Growing Stronger Together
I was in chiropractic school when my first child was born, and I was unknowingly blessed with a community of supportive, likeminded colleagues. When we moved away and we had our next child, I missed that support and realized how important it was to have had it.
Our community had answered our many questions about our first child, and acted as a sounding board for all the health related decisions we had to make. With the help of our chiropractic community, we were able to confidently make choices that we felt were right, even when they were not supported by family members and friends.
Today, with the Internet polarizing and putting almost too much information at hand, it is a blessing to have a real, live group of other parents who can share their experiences and wisdom.
In our practice of over 30 years, we’ve found that the greatest education for informed, conscious choices came from parents interacting with one another in our reception area. The sharing of experiences and knowledge is outstanding. We watch parents engage in new ideas and grow more confident in themselves in a safe environment of like-minded people. The one thing they all have in common is their interest in chiropractic care for their families.
Observing the desire for conversation and community, we created what would become Pathways Connect, a monthly meet-up for parents to come together and discuss issues directly related to their family’s well-being. There are now hundreds of these communities in North America. Attendance is open to all and there are no fees, as these meet-ups are sponsored by ICPA doctors, and usually held at their practices.
These monthly discussion groups have expanded to play dates and other events, and are often supported online for parents to access the expertise of other people who may have already been in their shoes.
I invite you to find a Pathways Connect community in your area… and if there is not one, urge your doctor of chiropractic to sponsor one. Maybe you can even help coordinate it.
—Jeanne Ohm, D.C. Executive Editor, Pathways to Family Wellness
“We can feel on a cellular level that we must engage in the community to make it the best possible place for our children and our grandchildren.”
—Jeannine Parvati Baker
“The research is clear: Since the beginning of womankind, mothering has been a communal effort…. So many mothers feel like something is out of joint, something is missing, and maybe the truth is that we are all just missing each other.”
—C.J. Schneider, author of Mothers of the Village
“I love the idea that it doesn’t take one person only to achieve your potential. It takes a village, it takes a community, a street, a teacher, a mother.”
“There was one word that kept repeating itself, an echo of wisdom from deep in my womb, over and over and over again as the months of depression carried on. One word that captured what a solution would feel like. One word that spoke of the medicine a mother like me so painfully needed. Village.”
—Jessica Rios, Pathways 58
Studies are beginning to examine what factors might help buffer the effects of stress during pregnancy, One important factor seems to be the mother’s level of social support. Mothers without strong support from a community had higher levels of stress, and mothers with higher levels of stress were more worn down and pessimistic about parenting. They also found the opposite true: Mothers with strong support form their communities had lower levels of stress and were optimistic about parenting.
—Effects of Stress and Social Support on Mothers and Premature and Full-Term Infants, University of Washington
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #59.
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