Every other Thursday from 9-10:30 a.m., conversation and laughter erupt from the Church House Living Room. Moms’ Morning is a time for moms, new and experienced, to come together to share in their faith and roles as parents, offering support, wisdom, and humor.
While Moms’ Morning originally began in 1997 as an outgrowth of some preschool parents, the current group, having recently re-started their gatherings, consists of parents with kids of all ages. And it’s not just St. Paul members attending, any and all are welcome to join.
“Over the years Moms’ Morning has ebbed and flowed along with changing schedules,” Pastor Sara Olson-Smith said. “The morning establishes a network of people who need support. Now, as always, parenting is hard. Many of the moms are stay-at-home moms and they need a community because they didn’t have access to that the past two years. It’s especially important after this pandemic; families have been so isolated.”
There is no set agenda, no “rules” to adhere to, just a place for moms to share their challenges, experiences, joys, parenting “wins” and learning moments with other moms. Each week starts off with introductions, a question to get the conversation started and often a guiding topic. The current topic is self-care.
Seated in a circle, some with children on their laps, others with children happily playing in the nursery, this group of women share their successes and barriers to caring for themselves while caring for growing people and juggling other parental responsibilities. Childcare is available during this time to allow for focused time with a like-minded community, and a short break from parenting.
Julia Marbach is mom to 10-year-old Kelsey, eight-year-old Lisa, and three-year-old Andrea. She’s been part of Moms’ Morning for many years, beginning when her oldest was just two months old. She prizes the long-lasting friendships she’s made through the group.
“There’s a beautiful legacy of many moms that have come before that have been part of this group and contributed a lot. A lot of rich friendships have been cultivated and grown in this room. It’s so hard to parent alone, without a community.”
Finding a community of parents and families has been a major benefit of the group.
“Because of the connections I’ve made with other moms in this room, my kids are growing up more in a community atmosphere. Children are often missing that community aspect today. For my kids to feel comfortable going up to my mom friend if they need something, that’s important. I hope it makes it easier for our kids to grow into their faith and their adulthood.”
Julia said taking part in this gathering is great experience. It can be intimidating to join a new group, to open up and share your vulnerabilities as a parent with others but that’s what has made the bond of these women so special.
“I think all of us could remember the person who invited us to Moms’ Morning. Because it is a beautiful experience to join these women,” Julia said.
Perhaps these experiences will serve as an invitation for the next mom, curious about just what happens during a morning gathering of moms at St. Paul.
Moms’ Morning meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, 9-10:30 a.m. in the Church House Living Room. Learn more by visiting the St. Paul Mom’s Morning Facebook group. For more information, contact Pastor Sara Olson-Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org.