Routine. We all want this. We strive for it. And for most of us we had some semblance of this before becoming a parent. Maybe our routines were not the same day to day, but we could anticipate changes, sometimes even control changes. For those of us who favor even more structure, we might even say we had a schedule. What did this offer us? Security. Safety. A way to understand, evaluate, and plan for our time and efforts in our work, our relationships, and just life in general. The cultural importance of routine and schedule is a seed that gets planted early for most of us in our schools, families, and plenty of other areas of life. It is no wonder, then, that as our world gets turned upside down when we become parents, the first thing we grasp for is our old trusty friend, routine. We try to make sense of feeding, sleeping, pooping patterns. Search for the predictable, long for the expected, and often feel continuously tripped up by the complete lack of routine and schedule. Sure, changing diapers and feeding baby 10-12 times in 24 hours is something we can bank on. But the frequency and timing, sure can vary. Amidst our efforts to find a routine, we are bombarded with seemingly innocent, yet wholly judgmental questions like, "what is your baby's sleep schedule?" or "Have you gotten your baby on a schedule yet?" So as we sweat and stay awake all through the night, it becomes harder and harder to not think we are doing something wrong. Sure, routines and schedules can be super supportive, but the rigid thought patterns and harsh self-criticism that often come when we do not meet the cultural expectations attached to these concepts can be devastating. And NONE OF US DESERVE that. There is something about the shift towards winter, the compression of daylight hours into a smaller and smaller number each day, that can make us all extra hungry for a routine. As we drop into this time, we at the Village Circle Collective want to invite each of us to consider how our own routines (or a desire for one or a lack thereof) is supporting us or not. We want to consider what happens if we reframe what a routine is? What if routine is just doing what needs to happen when we can manage to do it in that day, or in that hour, or even in the next 15 min? What if we take away the expectations of when it should be done and how it should be done? Where can we create more space and options for ourselves? Parenting is a journey of continuous unraveling of and relearning of ideas we thought we already knew. And ideas about routines and schedules can be really tough to navigate and old habits die hard. Let's all be kind, gracious, and forgiving with ourselves as we make mistakes, fall short of expectations, and learn how to thrive as parents. No one can argue we don't deserve those things!
Updates & Opportunities
Village Circle Website is LIVE! Dani created an amazing website, villagecirclebellingham.com CHECK IT OUT! You will find some great information, access to old newsletters, information about groups in an FAQ, and details about us, the facilitators. Know someone who is interested in attending? Send them to the website to learn more and request the zoom link. Our FB group is only for people who have attended a group, so this website is the place send new, interested people!
Peer Support Recruitment Are you a mama interested in helping others by becoming a peer support? The Whatcom County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force is still recruiting for two grant funded projects to bring more peer support to mamas in Whatcom County. Training and funding are included for these positions! Click here for info. Village Circle Testimonials Would you be willing share what the Village Circle has meant to you? We are still collecting comments and testimonials from folks for ongoing outreach efforts. Email us your words and please include your preferred identification: name, initials, or anonymous. Thank you taking the time to do this for us!
Welcome Baby River! Our beloved facilitator Rhae had her baby! After an unexpected rapid labor on the full moon, baby River was born at 8:13am on October 20. He was 6 lbs 13 Oz and 19” long. He’s doing beautifully. Mama Rhae experienced postpartum preeclampsia and spent a week in the hospital, but she is slowly healing. We can't wait to have Rhae back in groups and meet this new little human!
We love celebrating and honoring the first birthdays! We send our congratulations to any families who have made it through that first trip around the sun! We don't have any birthdays in our calendar for this month. If we have missed your baby, let us know by email and we will be sure to add them.
Coming in November!
On our minds: The holiday season is upon us, and this can bring up so much for many of us. Joy, sadness, renewal, loss, connection, and isolation. All of it. And as new parents we often find ourselves with competing priorities and expectations. How do we remain connected to and fulfill our role as children to the parents, elders, and caregivers in our lives, while also forging new, unique traditions for our own new family? How do we navigate the non-stop pressure and expectations for this time of year? This month our groups will explore all of this in the way we do best: together, with respect, compassion and non-judgement. We can't wait to see where our conversations go on this important topic!
Ongoing Virtual Groups: Join us for an opportunity to center yourself, recharge, and connect with one of our virtual groups! Always free. Never have to register. Just click on the link!
Thursday November 4th, 10am-11:30am Thursday November 18th, 1:30pm-3:00pm *Zoom link available upon request.
We celebrate you, your story, and our time together.
In warmth, The Village Circle Collective