With our 7th birthday here at Twin Cities Mom Collective on the horizon, we decided to take a moment this week to turn our hearts and minds towards all things celebration! We are rerunning some of our favorite birthday posts from previous years as we reflect on this incredible, inspiring and thriving community of moms in the Twin Cities. Join us right here every morning this week as we celebrate… And hey – it’s already socially distanced!
Happy Birthday TCMC!
Editor’s Note: Some of the articles were originally published pre-COVID, thus suggesting birthday activity ideas that may need to be adapted according to the state health and safety guidelines and executive orders. Stay safe, even as you celebrate!
“It takes a village to raise a child.”
What if you left your village behind and moved to a whole different country?
What if you are unable to create your own village in the new place?
What if you had to find the village in yourself?
In today’s cultural times, most parents seek and reach out to the internet first – for everything. And that is what I did when I found myself a new mom in a new country! In that process I came across tons of parenting groups on social media. Which is what eventually led me to Twin Cities Mom Collective (TCMC) – previously Twin Cities Moms Blog.
I gradually was becoming a huge fan of the website. If not regularly, I used to follow it as often as I could. Finding myself more often on Instagram, I made sure to keep up with them as I learned what they were all about.
I was this new mommy in this new city (country, actually) feeling totally lost. I did not get this place – the culture, the people… anything. Back at home, I had the ability to travel with public transport, which I found to be very much limited here. I had to depend on my husband even for grocery shopping. I found myself feeling very different from the other mothers in my son’s ECFE parenting session. And, to be honest, I did not know it was normal to feel this way. I was beating myself up for knowing nothing and being a bad parent.
But then I found TCMC. Unlike several other blogs I had tried, within the space of TCMC I found a variety of parenting styles. That’s how I realized as long as you have a healthy and happy family, whatever you do is perfect.
I was struggling with what felt like the extended breastfeeding of my older kid, who was then 18 months old and was still so dependent on nursing to fall asleep (and even to stay asleep at times). I was trying to wean him with so much pressure and guilt surrounding me, that it made it difficult for me. But then, I felt all the guilt start to recede once I started to read the series of posts for Breastfeeding Week in August of that year. And a couple of months later, we were able to wean him without an overwhelming amount of stress or guilt.
There are so many instances where I found TCMC to be an invaluable resource to me as a new mom in a new city. For example, instead of staying inside the whole winter, we started to get out and explore the city with the winter activity guides as a starting point. We started to travel and take trips with our 2-year-old. And the best thing of all, my fear of having a second kid and doing everything all over again began to change. Slowly. Seeing all these wonderful moms and their journeys with multiple kids instilled hope in me as I read their stories. It gave me the strength and confidence to grow our family.
And it did not stop there. Because my fear found its way back once I saw those two pink lines. I had no family living with us, or nearby. I was not sure if I would be able to navigate this entire pregnancy with an active 3-year-old. Again, I went through a period of taking one step at a time. During that time, there were many posts on TCMC about how to prepare yourself and your family to welcome a new kid. There were posts from moms who shared their birthing experiences. They all boosted me up and helped me bring my baby into this world with a whole lot of confidence.
Then, just as I felt I was on top of everything and doing a great job raising two kids in a foreign country with very minimal support, came this opportunity to be a part of their writing team. I had just started my own personal blog at that point in time, where I did not post very frequently. I was not sure if I should even apply as I am not of Twin Cities origin. But I did give it a try. And a couple of months later I found myself taking my headshots in a studio with a group of these amazing writers.
I am so humbled and proud to be a part of such an amazing community of women. TCMC has encouraged me to come up with posts of my own story that is so very different from many people around here. Since being active on Instagram, it also got me to be a part of a couple of collaborations as an influencer.
All these opportunities for community have brought out a new person in me. It has helped me explore and do many new things. We travel more often as a family now. I give myself time to think and ponder about my parenting decisions, and to write them down. I love taking time off to sit down and write. From being a depressed, less confident mom of one kid to being a mom of two kids who is always on the go, I have come so far. I can tell you with so much joy that TCMC has been a huge influence in this entire journey of mine and it will continue to be.
It is a dream for every mom who moves into a new city with kids to find her village. Twin Cities Mom Collective is doing an amazing job of bringing moms together. So let’s be mom friends. Because it really does take a village.