How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two fantastic kids. My daughter just turned 3 and my son is about to turn 1.
What do you love about living in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor?
I grew up in Washington, DC and recently moved here from Los Angeles, so I have really been enjoying the slower pace of life. No traffic has been one of the best parts! Everyone I have met has been so kind and welcoming. I love being outside and walking around the different neighborhoods. There are so many wonderful parks to explore.
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in the area?
Since I just moved here in December, and we are still navigating the pandemic, I haven’t explored the restaurant or shopping scene as much as I would have liked. My husband grew up in Mount Vernon and we love eating at Rapid Creek! The food is delicious and the whole ambiance is lovely.
Tell us about your career.
I have a masters degree in social work and have been a practicing independent social worker for the past 8 years. I have worked as a school counselor in early childhood education in both Washington, DC and Los Angeles.
Why did you decide to start a support group for first-time moms in the area?
After I had my first child I found a great community and support network with my local moms group and became interested in and passionate about maternal support and mental health. When I moved here I was looking for a mom group to join to meet other moms with babies my son’s age to help me settle into this new community. I realized there was no group in the area specifically designed to offer connection, support and education for new moms. I decided there was no time like the present to dive in and chase a dream and hopefully meet a real need in a new community.
What kind of support can first-time moms expect from The Caring Space?
My hope is that The Caring Space will be a place of solidarity where new moms come together for connection, community and information. The Caring Space offers just that – a caring space where new moms can celebrate the joys and firsts together, and hold a space for the hardships and challenges of new motherhood. I will host a series of guided sessions and we will cover topics ranging from sleep, nourishment, partner relationships, boundaries, bonding and more. The ultimate goal is for the moms who join the group to know they are never alone in their motherhood journey. I hope to see you there!
What are the most common concerns or issues faced by first-time moms in your experience?
Being a mom is hard no matter what stage of motherhood you are at, but I do believe that the challenges of being a first time mom are unique, especially during these times of lockdown and social distancing. New moms have to figure out how to care for their new babies without the village of support that was so common and available generations ago. More and more often, new moms find themselves living away from family and without a large network of moms to lean on. New motherhood comes with questions like “am I doing this right?”, “why is everyone else having an easier time with this?”, “who am I now that I am a mom?” “will I ever feel like myself again?” And with these questions, first-time moms can also experience feelings of isolation, sleep deprivation, stress, changing partner relationships, and a sense of loss of self. The shared experience of these often new and overwhelming feelings is exactly why I started The Caring Space – to offer that village of support as women navigate the unique challenges (and joys too!) of new motherhood.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best part of my job is being able to connect with women and mothers. I love being able to hear about and hold space for other mothers’ stories and to hopefully give back in return for the amazing support I have received through my own motherhood journey.
How do you juggle work with mommyhood?
It’s so hard. I lean on any support I can get, which isn’t always a lot. I think it is common to try to do it all. It can be hard to seek out and accept support, but I think that is really the only way to have a work-mommyhood balance and stay sane. I also recognize that not everyone is able to get the support they need, especially during this time. It can be really hard. I think we are all just surviving in a way and have to acknowledge and honor that reality.
What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis?
These are really scary and stressful times and it takes a big emotional toll – sometimes more than we realize. It’s important to seek out and cultivate connections with others any way we can.