Welcome hugs, two ways.

If you are not already a member of the Mama’s Comfort Camp, maybe you are not sure if this group is right for you. To help you decide, I’d like to share the welcome message I post on New Members Monday:

Big hugs for today’s new members, I’m so glad you have joined our uniquely nurturing group. To keep this space comforting and judgment-free, we follow some loving and gentle guidelines. To make it easy for you to jump in, I’ve created a welcome message with simple do-s and don’t-s. The welcome message comes in two ways: you decide if you’d rather listen to a podcast (say on your smartphone while washing the dishes after dinner?) or read this blog post.

Here is the podcast, if you’d rather download this podcast to listen offline, click on the down-pointing arrow on the right.

Sometimes there’s a bug in the player, so if all you see is a line of code, click here to listen to the podcast on SoundCloud.

 

But if you prefer to read rather than listen, there you go:

First thing first:
Know that you are simply welcome, you do not need to earn your spot at the Mama’s Comfort Camp.

There are a lot of moms here and many posts, please don’t let this overwhelm you.
Do: engage in Guilt Free participation: come and go according to your own shifting level of capacity. Come here when you feel like it, stay away whenever you need to. 
Don’t: “should” yourself to read and/or respond to everything. Don’t feel guilty when you are absent, and there is no need to apologize when you ask for help.

Do: Introduce yourself at some point, when you are ready. 
There is a quick intro thread and a members info page in the files section. 
Don’t: feel like you must introduce yourself before you can participate. It’s okay to go about this in any order that works for you.
Once you familiarize yourself with our group culture, you have a green light to jump in or just dip your toe, it’s up to you.

Do: Share your ups and downs, your triumphs and your struggles. Post ideas include but are certainly not limited to: rants, vents, yays, brags, requests for validation and support, requests for advice and resources, victory announcements, acute cuteness reports, and things you can’t believe just came out of your mouth…
Don’t: keep your happy times away from the group. We really want to know when things are going well for you.

Do: try to keep related updates in the same thread, this helps us follow each story as it unfolds.
Don’t: fret if you can’t find an old thread. On a PC you can use the search option (magnifying glass icon at the top right corner of the page) but this doesn’t work on smart phones. So if you searched for the old thread and can’t find it, start another.

Do: seek support when times are hard, and ask for healing vibes when someone is sick or struggling.
Don’t: please don’t use this space as a crisis management environment, or to seek medical advice. Nobody here acts as a healthcare professional, so please don’t research or suggest medications and treatment options in this space. 
Also, if your post centers on postpartum mental illness, it is probably better suited to the #ppdchat group which is a great forum for discussing Postpartum Depression/PPAnxiety/PPOCD /medications /therapies, etc… #PPDchat was created by Lauren Hale, it’s an amazing group, which includes many Mama Comfort Campers (including me and all of our Den Mothers), all eager to support you over there too. If you’d like to be added to the #ppdchat group, please raise your hand on the comments of this post or message me or Lauren Hale to add you. 

Do: tell us what you need. Are you posting to just vent and get commiseration, stomps and hugs? Or are you seeking advice and resources? Please let us know so we can best support you.
Don’t: dish unsolicited advice. When someone is struggling, maybe all she needs is validation that she is not the only freak in town having a rough ride. Trying to fix her or the situation doesn’t always help, it can actually make her feel worse. If advice wasn’t specifically requested, please just be supportive. If you have ideas you are eager to share, ask if advice is accepted at this time, or start an independent thread. 
The flipside of this: if you asked for advice and got some that doesn’t feel right, please don’t take other people ideas as something you “should” be following. It’s information, some might be useful and applicable to you, some not. People Vary! Please trust your gut, your inner wise woman knows best. 

Do: use the PT (Potentially Triggering) posting structure if you are writing from a shaken emotional state, or when posting about issues like death/grief, or impending crisis situations. 
Don’t: overuse PT. One of our goals is to normalize the motherhood struggles, so unless you yourself are feeling very triggered, you can probably just state your situation and ask for the kind of support you would like to receive without having to frame your story with PT.
For more on the when, why, and how of PT posts, check out the first Mama’s Comfort Camp Podcast.

Do: share stories, pictures, and blog posts you have written yourself. It’s okay to occasionally post links to posts written by others if you feel moved to do so, but please don’t use this page to post a lot of links to outside resources, especially if those have commercial interests. When in doubt, please ask. 
If you are a mother running your own business, we’d love to know what you are up to, but please ask me before sharing your products or services. There is a high likelihood that I will say yes.
Don’t: promote anything excessively. Please remember that Mama’s Comfort Camp is an emotional sharing environment, not a marketplace. 

And that’s it! Thank you for reading and respecting our group culture. 
On behalf of myself and the Den Mothers, hugs all around.

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