When my son was two years old I joined a playgroup through a community outreach organization. The goal of this organization was to bring mothers and children of the same age, living in the same community, together for a weekly play date. Although the mothers and toddlers had community in common, we were diverse in many ways. Reflecting back, our ability to embrace and honor each others' differences created a safe space to parent with authenticity. Feelings of overwhelm, confusion and frustration as a parent were met with understanding - there was no pressure to be “perfect.” As our children played, we shared parenting tips and explored how are own emotional process challenged or supported our parenting. We utilized each other’s knowledge and strengths and leaned on each other for support.
Through the preschool years, we build memories together at local parks, children’s museums and backyard visits. We delivered meals when siblings were born and celebrated our children’s milestones together. We had successfully created a village.
Several years later, members have moved, children have gone to different schools and a couple of friendships remain a valuable part of my present life. Looking back, that special group of women reinforced that we are all imperfect parents seeking community, connection and acceptance.
Laura MacRae-Serpa, MFTI, CCLS has special interests in supporting children and families navigating adoption and the challenges of chronic illness.