Suffering from postpartum depression, feeling isolated thousands of miles from family, and discovering her younger coworkers didn’t understand life with a newborn, Rhonda remembers, “I wasn’t crazy but I was going there fast.”
The road to sanity started at a Family Center funded by the Children’s Trust. At the center, she met weekly with other moms who shared her feelings of being lonely and overwhelmed at times. She saw the group as the park benches and back fences where previous generations of mothers talked about their lives and their kids.
“Times have changed, but you still need that connection. Maybe now more than ever,” she says.
Six years later, Rhonda and her husband, Randy, have two children, Max and Sarah. Their involvement in the Family Center has grown. Randy sits on the center’s parent advisory board and Rhonda now leads the same weekly moms group that helped her all those years ago.
The most important thing they’ve learned: “We look at parenting as a plan and a skill rather a reaction to a moment’s crisis. Any parenting problem has many creative solutions other than just getting angry. Take a deep breath, imagine you’re in your kid’s shoes, and then reach into your parent toolbox for the answer.”
Working with hundreds of parents, the center has developed a network of families, all focused on supporting each other and nurturing each other’s children. “That success is reflected in our schools, our community and our kids,” Rhonda says.