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Support for New Mommies

Local groups offer sanity and friendship.

Almost every new mom has a moment when she feels overwhelmed. Perhaps she feels it when  the visitors quit coming to meet the new baby or her partner goes back to work. It is all too easy to feel isolated as one settles into the role of a new mom and that's when it's important to find support. Athens offers several options for getting moms out of the house and back into the world.

One local moms group that lends support is MOPS, or Mothers Of PreSchoolers,  a Christian international organization whose motto is "Better Moms Make a Better World."

MOPS is a place to make new friends, experience authentic community, and share the challenges and joys of motherhood. Darian Kardos, the co-coordinator of the Athens area MOPS group, feels that the spiritual aspect of the group is what sets it apart.

"The focus of each meeting is to challenge women to be more than just a mom, but to be the best woman God created her to be," she said. "Some meetings are geared to just having fun, others take a look at the relationships we have in our lives, and then there are those meetings that challenge the spirit."

So, if your soul is thirsty for fellowship, the ladies at MOPS are waiting with open arms to welcome you.

Another resource for moms is The Athens Mother Center, a non-profit organization that is part of the National Association of Mothers' Centers. They offer discussion and activity groups, parenting education, social events, and information about community resources.

One mom, Lisa Myers has been a member for four years and has wonderful things to say about her experience.

"The Athens Mother Center has shown me I am not alone. It has offered me a forum for expressing my true feelings and learning the tricks of the trade," she said. "They also offer a setting where I can be myself, the good the bad and the sleep-deprived insane." 

The support that Lisa found within the group helped her through many hardships along the way. She says she "could not imagine going through this journey as a mother without the Mother's Center and the wonderful women associated with it."

They offer a new moms group where you will find babies sprawled out on blankets and mommies immersed in conversation. Childcare is available for toddlers, so you can leave your baby in safe hands while you join in an activity. It's the perfect place to find fellow moms.

Full Bloom-Pregnancy and Early Parenting Center is another excellent place for helping moms to feel nurtured. Founded by local registered nurse and postpartum doula, Pat Nielson, it offers a safe, nurturing environment in which parents can learn, grow and be supported on their parenting journey. They offer a new mamas group where they insist that "unwashed hair and fussy babies are welcome."

Ruby Basham, a local mom who visited Full Bloom frequently after her second son was born, credits Pat with creating a supportive atmosphere. "Her passion and gift for fortifying the spirits of sleep-challenged, uncertain moms is obvious and infectious," she said. "Sometimes the positive energy she creates is just through a simple, 'Good morning, wonderful mama!'"

If you are looking for a nonjudgmental and supportive place to find other mamas, then Full Bloom is the place for you.

Support groups like the ones that Athens has to offer help mothers cope with the changes that come about after having a baby. Ruby feels lucky to have spent time both at the Athens Mother Center and Full Bloom and knows first hand how important these resources are.

"Sharing stories with other locals going through the same challenges builds moms up so that they can get through the hard parts of parenting and more thoroughly enjoy the wonderful parts, too." she said.

Here is all the information that you need to get motivated, change out of those spit-up covered pajamas, and find some like-minded friends.

MOPS is located at Grace Fellowship in Bogart and meets the first and third Wednesdays from 9:30 to 11:30 am beginning August 17, 2011  For more information contact Martha Cahoon, Grace Fellowship Women's Ministry Coordinator, 706-769-4001.

The Athens Mother Center is located at at 3195 Barnett Shoals Rd. They meet Tuesdays & Fridays from 9:30-11:30. Feel free to stop by during these hours and request a tour. For more information visit the website.

is located at 220 North Milledge Avenue. The new mamas group meets Thursdays at 10:00 am. Please visit their website for more information.


 

Christy June 21, 2011 at 07:35 PM
I didn't realize that there were so many options for new moms out there. I could have used this info when my kids were younger. I'm passing this story on to a few moms that I know with babies! Thanks for featuring this.
Rachel Watkins June 21, 2011 at 08:41 PM
I left Athens as a single woman and returned 10 years later married with 2 kids. AMC was a huge resource moving back b/c I had to find a new niche for myself in Athens. Yea for AMC! I'm still connected to a lot of friends from AMC six years after attending.
Linda Labbo June 21, 2011 at 08:42 PM
What amazing local resources for new moms. I am familiar with Full Bloom and highly recommend the support and fellowship!
Melissa B. June 21, 2011 at 09:31 PM
I have been wanting to visit The Athens Mother Center but was feeling a little bit shy about it. After reading this article, I think that I will go in and check it out.
Leigh Hewett June 21, 2011 at 09:50 PM
Please do pass the article on. Moms need each other!
Leigh Hewett June 21, 2011 at 09:50 PM
I remember our AMC days fondly!
Leigh Hewett June 21, 2011 at 09:51 PM
Please go and visit. It's a great group of ladies that will make you feel very comfortable.
Leigh Hewett June 21, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Full Bloom is great. Pat is really an amazing support.
Lisa Myers June 21, 2011 at 10:08 PM
What a great article Leigh! Thanks so much for featuring this (and AMC) ;)
Lisa Myers June 21, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Yes, please stop by AMC, no need to be shy! We are open to new members at all times. We also offer great snacks at the meeting :)
jenny findell June 21, 2011 at 11:44 PM
Melissa, just remember that everyone there was once a new face feeling shy and maybe out of place. It took me a few visits before I started to feel comfortable, but AMC ended up being a great place for me to grow as a mother-person. I now live in Columbus, Ohio, but still stay in touch with friends from AMC.
Amy Lasseter June 21, 2011 at 11:51 PM
Great article! So glad to see such great support for new mama's out there! As a member of AMC I can vouch for the ladies... and the tasty snacks they make :) Melissa, please stop by we would love to meet you- pajamas or not :)
Lili Hillman Hill June 22, 2011 at 12:50 AM
I started attending AMC meetings when I was expecting my first child. I moved to Athens from Canada and had no family to lean on for guidance in those early months but AMC came to my rescue as a second family! I fully recommend you come attend AMC if you are expecting (or already a mom) and just need that village to help you raise your child. I also attended the birth classes at FullBloom and Pat is an absolute angel over your shoulder! Anything you want to know for your birth experience she'll be able to fill in all the details! And her shop is great for all those little baby things you need in the early months! If you are a new mom, this is a GREAT community to raise a child in and there are some fabulous resources out there for you if you take that first step of heading over to them. My son is 19 months now and loving his first childcare experience at AMC and the beauty of it is I'm never more than a room away if he does need his mommy.
Lisa Lewis June 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM
AMC is a treasure for new moms. Though my children are older now, I have maintained a number of my AMC friendships. To anyone unsure about it, bear in mind that you never know what lifelong friendships you might make if you just take that first step. Other mothers are an invaluable resource and source of support, especially when you're just starting out as a mommy. Hi Jenny!
Renee Rousselle Kopcha June 23, 2011 at 05:58 PM
I am a member of both MOPS and AMC. Being new to the Athens area, I was looking for a way to meet moms and kids and both groups have given me that and much more!

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