5 Tips from a Mother’s Group in England
I host an retreat for Catholic moms in England called Faith, Motherhood and Me.
Becoming a mother changed my relationship with God.
The intensity of the unconditional love I felt for my son helped me understand His love better and the weight of the vocation meant I needed to lean on his strength more and more.
One of the most challenging aspects of new motherhood for me was the loneliness and isolation.
I live in England and all my family are in Ireland and I had no mum friends nearby. I went to quite a few mum and baby classes but failed to find my people. The main topic of conversation to bond over; complaining about your mother-in-law, just didn’t appeal.
CONTACT YOUR PARISH PRIEST
One night when I was dancing my son to sleep, to ABBA (as you do!) I remembered attending a retreat at the start of my final year of school and the strength and peace of mind I had received and craved that peace again. This lead me to seek out a retreat for new mums within my local parishes and when I couldn’t find one I approached our parish priest about arranging a retreat day and he was very receptive. I came up with a general plan and discussed it with my catholic mum friend who suggested some improvements, from there I produced posters and flyers and the parish priest spread the word.
FIND A FRIEND MAKE A PLAN
Plucking up the courage to speak to and invite mums with babies from my parish was more nerve wrecking than I expected and of course the usual panic that no one would turn up set in!
PRAY FOR COURAGE – GO FOR IT !!!
What I first thought would be a one off event, with the encouragement of the parish priest, became a regular Mother’s Group were we could grow in faith together and offer each other encouragement and support. We typically meet every 6 weeks. The general format we have adopt is to start with prayers, then reflect on a particular topic inspired by scripture such as offer an opportunity to attend confession, attend mass together followed by tea and cakes and a craft activity.
CATECHESIS & MORE PRAYER
What has been key for me is to pray, pray and pray some more! At first I would worry about how many would turn up and if everything would go to plan but that has helped me to trust more in God’s plan the people who needed to be there would He would lead there!
The groups give me spiritual renewal each time and in a secular society they have become my happy place where I am with people who make me feel at home. Everyone is always so thankful for the work that goes into but it genuinely makes me feel good to feel I am doing my small bit to glorify God. Getting to see gorgeous babas growing up in the last 18 months has been an added bonus!
Róisín is a Catholic wife and mom of a 2 1/2 year boy and a baby on the way. Originally from Ireland, she now leads a Mother's Group at the parish of The Holy Cross and St. Helen, in Ashton-under-Lyne, England. She has found a renewal of faith through her vocation as mother which is wants to share and sustain through supporting other new mothers.