Empowered is such a stupid word

Next Young Mom Support meeting is this Saturday, 10 Sep 10h30 at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre. Feel like popping in for a visit? Please do. We like visitors.

Been giving a lot of thought lately about the future of the group, where we’re going, what we’re achieving. IF we’re actually making any difference. Nobody better to ask than the moms themselves, so we’re going to have a brainstorming session about what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong, what they think we can do better.

Looking forward to the feedback.

After a wobbly few weeks, I needed some reminding about why we do this, and what we want to achieve. I think I lost sight of our goal for  a bit, and felt overwhelmed. But I remember now! Comes down to this:

1. Every mother who joins us, needs to believe that no matter her circumstances, she is capable of being a good mother. To feel proud of the job she is doing, and motivated to continue in her efforts – for the good of her own life, and her child’s. I’m not going to use the word empowered, because it’s a horrible, empty soundbite that means little to the young women we’re talking to. A better way to put it: we want mothers to feel STRONG, CAPABLE, RESILIENT and BRAVE.

2. We can’t fix every problem that every mother has. We can’t change the world and how much it sucks, a lot of the time. What we can do is take each individual mom who comes to us by the hand, ask her what she needs and how we can help. Baby steps, tiny bites, one person at a time, one minute at a time.

3. The attitude of a large chunk of society – that all teenage mothers are shiftless, tragic, ignorant, hopeless and bad human beings is poisonous – to mother and child. We don’t need to prove to anybody that it’s not true. We just need to know it ourselves.

It’s a simple thing, really.

Help a mother feel better about herself – she goes home feeling stronger. Strong mother = safer child. Generation after generation.

It’s a huge thing, really.

And for your viewing pleasure – some gratuitous happy-making pics. These are the people we love.

 

Once upon a time - lil man & me. I would never have done this if it wasn't for him
Lindiswa & Elam, Felicia & Sima
Mothers are all the same, underneath: Exhausted & worried!

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