New Mother’s Group at St. Joseph the Worker Parish
As a first time mom, I learned pretty quickly that motherhood, while a beautiful and fulfilling journey, can be quite daunting. Spending long days alone with baby felt isolating, which took a toll on my mood and motivation. In an effort to take the best care of myself and my baby, I sought out support groups in my community that offered social activities and an opportunity to connect with other moms. In so doing, it occurred to me that these groups, while wonderful, left me wanting… I was missing out on the type of support that leads to deeper connections with other mothers who would not only be my occasional companions, but members of my spiritual family. The kind of support that feeds a mother’s SOUL.
In a world that is becoming increasingly isolated, we need relationships with people who will compose the “village,” as they say, that will help us raise our children, both in life, and in faith. And what a very difficult time we live in to be raising true disciples of Christ! The more support we can get from each other, the better.
So I began to think… and it occurred to me that social services focused on motherhood, and particularly, new motherhood, while so widely and readily available in our communities, are rarely made available through our Catholic parishes. Even though it would be so easy and important to do so! We support our youth and our seniors, but we have few resources for the women who are raising our future generation and leading the most important vocation of their lives – motherhood. And these days, that vocation is becoming increasingly complex as we are pressured to meet the demands, not only of our households, but our workplaces. Feeling like there is no time to take care of our own needs, we, and everyone around us suffers. Having a mother’s group creates that oh so needed time and space to refresh, reconnect, and rejuvenate.
So I figured it was time for us to wise up and create a mother’s group through our church to reach out to all moms in our community and give them a place to call home, regardless of how often they come to church or how far along they are in their faith journey. Because we are living in a society that is slowly and expertly eroding people’s views of motherhood as sacred. And we need to each other to keep us on our toes.
St. Joseph the Worker parish is scheduling the How to Start a Catholic Mothers Group Workshop offered by www.CatholicMomsGroup.com, right at their parish. A Mothers Group Starter Kit is going to be a part of the launch of a mothers ministry – all of us are so excited
Jessica Chan Tai
Jessica Chan Tai completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Developmental Psychology at York University in 2015. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and families struggling with mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, parent-child relationship and attachment difficulties, school refusal, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Currently, Jessica works as a Psychologist at the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and as a private practitioner through McLean Psychology Centre. She has developed her clinical skills in a variety of mental health settings, including community agencies, such as Blue Hills Child and Family Centre and Youthdale Treatment Centres, and in medical settings, including Southlake Regional Health Centre, Markham Stouffville Hospital, and Wise Elephant Family Health Team.
Jessica has research interests in the areas of immigration and acculturation and studies maternal-child health from a cross-cultural perspective.