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What is a Mothers' Center?
A Mother's Center is a place where women in a community can connect with one another, ask questions, share experiences, learn, and even just 'vent'. Mother's Center's and programs use a communication style that is non-judgmental, open, and accepting of different perspectives.
Why is it called a Mother's Center?
Women have distinct needs related to the experiences of motherhood- pregnancy, fertility, child birth, post-partum life changes, breast feeding decisions and so on. Having a place to connect with other women to tap into collective maternal wisdom and knowledge provides a tremendous source of support. It also gives women the respect, information, and freedom to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. Historically, women have performed the bulk of childcare work. While more and more dads are taking responsibility for a greater portion of child care and other family caregiving work- and need support as well- women still do the majority of that work and therefore have unique experiences and needs.
Are there programs for dads?
Our workplace programs are geared toward women and men with caregiving responsibilities. We also have discussion outlines for fathers that can be used by someone facilitating a program. And each Mothers' Center can create new programs that addresses the specific needs and programming requests of its members.
Why not "parents' center"?
Historically, it's been mothers and other women who have been interested in this type of support and who have been working to provide it by creating centers in their communities. But regardless of what the centers are called, both mothers and fathers can benefit from the support of the group setting and the sharing of experience. We hope you'll attend an event or participate in a program and see for yourself!
What can a Mothers’ Center program do for me?
Mothers' Center programs give you an opportunity to meet and build relationships with other mothers by sharing experiences and learning from one another. Imagine an open, non-judgmental place to talk about your joys and challenges, fears, and successes, a place where you can identify solutions that are best for you and your family. That's what a Mothers' Center provides. Mothers' Center programs are relevant to other areas of life, too: communication methods and techniques you can use not only with your kids but to advocate for your child and to address important issues with other family members, co-workers, or your boss. Being part of the Mothers' Center network keeps you informed about public policy issues that impact families. These benefits are just a start: You'll plug into a network, resources, and friends that will support and nourish you for the rest of your life.
What kind of moms come to a Mothers’ Center program?
Moms from all walks of life, in a variety of situations, come to Mothers' Centers and their programs. The common thread is mothers and other caregivers who are looking to connect with others in a non-judgmental environment. Some members care for their children full time; some work outside the home full-or -part-time. Others run home-based businesses. The moms we serve are adoptive and step parents; some have multiple-birth siblings; some are married or have a partner, others are single. All moms can benefit from and participate in Mothers' Center programs. Do you want to connect with others mothers in a similar life situation? Let us know. New Mothers' Center programs are initiated by people just like you every day!
Are Mothers’ Centers programs just for stay-at-home moms?
No. Our programs are designed for all mothers, through all stages of motherhood, and in a variety of situations and circumstances. The way you interact with one another may shift and evolve as your lives and schedules evolve. We understand that it's hard to find time for "one more thing" in your day. That's why we're also exploring virtual groups that meet online. Many centers run groups in the evenings so working parents can attend. We also offer a workplace program called the New Neighborhood, which your employer can request. New Neighborhood is designed for a lunch hour and is a chance to talk about work/life integration, parenting, and eldercare issues with others in similar situations.
Is it okay to bring my children to the Mothers’ Center?
Children are generally welcome at Mothers' Center programs. Some centers offer activities for children while members are involved in their program- it depends on space, staff availability and other factors. Contact the center in your area to find out what's available at the center offering the program you want to attend.
What does it cost to participate in a Mothers’ Center?
Each center is individually operated. Contact the center most convenient for you, and someone there will be able to tell you about the fees. Some centers offer scholarships and reduced fees for women who need them.
Are there center programs for single moms?
Each center determines its own programming. There are discussion outlines that contain questions and points for discussion someone can use to facilitate programs for single moms. As other circumstances arise or come up as a need, new discussion outlines can be developed.
There are no centers near me? What can I do?
Interested in starting one? If so, we can help. If not, try contacting the reference librarian at your local library. He or she should know about other programs available in your area. Many churches and temples also offer programs that address a variety of different needs for parents and their children and often you don't need to be a member to participate.
Two virtual ways to get involved are:
What is the NAMC and its relationship to a local Mothers' Center?
Mothers’ Center programs are generally funded through annual memberships and group fees that are adjusted based on the number of members in the group. Many centers organize fundraisers to help support their programming. The NAMC provides assistance and shares resources and information about potential funding opportunities.
How are Mothers' Center programs funded?
Mothers' Center programs are generally funded through annual memberships and group fees that are adjusted based on the numbers of members in the group. Many centers organize fundraisers to help support their programming. The NAMC provides assistance and shares resources and information about potential funding opportunities.
How is the NAMC funded?
The NAMC is funded through memberships, donations, special events, and grants from public and private sources.
Why would I want to become a member of the NAMC?
When you join a local Mothers' Center, you automatically become a member of the NAMC at no additional charge. People who are not individual Mothers' Center members can also join the NAMC directly to take advantage of the resources, information, and discounts we offer and to support our mission and vision. We welcome all members, whether you're a mom, someone who cares about a caregiver, or you simply want to promote healthy families.
What are the benefits of membership?
With a donation of $35 or more, you receive a one year membership in the NAMC. Members receive the following benefits all year:
- A monthly eNews
- Free online parenting, elder care and work/life webinars
- Free access to previously recorded webinars
- Discounts on conferences and other NAMC events
- Opportunities to add your voice to key discussions about public policy
- Online seminars and discussion groups with other members and national advocates and experts
- Access to a members-only section of resources on our website
- Special members-only discounts from our partners
- Leadership and facilitator training
What kinds of people become NAMC members?
People who join the NAMC as an individual member, rather than through a Mothers' Center, are people who may not necessarily need the services of a Mothers' Center but still want to support mothers, fathers, families, and children. They are people who are interested in the resources and programs we offer and want to add their voice to national discussions about family-friendly public and workplace policies.
What is the MOTHERS Initiative and its relationship to NAMC?
The MOTHERS Initiative is the NAMC's effort to highlight the economic impact of being a caregiver. MOTHERS has a dedicated website, publishes an e-newsletter, spearheads actions each Mother's Day, and keeps abreast of what's being discussed and considered in our nation's capital and in the media on issues affecting mothers and other caregivers. The NAMC has always focused on advocacy issues related to mothers, children and families. In 2002 the NAMC drafted a Mothers Declaration of Rights which included physical, emotional, mental, social and economic rights. We know that many women and mothers are not aware of how much their financial futures are affected by their unpaid caregiving work. Later in 2002, after reading Ann Crittenden's book, The Price of Motherhood, the NAMC partnered with Ann to create the MOTHERS Initiative to focus on the economic issues she highlights in her book, educate women about these issues and motivate them to work for change.