A group in which all of our motherhood struggles are met with understanding, sisterhood, and hugs. Where we can safely spill our guts, ask questions, ask for ideas and commiseration, while knowing that we will not be judged, and not be given unsolicited advice. This group is a refueling station, where mamas from all over the world come together to vent, stomp, laugh, cheer, high-five, and more than anything: share deeply, and support each other in a completely safe space. And we don’t have to get dressed or schlep a diaper bag or car seat anywhere. We can do it all in our PJ, from the convenience of our Facebook streams. Welcome to Mama’s Comfort Camp Facebook group: a pool of resources, a bank of ideas, an ever filling reservoir of eyes and ears and shoulders and hugs.
We talk about:
Our kids. Our partners. Our parents. Our bodies. Our thoughts. Our doubts. Our fears. Our Guilt. Our hopes.
We share about raising and feeding our children, while striving to somehow also nourish ourselves and our relationships. We have a safety structure for talking about painful topics in a way that doesn’t trigger others. We help each other when the going gets tough, and we celebrate together when the going is good. We ask questions. We ask for support and good vibes. Sometimes we seek advice, and brainstorm solutions together. Other times we just want to be heard and listened to without getting any suggestions, and that’s when we ask for just friendly shoulders and hugs.
Mama’s Comfort Camp is set up as a closed facebook group: no one but the members can read posts. Nothing we write in the group can be seen on our regular FB walls or timelines, it’s not even visible in a google search. Which means you can relax because your boss, your mother in law, or your DH, all stay completely out of it.
Because it’s a free and simple way to set up a completely secure space.
And because so many of us already spend some of our screen time on Facebook, it’s just so convenient. Easy on the mom.
And because anybody, even those who are not Facebook fans can join. Several moms in the group joined Facebook specifically so they can participate in this group. They don’t use Facebook for anything else.
How this adventure began:
Mama’s Comfort Camp FB group was born on March 9, 2012, and was first used as a chatroom for the PPD SpeakEasy support phone chat on that evening. We decided to open it up for anytime support, and the meaningful conversations just poured out of us.
In less than a month, the group had over 100 members. In order to keep the group culture stable, we decided to have a designated day of the week where new members can join and created New Member Monday. You can ask to join the group on our gateway facebook page anytime, and the group’s team (AKA the Den Mothers) will let you in on the following Monday.
The focus is self-care and self-kindness:
Mama’s Comfort Camp is not PPD focused. PPD is part of the territory, of course it is, but it is not the main subject. Also, it is important to note that this group does not function as a mental health forum, nor is it a crisis management environment. The focus of the group is comfort for mom and self-care without “should”s. It is open to all kinds of moms, with kids of any age (we even have a few wonderfully wise and caring grandmothers among us) and post topics range from utterly serious to totally hilarious.
It is a guilt-free space:
You don’t have to earn your spot, and comfort is not measured by how often you post: there are no expectations on your level of contribution and participation. Come to the group whenever you want to: often, rarely, your needs guide you, it’s all good. You are absolutely welcome to “silent retreat” : if you don’t want to post, you can still get a lot of comfort from just reading what other mamas are sharing. The essence of permission infuses what we do, and the group culture that developed is a thing of beauty, you can read all about it in our Group Culture and Gentle Guidelines page.
Many kinds of moms:
Mama’s Comfort Camp is open to all sorts of mothers with kids of any age. We make room for many parenting choices: feeding, diapering, work or stay home, homeschool or mainstream school. We have open, respectful, and meaningful discussions about all the many choices that motherhood entail. There is, however a parenting choice that we are strongly opposed to: the use of spanking and all forms of corporal punishment. (This doesn’t mean that none of us have ever hit a child in a momentary of loss of control, this is a topic we do discuss without shaming anyone, and we are committed to supporting each other in learning parenting skills that prevent such breakdowns. However, if you consider hitting children to be a useful discipline strategy, than Mama’s Comfort Camp is not the right forum for you.)
From all over the world!
Some of the mamas are from my home town of Ithaca NY, lots of moms are from all over the States and Canada, and we even have members from as far away as France, Brazil, Poland, Israel, Malaysia, and Australia ( I get such a kick out of this global thing!).
So with members in all time-zones, support is available anytime: need to vent at 3am EST because of a teething babe? The lovely and amazing Yuz might read and respond in Australia during her kid’s morning nap. So yep, 24/7 all over the world love network.
Credits: The group is my brainchild, but I can’t imagine it without the support of the thoughtful friends who agreed to act as my Comfort Camp Den Mothers:
Melissa of http://hardtomommy.blogspot.com/
Robin of http://www.farewellstranger.com/
Jen of http://tranquilamama.wordpress.com/
Yuz of http://www.notjustaboutwee.com/
Jaime of http://jamesandjax.com/
Jenna of http://mademorebeautiful.com/
(Their blogs are seriously worth your time!)
What Campers are saying:
- Sarah Price Murphy: I love this space. For me, MCC is a sounding board. I can check in when I am struggling and be lifted up. There is always a reminder thread to be mindful f even the small things that are going right. And on the days when nothing is going well, it is reassuring to hear that others have walked in these shoes and that x, y, or z might help turn the day around. :-)
- Maggie Lee Boxey: I absolutely love this MCC-if a FB page can be “spirit-filled” this one for sure is. It’s a safe place, where it’s okay to come as you are- a place where mama’s love one another on this journey to whole-ness… thank you!
- Bethany LeBlanc: Mama’s Comfort Camp is so positive, uplifting, full of joy, like a warm blanket …lots of moms encouraging, cheering you on, knowing your not alone. A light post. A safe place to let go of the facade.
- Jaime Harker: For me, the thing I love most about MCC is that it’s such a positive, uplifting page. Sometimes what I need most, though I often don’t realize it, is to focus on the good–instead of the fact that I’m having a bad day or whatever. I find this page to be incredibly uplifting emotionally. I never leave this page feeling worse or the same as when I opened it.
We’d love to have you with us. If you care to read more about the group experience, check out our Group Culture and Gentle Guidelines page. And if you want to participate, you can ask to join the group on our gateway facebook page: https://www.facebook.
Yep, it’s a two-step process, because we don’t want to assume that everybody who likes the idea of the Mama’s Comfort Camp also wants to be a member. You see, we want to make sure that those in the group really want to be there. Mama’s Comfort Camp is place full of love and intention, and it’s a thing of beauty. Hugs all around, I hope to see you at camp!