WHAT OTHER MOMS HAVE TO SAY
Strength Through Story helped me to see myself as a mom who is ENOUGH. I was able to complete writing assignments, which helped me to identify what I do well and am proud of about myself personally and as a new parent. It increased my confidence in my ability to nurture my baby and to meet his needs. It helped me develop more realistic expectations. This group provided support and a safe place to share my story and hear those of others. I discovered I was not alone in feeling inept, incompetent, and even unavailable as a mom, wife, and individual–and learned skills from others' experiences for self-calming, boundary setting, and allowing myself room to make mistakes (as well as to grow). As a person who has experienced trauma in childhood and had postpartum anxiety/ depression (with intrusive thoughts), it was reassuring to find that these experiences do not define me negatively. Rather, they will not only help me to grow and develop into a more whole individual, but one who is capable of passing along "beauty from ashes" to the next generation. I would encourage anyone becoming a mom for the 1st to 100th time to join this group. - Hannah S.
Strength Through Story creates space for moms all across the country to connect and talk about their journeys through motherhood. This group of women come together to share, support and hold space for one another, regardless of what they are facing. Each session, Kim gracefully guides the group through a chosen topic that she has crafted a thorough presentation for. There is discussion, writing-prompts, mindfulness meditation and the spirit of togetherness, all wrapped up in a safe and welcoming space. There is truly something for everyone; all moms are welcome and valued. - Kelsie M.
When I sat down to write my testimonial for STS, I wasn't sure to begin. It is so hard to put into words how much this group has helped. I very much believe that things come into our lives at certain times, and I found STS when I was definitely at my lowest point and in my darkest hour. When I look back at the person who I was when I first began my journey with STS, I barely recognize her. STS has helped me not only acknowledge and face my PPD/PPA, but become a more confident and better person all around. I knew I had issues that I needed to work through, but I was scared to talk to my doctor, my family, my support system, and in a world surrounded by people, I had never felt more alone...isolated. That is where Kim and Strength Through Story comes in. Kim designed STS to be a safe place for moms to meet and support each other. Strength Through Story helped me gain the confidence I needed to talk to my doctor, face my issues, and learn that I am worthy and I am enough, no matter what else I was feeling. Kim has helped me learn when to say no and how not to take on too much, and how to slow down and live in the moment and to look for the bright moments. Kim, and the other moms of STS, have been a constant support system filled with moms who have been there and truly understand what to say and what you're going through. Kim fosters a safe place for us to share as little or as much as we want to. Kim, and the other moms, are not only there on Saturday's during meetings, they're always there. They are much more than a support group, we are becoming friends, and people who I credit for molding me into the person I am today. Confident, passionate, brave, and living life to its fullest. - Erica B.
'Present' moments are coming more frequently, and I am so thankful for each of them. They are huge milestones in my Motherhood journey. I truly feel that STS, Kim and all the compassionate women in group have helped me get to this point ❤️🥰🙏🏻 I'm forever grateful 🥰- Anonymous mama
Kim was an amazing resource for me as I adapted to life as a new mom. Having twins made my experience different than expected, with some complications along the way. Kim helped me focus on me for at least an hour a week, and more through the gratitude journal writing habit I instilled during my 8 weeks with Strength Through Story. She is an excellent meditation guide and really knows how to balance a group conversation online!
In addition to the writing and meditation exercises, I found a lot of value in connecting with other moms. Especially during this time of quarantine, seeing friendly faces that support each other through our challenges was so therapeutic. I built a strong bond with other moms in the program, and I learned how to own and tell my story of being a mom.
Even after the program, I'm still reflecting on the helpful tools Kim taught us. Taking an hour each week to attend and invest in myself helped my relationship with my spouse, my attitude, and my ability to be a resilient mom. Thank you, Kim! - Kirsten M.
After I gave birth this summer I had a very difficult time processing my birth experience. I felt alone in my trauma, and unprepared for how difficult it would be to recover. I am so grateful that I found Strength Through Story, as the community has been an incredibly healing experience that makes me feel so much less alone. Kim has also been a great resource and she helped me connect with a therapist. - Hannah B.
Mothers have such little time to process their experiences, especially the more difficult ones. So, when I learned about Kim and the Strength Through Story effort, I gravitated towards the idea of giving myself time to reflect, write, and share with others my motherhood journey. At first, I was a bit intimidated to do so with a group of complete strangers, but I was pleased with the way that Kim fostered an environment of openness, emotional safety, and support for each person to share as little or as much a they wanted. Listening to Kim and other mamas open up about the full-breath of their motherhood experiences has helped me feel less alone in my own joys and struggles.
The meditation exercises that Kim guides us through have also helped me take a much needed moment of pause! The weekly writing assignments (which are flexible to your schedule) have helped me discover new “aha,” moments while also challenging me to see the good in areas where I may have felt complete overwhelm. That’s what Kim means about “re-writing,” our stories. It’s easy to be hard on ourselves as moms. It’s harder to believe we are enough. Overall, it’s been great to be a part of a community of mothers from across the country; especially during this pandemic. I definitely recommend this group to any mama seeking support, community, and self-reflection. Thanks, Kim for starting this group! - Carla O.
I am so glad I found Kim and Strength Through Story. I can honestly say I have made some really good friends, and I am excited to make more as I continue attending the group. I find it very helpful to meet with other moms no matter where we are at in life. Kim does a great job running the group and creating space for when we need and want to share. - Deanna A.
I heard about Strength Through Story not long after my 2nd was born in fall of 2020. He was still in the NICU, but I was able to participate in the calls. It quickly felt like a community of support. I wasn't the only one who had experienced something. The group has made it possible for me to get through some big hurdles postpartum. I am so glad to have heard about the group and now adore the community that has been created of parents sharing stories and supporting each other. - Becca J.
It’s a great community of ladies encouraging each other, building up each other, and learning from everyone’s experience as a mom. Life brings its challenges already, but adding motherhood and traumatic birth experiences can be a whole other topic to talk about. Some of us have struggled with many things already during our postpartum, and we want to be advocates for ourselves and others. To be able to live, enjoy, and find joy in our “chaotic’s life”. The brain behind this AMAZING community is Kim Hawley. I’ve personally been in 2 groups sessions with her so far. I can definitely say she has knowledge, experience, and understanding of the ups and downs of being a mom and everything you can find in it. She has a desire to reach as many mommas she can to be a shoulder to cry on, a friend, or someone you can count with to advocate for you and make you feel how valuable you are as an individual and as a mom. She also brings NEW topics every session, so there’s always something new to learn and apply or something you can refresh to be reminded of it. She’s well prepared for every session and knows how to interact with big groups of mommas dealing with postpartum crisis or just moms that need some encouraging words and community. So, yeah! More than a community we are BECOMING a tribe, a village! It really takes one to raise our children. Check out the Facebook page and the new sessions!!! - Neysha R.
Strength Through Story provided me with the insight and knowledge to take time-to finally put my own oxygen mask on first. It is a safe space to find empathy and warmth. Often times, I find myself pushing my own feelings and emotions aside simply because I don’t have the time. Strength Through Story challenged this notion with the writing prompts and group sessions. I am forever grateful for my time with the group and continue to grow my journaling practice. - Christina C.