Embrace is a movement for a supported motherhood – for mothers, by mothers – and we recognise that friendship and community are critical for our mental health and wellbeing.
The impact of COVID-19 on mothers has been huge. In addition to feeling the weight of fear as we did our best to protect our families from infection, financial hardship, job loss, and increased vulnerability to gender based violence; there’s the stuff no one talks about – the invisible mental load of parenting in the middle of a global pandemic, loss of social support from face-to-face engagement with friends and colleagues, loss of identity amidst endless home chores and homeschooling, and the strain on personal relationships.
Embrace continues to play a pivotal role in shifting the culture that allows mothers to feel isolated and unsupported. As such we would like to use the month of May to celebrate mothers and give mothers the opportunity to rebuild their social support networks.
Introducing M.O.M Meetups
We are launching a Month of Mothers campaign in May that invites mothers to connect with other mothers in M.O.M Meetups. These meetups are intended as informal Zoom events. They are a great way to meet new “mom friends” and connect “face-to-face” with women with shared interests and from diverse backgrounds, right from the comfort of your own home.
We acknowledge that meeting new people and finding new friends can be an anxious experience and may be difficult for mothers amidst busy schedules that tend to prioritise the needs of others above your own.
There are tremendous mental and physical health benefits to maintaining friendships with other moms i.e. “mom friends”: other mothers in a similar life stage, who experience similar challenges and can make you feel more sane in your daily struggles. These are women you can bounce questions or ideas off of, who provide some much-needed adult interaction, and essentially, make you feel less alone in what is a time of increased potential and vulnerability.
These free virtual events intentionally target different sub-groups of mothers as a way to honour the complex, intersecting identities of South African mothers and shift the narrative from a shame-based, overly-sanitised, homogenous view of motherhood by elevating and giving expression to some unacknowledged realities of motherhood.
The four fun, informal meetups taking place on Zoom will bring mothers together in a community of support and celebration. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact in breakout rooms, and exchange contact information and build meaningful relationships beyond the virtual space.
Each event will be hosted by Embrace, in collaboration with an influencer in the motherhood space. The influencer will MC the event. There will be small, spot prizes up for grabs.
- Mother’s Day – A virtual celebration (8 May, 18h30) – This event is a Mother’s Day celebration open to all mothers and is the official launch of the campaign. It includes mommy speed-dating breakaway rooms. Hosted by Gaopalelwe Phalaetsile. Book free tickets at https://qkt.io/bFUrWl.
- Mommy Hustlers (11 May, 12h00) – This event is targeted at mothers with a side hustle. They’ll have the opportunity to meet other mommy hustlers – mothers with a side business or side gig, talk about their hustle, share advice (e.g. how to manage your time/get clients/grow your business/manage your finances/not fall into the trap of toxic hustle culture) and celebrate being a mom boss. It includes mommy speed-dating breakaway rooms. Hosted by Karabo Mokoena. Book free tickets at https://qkt.io/3LZzT1.
- Tired Moms Club (18 May, 19h30) – This event is for moms whose tired is tired. We acknowledge the emotional, mental and physical burden that motherhood is, and would like to offer a shame-free zone to utter the words “I’m tired” and feel collectively tired with other moms. Tired moms can also learn about quick and simple, yet effective techniques for self-care and rest. It includes mommy speed-dating breakaway rooms – or vent rooms – before coming together again for some guided meditation or breathing exercise. Hosted by Lelethu Shabangu. Book free tickets at https://qkt.io/MFNUfW.
- Single Moms Chillas (25 May, 19h00) – This event celebrates single moms. It’s a space of recognition of the complex realities of being a single parent and a place of affirmation and celebration. It includes mommy speed-dating breakaway rooms. Hosted by Merlize Jog. Book free tickets at https://qkt.io/bzK2m5.