Motherhood is a transformative journey filled with joy, challenges and countless emotions. In the midst of this transformative experience, finding a safe and supportive space to share, reflect and connect with other mothers can be invaluable.
That’s where Mother Circles come in. These circles provide an opportunity for mums to come together, share their stories, and support one another. To ensure a positive and meaningful experience for everyone, it is crucial to set clear expectations.
Here are some key considerations for setting expectations and creating a supportive atmosphere within a Mother Circle.
1. Clarify the purpose of the Circle:
Mums need to know what the Circle does. Mother Circles are not group coaching or therapy sessions. Instead, they offer a supportive space for mothers to lean on each other, share their experiences, and find solace in the shared journey of motherhood. By clearly defining the purpose of the Circle, everyone knows what to expect.
2. Emphasise authenticity and vulnerability:
Authenticity and vulnerability are the cornerstones of a Mother Circle. This can feel uncomfortable for some so be sure to remind them that there is no judgement within the Circle and that authenticity creates an environment where deep connections can be formed. You can do this by creating Circle Guidelines and sharing them in your first Circle.
3. Encourage active participation:
Encourage mums to actively contribute by sharing their own experiences, asking questions and offering support. Remind them that their voice matters and that their insights can be valuable to others. Also let them know that sitting and listening is also welcomed as not everyone wants to open up immediately. Give everyone time to feel comfortable.
4. Provide structure while being flexible:
A balance must be struck between providing structure and allowing flexibility. Create a loose framework for each session that includes activities such as stretching, relaxing and getting to know one another. Be open to adapting the activities and discussions based on the needs and common themes that arise within the group. This allows everyone to feel heard and ensuring that the circle remains meaningful.
5. Establish confidentiality and respect:
Confidentiality and respect are crucial in creating a safe and trustworthy space within your Mother Circle. Emphasise the importance of maintaining confidentiality regarding the personal stories and experiences that are shared. This helps every mum there feel safe to open up and share.
6. Foster inclusivity:
Motherhood is a diverse experience and it is important to foster inclusivity. Encourage and appreciate the diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences that each mum brings with her. Actively work towards creating an atmosphere where every mother feels seen, heard and valued, regardless of differences in parenting styles, cultural backgrounds or personal beliefs.
Most of all, don’t worry too much. Be yourself. You want to do this because you are kind and caring. Someone told me once that when you act from the heart, you can do no harm and I remember this every time I guide a Circle.
Click HERE for more information on becoming a Mother Circle Guide.