PUBLISHED BY MOSHOLU PRESERVATION CORPORATION

Vol. 18, No. 7

April 7 - 20,  2005

     
 

For New Moms, Group Offers Many Helping Hands

By AnnaMaria ANDRIOTIS

Three-year-old Arianna is having a hard time choosing the next game to play at Chuck E Cheeze in Co-op City. After a few minutes of walking around the store, she sticks a red ticket in the slot of a photo booth, poses for the camera, and jumps up and down as she waits for the machine to print her picture. She smiles at the photo, and then turns to her mom, Roxanne Taylor, 32, who hands her daughter another ticket.

“I can’t imagine what raising Arianna would have been like without the support of the Bronx Mommies,” said Roxanne Taylor, executive director of Bronx New Mommies Inc., a not-for-profit social support group for mothers and children.

When Taylor, who lives in Co-op City, learned she was pregnant, she felt the need for a support group of mothers and mothers-to-be who would understand and help guide each other in the first stages of motherhood. She attended mommies’ meetings in Manhattan, and after several unproductive searches for a similar group in the Bronx, Taylor decided to form the first official Bronx New Mommies Group.

“I felt like I wanted something for mothers closer to home,” Taylor said. “Just to know there are moms in the Bronx who are experiencing the same thing is very comforting.”

Taylor posted advertisements on the Internet and among small mother support groups in the Bronx, hoping her efforts would prove fruitful. They did.

Bronx New Mommies held its first meeting in 2002, when Taylor’s daughter was just 6 months old. Almost three years later, with 11 current active members from all over the borough, Taylor considers the support the group provides a necessity for raising children.

“I realized early on as a mother that making friends with other moms is very important,” she said. “We have become a small family, and we can each turn to each other when in need.”

The majority of the Bronx New Mommies members range in age from their late 20s to early 30s, with kids as young as a month old and as old as 4. In addition to its general monthly meetings, the group hosts outside events that include outreach programs in the Bronx and mommy-toddler outings to the Botanical Garden, local museums and parks. The group also hosts “Mom’s Nights Out” that allow the mothers to strengthen their relationships and share their experiences.

“I joined in search of other stay-at-home moms,” said Boston Road resident SciHonor Bey, 27, a certified childbirth educator and labor assistant, who joined the group last summer. “I wanted to provide a well-balanced lifestyle for my 4-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter between home schooling and the Bronx Mommies activities.”

At the group’s events, children convene in playgroups while many of the more experienced mothers speak with expectant or new mothers.

In addition to the reservoir of emotional support it has provided, Bronx New Mommies also helps with the very basics of new parenthood.

“If a mom cannot make it to the supermarket and urgently needs diapers or food for her child, she can call one of the other members for help,” said Taylor. “The support is here in all ways.”

Ed. note: For more information on the Bronx New Mommies Group, call Roxanne Taylor at (718) 415-2018. The group has a Web site at www.bronx-new-mommies-group.org. 


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