“Having children is such a huge transition. You can feel so isolated and alone and there’s no going back. I mean they’re worth it and you made them, so you struggle with the guilt and the feeling that you should be grateful to have this little bundle, but it’s all in your mind—it’s something going on inside of you even though the external might look happy to everyone else, inside you’re dealing with hormonal changes and mental changes—you’re learning how to be a mom. I almost had to mourn the loss of my old self. Your number one isn’t you anymore; it’s now this little person.”
“I wish there were more Family Resource Centres throughout the city. They have great programs. I started taking my daughter there when she was two and it opened up her world because she got to interact with other kids. Then last year she went to play school there. The support is like family. It helps to bond with a group who can relate with what you’re feeling. When you hear other people tell their story and you can relate, all of a sudden that feeling of ‘it’s only me and I’m failing as a mom,’ that isolation gets lifted because you don’t feel alone in this and you feel you’ll get through the challenges.“
“I was diagnosed with postpartum and my doctor recommended that I go to the Family Resource Centre in Mill Woods and get hooked up with the postpartum mom’s group called Managing Motherhood. So I did that. Then we decided to move to St. Albert to set down some roots close to my husband’s job, so we came here and for five months I struggled. I thought I could integrate myself into a new city and do it on my own, but sadly, the postpartum reared it’s ugly head again and obviously it hadn’t really gone away. I remembered there was a Family Resource Centre group here. I looked them up and made a phone call and that changed my life. They sent someone to my house because they actually do home visits, which is nice when you’re feeling really low. So somebody came to my house, we talked and cried, and she met my daughter. She encouraged me to come to the St. Alberta Family Resource Centre and to their parent group. It’s kind of like A.A. for parents. It’s a drop-in thing. There’s a group leader and we talk about different things like potty-training, sleeping, in-laws, and things that you want to talk about in a safe place. So I started going to that and I’ve been going ever since. It’s been two and a half years now.”
“I made a lot of friends at the centre and that was a huge thing. When we moved out here we didn’t see our friends as much as we used to. So making friends here helped a lot. I didn’t realize that it was what I was missing. You think Facebook might suffice and it might for some people, but I really need that human connection.”
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region we've partnered with Faces of Edmonton. In the coming months, Faces of Edmonton will be featuring faces and stories relating to the United Way and its work in your community. We’re looking forward to sharing these portraits and stories with you. To learn more about United Way's work check out the Report to Community online.