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A woman peered into the double stroller and asked, “Are they twins?”

“Yes,” I responded.

“That must be difficult,” she said.


I heard this comment often when my twins were first born. It was difficult. Really difficult.

When I think back to that time period, two things helped me get through it: joining a group for moms of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) and having a mentor.

A mom mentor is a parent to older children who gets matched with a first-time mom.

She provides support and feedback for the new mom. In my case, my mentor was assigned to me through a parenting group. She called me weekly in the beginning and then less often as I became adjusted to my new role as a parent of twins.

There are various types of mentor groups available. I spoke with the founder of two, one I participated in. Both mentor programs use peer volunteers who are matched up with a recent-mom mentee.

The group I belonged to is called Keeping Pace with Multiple Miracles.

I spoke with Pam Pace, one of the founders, about the mentor program she created with co-founder Donna Baker.

The mentor program began after Donna and Pam met in the hospital in 1994. Donna gave birth to triplets while Pam was on bedrest, pregnant with triplets. Donna became a mentor to Pam when her triplets were born three months later. They continued to support one another and then founded the nonprofit group. Their sister-like bond became the inspiration for the support they hoped to provide others.

I also spoke with Christine Sweeney, LICSW, who founded the Parent Connection in 1991. This program is based at Best Israel Hospital in Boston. It was created due to a need the OB-GYN nurses identified during followup calls from women who recently gave birth. Many of the new moms reported feeling overwhelmed or early symptoms of postpartum depression.

One of the greatest benefits that parents have gained from mentor programs is a support system.

When you first become a parent you may feel alone. If you don’t have family or friends nearby who understand your experience, it can be isolating. For many people, having a mentor provided a support system they were lacking. Even those who did have family or friends nearby said they didn’t always feel comfortable sharing the negative aspects of being a new parent with them.

Alexis Petru participated in the mentoring program Mentoring Mothers, located in San Francisco. According to Petru, “There’s still a stigma for women to talk about the ‘dark side of parenting.’ We’re still supposed to subscribe to that Hallmark-approved ‘enjoy every moment’ romanticized view of motherhood. During my mentoring group it was the first time I could really vent about my complicated feelings of motherhood … the anger, frustration, sadness and loneliness that goes along with the joy and wonder of raising children.”

Sweeney noticed a similar experience in her mentoring program: “Since there isn’t an agenda, expectations, or judgments, women feel safe discussing their struggles. Some women who had difficulty getting pregnant may think they can’t complain about how hard it is to be a new mom. A mentor gives the new mom a sense of relief and safety that they can talk about their feelings.”

Plus, women who are already moms can reassure new mothers, giving confidence and resources they can't get elsewhere.

Being a new parent is overwhelming. A lot of new parents question if they are correctly taking care of their baby. “A lot of new moms have questions about breastfeeding. Their mentor can help them provide answers and give them a sense of what is normal,” said Sweeney. The mentor can answer their questions and let their mentee know they are making progress, which increases their confidence.

In addition to answering questions, a mentor can help their mentee when they might not know how to ask for help or realize they need it. “Sometimes the new moms might have marital problems or financial issues, and the mentor will help them to get the resources they need,” says Pace. Sweeney also added that mentors are occasionally the ones to identify when a new mom is struggling with postpartum depression and will help the mentee receive the proper mental health services.

Ultimately, mentors can help new moms with their ultimate goal: being the best parent possible.

By having a support system and the proper resources, new parents are better able to care for their babies. Mentors help care for the new moms when they are focused on caring for their newborns. This enables the mentee to be a better mom to their newborn.

Where to find a new parent mentor program:

Check with your local parent groups or at the local hospital to find a mentor program for new parents. In Massachusetts, new parents can check out Keeping Pace with Multiple Miracles or Parent Connection, but many other cities host parenting mentorship programs too.

If you don’t have a mentor program near you, ask a friend or family member if they can be your new parent mentor or if they could recommend someone to mentor you. A weekly check-in phone call offering support and advice is what most mentors provide. Who knows — you could end up starting a mentorship network of your own!

This story originally appeared on Mother.ly and is printed here with permission.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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