Run for Mom: Care for Women’s Inaugural Walk/Run

Postpartum Care

Run for Mom: Care for Women’s Inaugural Walk/Run

Join and support Care For Women’s #MoveForAMother walk and run for mom.

#MoveForAMother: Care for Women’s Inaugural Walk/Run

Care For Women is in urgent need of donations to help a growing waiting list of new moms reaching out for help and asking for care.

We are excited to announce our first-ever Walk/Run event, scheduled for October 14, 2023, at Mill Lake, Abbotsford. It’s a fundraiser to meet the growing demand for support from mothers in need.

This empowering event aims to raise awareness about the increasing demand for support from mothers in need and the importance of uplifting and empowering them during their transformative journey.

When: Saturday, October 14, 2023

Time: 8:30-1:30p.m. (Walk at 10am and Run at 10:30am)

Where: Mill Lake, Abbotsford

Register here: https://careforwomen.ca/care-for-women-walk-run/

Join Our Village: How Can You Help?

There are four impactful ways you could get involved:

1. Participate in the Walk/Run: Join us for a day of walking/running, fun, and community spirit. Join as an individual or create a team HERE with your friends and family and help us raise $15, 000 to support 50 mothers. Or DONATE HERE: (Click on the “Donate Now” button in the new screen)

2.Business Sponsorship: We are in need of three sponsors, including: Kids Area Sponsor or Lunch Area/Food Truck Sponsor ($2.5K) and Awards Sponsor ($3K).

We are pleased to announce our title sponsor is Vandenberg Landscape! Our Volunteer Sponsors are Lepp’s Farm Market and Fraser Birth Collaborative. Together, we can make a lasting difference.

      

3.Help us spread the word! As a grassroots charity, our growth has been fueled by people like you who believe in our mission. Help us extend our reach by sharing information about our walk/run on social media and with your friends and family. We went from a volunteer mentor team of 2 to 70 in 3 years. Share about our walk/run on social media and with your friends and family!

4.Volunteer with us: Whether you’d like to help with registration, assist with a “kids area”, help with clean-up, take photos or videos, there’s a role for everyone! Check out volunteer opportunities HERE, Whether you have ample time or a few hours to spare, we’d be delighted to have you join our volunteer team.

Postpartum Struggles: Rising Demand for Support

Despite our success in assisting mothers, the need for Care For Women’s support continues to grow exponentially. In May, we achieved our goal of supporting 90 mothers for the year, but it didn’t stop there. Applications for assistance kept pouring in, resulting in an unprecedented 444% increase in demand.

In response to the overwhelming need, Care For Women had to make the difficult decision to reevaluate their service approach due to budget constraints. However, our commitment to supporting mothers remains unwavering, and the upcoming Walk/Run serves as an essential fundraising initiative to meet the escalating demand.

Care for Women is looking to raise $20, 000 to process the current list of moms who have reached out for help and are waiting for care.

Also read: How to Help Mom Burnout

Supporting Mothers in Challenging Times

Motherhood is a remarkable journey, but it can also be challenging, especially for those who find themselves feeling alone and unsupported when they bring their baby home. Care For Women was established with a mission to bridge this gap and offer practical assistance to mothers in the Fraser Valley.

Through our innovative programs, we provide vital services such as prepared meals, professional cleaning, transportation to appointments, and dedicated one-on-one mentorship, all at no cost to the mothers.

Also read: The Importance of Mom Friends Postpartum

Join the Care For Women Walk/Run

The Care For Women Walk/Run presents an exciting opportunity for the community to rally together, support mothers, and create a brighter future for families in the Fraser Valley. 

Participants can choose to walk or run the scenic route at Mill Lake, with festivities beginning at 9a and concluding at 1pm. Register here: https://careforwomen.ca/care-for-women-walk-run/ 

For those who are unable to join the walk/run but would like to help provide care for mothers and their newborns, you can make a direct donation to Care for Women here: https://careforwomen.ca/donate/

A hiking mom watching her children explore nature

What is the criteria for being a "good mom"?

For our children to develop a secure attachment to us they need to experience feeling seen, soothed and safe. Renowned psychiatrist  Dr. Daniel Seigel, calls these the 3S’s of secure attachment

It is so easy for moms to heap on the guilt for having natural human emotions and experiences, such as being tired, worn out, wanting space, or feeling angry or disappointed. 

If I had to sum up the criteria for what all the books and research indicates about being a good mom is: show up with presence (much easier said than done), allow your humanity to come through, while being the adult to your children. Now before you roll your eyes and dismiss that as a cliche answer, allow me to elaborate because it can be very hard to put into practice. 

The more you push away or deny your lived experience of feeling tired, bored, sad, disappointed, angry, or lost, the harder living life will be.

Also Read: Get more information about the effects of mom burnout here. 

