Happy New Year to you and Happy Birthday to us! And that US includes YOU. Today marks SEVEN years since the launch of Twin Cities Mom Collective!
Last year, community looked quite different, but it reinforced our mission and our passion to ensure we were providing a positive place in the middle of a year that was FULL of the unexpected. It’s always our hope that whether you’re laughing alongside one of our writers as you read her words, or crying and nodding through a post that hits your heart, knowing this gal gets you, we hope you come here to find your people. With that said, this year proved the need for online community more than ever before and we’re grateful to each and every one of you for being part of such a place as this.
We saw moms rise up in ways they never expected to need to, but did so nonetheless. We saw moms lead their families in uncertainty and do it graciously and authentically. We watched you share your hard honestly and all the while, doing the dang job. When there was no choice but to dig in, you did it and we see you. We see all that you did and hope you take the time to look back and acknowledge that simple survival last year was an incredible accomplishment.
It’s our tradition to gather the top 10 posts of the previous year and share them on our birthday. These are all articles written by local moms, including those on our leadership team, and we see the themes of 2020 burning right through. We see your resilience in each one of these, and we see community. 2020 may deserve the title of Dumpster Fire it has so frequently been given, but it certainly brought togetherness as well, and for that, we are so grateful.
For two weeks at the beginning of the summer, our community used this resource to find ways to serve our neighbors.
What we see in this being our most viewed post of the year is a community ready, willing and passionate to serve one another. We see that our area is one that sees pain and wants to address it. Our community sees those who need to be heard, and is ready to listen.
One of many tools our team provided to the community at the moment the pandemic began. I (Beth, Founder) watched our Leadership Team step up into quick action as a community saw sudden change, and even as their own lives were changing drastically, they created this and and many other tools that became our most referenced posts all throughout the year.
“I don’t know when this phenomenon started, but I’m sure you’ve heard it – other women with kids referring to each other as ‘Mama.’ I feel like this term has been on the rise the last few years. I myself have addressed other women this way and even addressed my readers this way before (please don’t search my past articles to see how many times I’ve done this!).
I didn’t think much of it at first. It felt like a term of endearment and camaraderie. I’d shout out a ‘Hey Mama, you got this!’ while at the park, or if I ran into a friend with her kids in tow, I’d call out, ‘How are you doing today, Mama?’
But something shifted when I had my fourth child, and now I find that I really struggle with this term.”
Our message to our community at the beginning of the pandemic was shown below, and included many resources and tools to try and ease the sudden and drastic change to life. This was one of the articles included in those tools.
“During the current climate of this global pandemic, many of us find ourselves anxious, scared, angry or sad. And that’s okay. The TCMC team wants to walk along beside you as we traverse these uncertain waters together. In our continued pursuit to resource you as a mom, we’ve compiled some tools for you to use at your leisure.”
“About a year ago we moved into our house in Stillwater. We love our community, and most of our neighbors are so welcoming. The majority of my fears about moving here subsided almost immediately, and I’m glad we’ve only had one bad experience, but it still haunts me, and honestly I am still mad as hell about it.”
When the pandemic hit, our team, well acquainted with working from home, gathered our best tips to try to help make the sudden transition to working at home with kids constantly with you a bit easier on our mama community.
“Some days you ride the waves of success and lay your head on your pillow feeling exhausted, yet proud. The rest of the days you melt. And cry. And fall apart. And your toddler asks you, “Mama, you ‘a ‘tay?” and through tears you wrap him in your arms because you need a hug and you remember you can’t get hugs from many people during this time, so these tiny arm hugs are all the more meaningful.
No, mama not ‘a ‘tay, you think to yourself.”
But it will be okay.
“In fact, it took me a long time to get to where I am with this part of my life. But at one point I just knew I’d had enough of the anxiety, fear and anger. I knew I didn’t want my children to remember their mom as one who could not even be in the same room as their father. I knew I wanted to practice forgiveness and personal accountability. Because isn’t that what I want my children to learn anyway?
So in the end, I had to learn how to build trust with my ex.”
“This fall as students head back to class it will unilaterally be a new and different experience for kids and parents alike, with most schools choosing an academic hybrid model. While change can feel daunting and uncertain, there are at least 5 reasons this educational reinvention could be incredible for all of us. Especially our kids.”
“Maybe, like me, your breath is short and you can’t quite form sentences. For the life of you, you can’t think straight or accomplish a task, but if asked what is wrong, you can’t put to words how you feel.
Maybe, like me, you aren’t just generally anxious, you already experienced episodes of crushing anxiety before your social media feeds exploded with photos of empty shelves, school cancellations, and so much more.”
Maybe, like me, you are trying to walk through a global crisis while also managing very real, heavy and unexplainable feelings.
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