(in her own words)
I first heard about Mothers in Mind from my support worker at the Children’s Aid Society. She suggested the program when I told her I was having a hard time being a mom to my three-year old son after fleeing years of abuse by his father. We were doing well on our own but I didn’t always feel close to my son, Amir, or know how to comfort him. Sometimes he reminded me of his father and I was scared that one day he would hurt me just like his father had.
The first time I went to Mothers in Mind I was a bit nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but after the first session I knew that it was going to help me be a better mom for Amir. Each week we talked about different issues and I started to understand how my past experiences of abuse were affecting my parenting. It was nice to meet other moms who were going through the same things as me.
After a few weeks I started to feel closer to my son. The last few years had been really stressful for me and I wasn’t always patient with Amir. At Mothers in Mind I learned how to manage my stress and other emotions better and respond to Amir’s needs in a more caring way. I started to enjoy playing with him and even though he sometimes still reminds me of his father, I now know how to deal with my emotions when that happens.
I noticed some changes in Amir too. At first he didn’t really play with the other kids in the group. He was shy and wasn’t used to being around other kids. But he slowly started to feel more comfortable and after a few weeks he couldn’t wait to get there to play with his friends.
I’m really glad that I went to Mothers in Mind. It has made a big difference for both Amir and me, and I am so proud and happy to be his mom. I finally feel like I’m the mom I always thought I could be.
Ana had a difficult childhood filled with abuse and neglect. As an adult, Ana experienced on-going physical and emotional abuse by her partner. After her daughter Manuela was born, Ana felt isolated and alone. She felt disconnected to Manuela and she had a hard time understanding what she wanted.
Ana knew that she and her daughter needed help. Fortunately she was referred to CDI’s Mothers in Mind (MIM) program, an innovative, interactive parenting group for mothers who have experienced violence and/or trauma and have children under the age of four.
Ana was hesitant, but quickly felt at ease. She was surprised to learn that there were other mothers struggling with the same issues. Ana was able to talk about her feelings of being a “bad mom” and felt relieved when she started to understand how her experiences of violence and trauma were making parenting difficult.
Over the course of the ten-week program, things began to shift. Ana started to enjoy being with her daughter. She started playing with her, found strategies to respond sensitively to her needs and developed skills to better deal with stress.
“When I became a mother I was overwhelmed. Mothers in Mind helped me learn to connect with my baby and become the mom I have always wanted to be,” said Ana.
For Ana and her daughter, MIM made all the difference.