"Good enough" mothering

You don’t have to be all things to your children at all times. 

There are so many nights I have checked on my sleeping kids before going to bed myself, and felt a wave of regret for all the ways I wasn’t a great mother to them that day. 

It’s a common experience for many parents. What is important about this regret, or disappointment with how we behaved, is that it illustrates that we cannot be the parent we always want to be. The reality is that children will thrive without us being superheroes.

What they need is for us to show up with presence

And too many parents are not present. I’m not suggesting we need to be present all the time, that’s not realistic or developmentally necessary for children, but when we do talk to our kids, or answer their questions, or read them a story, or nurse them – too often we are distracted (often with technology) and it impacts our ability to attune to our kids. 

Children can thrive without many things in life, but not without a present parent. 

Accept your humanity. You aren’t perfect and you can strive to grow; it’s not an either/or situation but a both/and. 

The paradox is that when we accept our own humanity and lived experiences, it becomes easier to accept our children’s reality and accompanying emotions. 

This doesn’t mean you have to like your newborn’s cries or child’s anger. It simply means that your child’s emotions are varied and will come and go, and that instead of creating judgements around which ones are acceptable to you, you are able to accept they have a different reality than you. 

When we practice this daily, deep acceptance for how we feel (remember, acceptance is different than liking something) or what our children feel we can: 

  • Become less triggered and have more capacity to be curious about what is driving our children’s behaviour (are they hangry, tired, scared, disappointed, are they off their rocker because their brain is developmentally immature and needs help?)
  • Differentiate our reality from their reality (our child may be upset but we have greater ability to not be sucked into their vortex of chaos). For example, say something to ourselves such as, “My child is disappointed and having a hard time, but their reality is different than mine. I am not experiencing their disappointment.”

  • Reframe a hard situation – hearing crying or fighting can be highly distressing and exhausting but it won’t last forever.

When you learn to accept your humanity – which can be a long process of healing depending on your upbringing – you develop greater capacity to accept your children’s humanity and hopefully see your children for who they are, soothe them when they are in distress and help them feel safe.

If that sounds foreign or hard, perhaps spend time exploring your internal world with a trusted  loved one, a crew of mom friends, or a mental health professional.

 

What to do when you are struggling

I hope it’s clear that “motherhood nature” isn’t a fixed state or trait. Our motherhood nature can change and grow. 

I want to reiterate, work on letting go of perfection. There is a tension that all parents need to balance in striving to grow and become the best parents they can, while acknowledging their shortcomings. We all have shortcomings. You are a human not a robot, that is what makes you interesting. 

You have an attachment history that has deeply impacted you the person you are today; most parents are doing the best they can with the tools they have. 

Though we all struggle as parents, it’s so much worse to do it alone. We are wired to be in relationships with others and we need friends and seasoned mothers come alongside us for encouragement, guidance, and relief. 

If you are struggling, connect with social media accounts like Diary of an Honest Mom, The Good Mutha, Raising Yourself, or Lindsey Gurk to normalize your experience and hopefully feel a little less alone. 

If you are struggling, you are being a good mom by getting help; you are not weak. There are many resources available on the Canadian Mental Health Association.

If you are struggling as a parent from traumatic events you had as a child, check out Complex Trauma Resources to begin the process of healing. . 

Part of healing means making connections with a village of mom friends who have got your back, and who may be struggling with the same parenting challenges and life experiences that you are. If you are going to be a new mom and you don’t have a village of support around you, make sure you apply for care here

Put it into perspective: you are raising humans

Every difficult stage of parenting can feel like it takes forever. The first step to shifting your perspective is to think not about the difficulty of your present moment, but to consider the bigger picture.

Imagine yourself 5 years from now by asking yourself these question:

  • How old will your child(ren) be? 
  • How old will you be? 
  • What stage of life will you be in? 
  • Who will be in your life?
  • Who may not be in your life?
  • How would you like to have grown as a person?

One of the best pieces of advice my parents gave me was, “this too shall pass.” The stages of our children won’t last forever. The sleepless nights will one day be over. The behaviour of siblings chucking toys at each other will not endure. 

Being a mother is one of the hardest things you will ever do. It will change you – and it should. The experiences change you forever, in so many deep and meaningful ways. I believe if you allow it to transform you, it changes you for the better. 

Your motherhood nature will change as you change. 

Embrace the complexities and nuance, learn and strive to grow while honouring your humanity. And above all,  find other mothers who will walk-alongside you to be a source of strength and support. You were never meant to do it alone. 

Help us to support more mothers! Donate now to ensure that every new mom has a village of support around her when she has a new baby to care for. 

Written by Renae Regehr

Renae Regehr is a mom to 4 kiddos, co-founder of Care For Women and a Registered Clinical Counsellor who works primarily with children, youth and families who have been impacted by trauma and attachment disruptions.

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