It's been a while since I've blogged, and I'm sorry for that! Life is so busy, it's hard to sit down and put some thoughts together. 2019 was quite a year--much better than 2018 (don't even want to talk about that year!). I attended some beautiful births, supported lots of new families as a postpartum doula, taught some lovely couples about birth, babies, and breastfeeding, and supported lots of mamas as a group facilitator. I had to rethink my concept here in Memphis with Awaken space--it just wasn't working. The space was too small, my dad needed his gallery storage back, and it was confusing to some that I worked out of an art gallery (though many others seemed to love it!).
Still, it was time to transition, regroup, and figure out how to get mamas to my support groups. I knew it was a needed service and it just needed a new frame to help people find it. So, I rebranded in August as MAMA CIRCLE, and began hosting two gatherings a month. I also added a new feature: each month a local mom-related/focused business comes and shares about what they do, offers samples or demos, and provides discounts to my mamas. That has added a really fun layer to the group--we've had everything from delicious food, to mini massages, to pelvic floor experts, and more. We have lots of cool folks visiting this year as well, with 24 (well, now 23, as we just had our first circle of the year last week) opportunities to gather, support one another, and learn. I also hosted my first all day MAMA CIRCLE retreat back in November--that was an incredible experience and it seemed like the 10 mamas really enjoyed it. I plan to do another retreat sometime this year.
With the dynamics of that aspect of my business changing, the energy was building toward something, but I didn't know what quite yet. One of my retreat instructors, Alex Smith (who is a perinatal mental health therapist), wanted to meet before the retreat to discuss what she'd be doing during her session. She mentioned that she had recently acquired a space for her private practice and that there was plenty of room for other folks to work out of it. Immediately we clicked on the idea that MAMA CIRCLE (and my classes, private practice, etc.) would move into her space. Then we got the idea to call the space something, to give it focus and help with recognizability in the community. I mentioned the names of some spaces in LA that have similar purposes/vibes, and Alex loved "Mother Nurture Center," which was a space I used to teach out of in Redondo Beach, run by the amazing Stephanie Morales, another perinatal mental health expert. With Stephanie's blessing, we christened the building the Mother Nurture Center. We're so thrilled to be able to curate a space for Memphis moms to gather and receive the support they need as they settle into motherhood.
The Mother Nurture Center (MNC) offers perinatal mental health therapy, individual/couples/family/group counseling, MAMA CIRCLE gatherings, parenting classes, childbirth ed and other prenatal prep classes, the MAMA CIRCLE Memphis doula registry, my private doula practice, my holistic services (belly binding, vaginal steam, abdominal massage, infant massage, fertility coaching, sex/relationship coaching, etc.), and soon we will have a lactation counselor on board. We also have space for a bodyworker of some kind, and hope to find that wonderful person soon. We're operating out of the former Trillium Midwifery building off Sam Cooper. It's a beautiful house with spacious teaching and gathering spaces, cozy offices, a kitchen, and more! We've put a lot of time into beautifying the space and I can't wait for you to see it!
The next MAMA CIRCLE gathering is this coming Saturday, January 18, at 10am, featuring Maddi Wilkerson of West Domestic. Maddi is a local doula AND weaver/textile-maker extraordinaire. Registration is $15 per. Babies and toddlers welcome. You can register at www.mamacirclememphis.com or via venmo @zoe-etkin.
Looking so forward to 2020 and all the amazing things that will come!