“I am struggling.”
“I don’t know if I can do this.”
“I feel like I am drowning.”
When a mother starts to have thoughts that don’t fit our society’s expectations of what a “good mom” needs to be, it often leaves them feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and isolated.
Nikki Brooker founded You Are Not Alone, Mom to Mom — YANA M2M — in 2017 in response to two separate family tragedies in Highlands Ranch involving desperate and hopeless mothers.
Nikki was so moved by the tragedies that she felt compelled to create a safe space for struggling mothers to connect.
“When you feel connected,” she says, “it changes everything.”
In a video on YANA M2M’s website, Joanne shares her story about the difficulties of dealing with postpartum depression, feelings of inadequacy, and being so low she was even contemplating the unthinkable. She saw YANA M2M on the news and decided to attend a meeting. The organization gave her a “safe space to run to” and her interaction with the other mothers made all the difference because she finally felt accepted and understood.
Through meetings, mentorship, education and most importantly providing a safe community where mothers can find the support they need, YANA M2M has made a difference in hundreds of lives, and their support systems continue to evolve.
In addition to their established meetings and events, YANA M2M has initiated the Strong Mamas, Thriving Babies program. This program connects new moms within weeks of delivery and schedules three, six, nine and 12-month postpartum phone call check-ins. Strong Mamas, Thriving Babies provides a support team from the very beginning of the motherhood journey by providing gatherings for mothers with similar-aged babies and regularly scheduled wellness checks.
“We believe motherhood should be a team sport," Nikki says. "Every mom deserves to be on a team and our program will create those teams for every mom.”
YANA M2M is a Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is participating in Colorado Gives Day in hopes of gaining additional funding for the Strong Mamas, Thriving Babies program.
“Our program is going to change the world, one mom at a time, but that takes funding. With partnerships with two local hospitals, we need to fund the program. Colorado Gives Day is a great opportunity to donate to our campaign or go to our website and click on donate. Funding goes directly to the program needs to give every mom the peer-to-peer support system they deserve,” Nikki says.
Motherhood is sometimes idealized as a beautiful experience, full of soft lighting, adorable babies, and mothers that exude a comforting sense of calm, accomplishment, and peacefulness. When that perception is confronted by the truth that sometimes motherhood can be hard, messy, heartbreaking, and lonely — that’s when Brooker wants moms to know that YANA M2M is a resource for everyone. This organization is for all mothers to have that important community support so that they can truly know that they are not alone.
To learn more about the YANA M2M community visit yanam2m.org or facebook.com/yanam2m