when she has a question only another mom can answer is her “Real Moms of Dedham” Facebook group.
“As moms, we go through a lot and so many different situations in life. Everything from pregnancy to postpartum and then having a newborn and being really overwhelmed,” DiMarsico said. “It’s honestly been a wonderful resource in so many ways.”
DiMarsico got tips, gave away free items to other mums and started a fundraiser to benefit Ukraine, with complete strangers dropping off donated items on her doorstep.
But sometimes, what she is looking for is simply moral support from mom to mom.
“Being able to ask a question, or sometimes, when you’re writing in the middle of the night and crying and you know someone’s going to be there, is going to say, ‘You’re still a great mom, even if x, y and z happened,’ or ‘everything will be fine,'” DiMarsico said. “It’s all so uplifting.”
LawnStarter ranks Boston as the second best city in 2022 for new moms. The company compared 180 cities across the country, using “40 mom-friendly factors, such as access to obstetricians/gynecologists and pediatricians, strength of breastfeeding laws, child care costs, children and support groups for new mothers”.
One of the mums in DiMarsico’s group, Felicity Ingles of West Roxbury, relies on her Facebook mum network to find babysitters, ask for potty training tips and offer other mums toys that her children have outgrown.
But last month, her post in the Dedham mums group was more personal and pressing. Stuck on jury duty with her own mother watching over her children, Ingles realized that her son Chandler, then seven months old, did not have enough breast milk at home.
Ingles sent a message from the courthouse asking another mother to drop milk off at her apartment.
Within minutes, several moms had offered their hard-earned breast milk.
“I was very emotional about it. I went home and said to my husband, ‘I can’t believe all these women could do this for me and they don’t even know me’ “I consider a lot of them my friends that I haven’t really met, and they’re just a support system for me,” Ingles said.
Ingles ended up getting home in time for her son’s feeding. She was excused by the judge – a suggestion from another Facebook mum.
But she’s not the only mom to find such help.
New Hampshire mom Christine TenBroeck, whose nine-month-old daughter Makayla was spending the night with TenBroeck’s mom in Groton during a storm in January, reached out to a Groton moms Facebook group with a similar request. Having left her daughter without enough milk, she asked someone nearby to bring her extra breast milk.
Around 30 women offered to drop off a bag of frozen breast milk.
TenBroeck, blown away by the generosity, now plans to pay it back by donating her own excess breast milk to a local hospital.
“I didn’t think anyone was going to respond at all,” TenBroeck said. “I’m still shocked in the best possible way that all of these women reached out to me.”
Maternity therapist Chelsea Robinson told Boston 25 News that having the support of other mothers is essential.
“They say it takes a whole village to raise a child. But it also takes a village to raise a mom,” Robinson said. “None of us were born knowing how to do all this motherhood stuff. And so when we find this village, whether it’s through social media, through our friends or our family, we finally get that feeling of ‘membership.
Robinson is the founder of Mama’s Modern Village, which offers coaching, workshops and other forms of support for women on their motherhood journey. She says women can be each other’s best resource, but warns mom-to-mom advice is no substitute for professional therapy or medical care.
“While asking your mom friends for advice can be so empowering and encouraging, there are also times when it’s necessary to seek support from a clinical mental health therapist or your doctor,” Robinson said.
Robinson says solidarity among moms on social media is particularly powerful during a few years of isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s really beautiful when you can look at someone who’s a stranger and say, ‘I see part of myself in you, because I’m a mother too,'” Robinson said.
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