“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
~ Sharon L. Adler

Childbearing and parenting can bring the most beautiful moments of life…and the most absurd and heartbreaking. And with regularity, they bring every experience in-between. This is true for all parents, and yet, so often, mothers or fathers feel that they must be alone in their struggles and triumphs. Sharing our experiences with other parents can remind us that we are not alone in this journey, and can teach us that the support of community is an invaluable resource along the long road of parenting.

Open Circle is working with partner professionals to offer facilitated community groups that support families in their journey through conception pregnancy, birth, and parenting, as well as in illness and loss.

LGBTQ+ Pregnancy + Parenting Group

Open Circle and a small group of queer-identified professionals joined together to create a pregnancy and parenting group for the LGBTQ+ people in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.  Our goal is to provide a place where queer families can grow their network of support, access resources (healthcare, legal, education, etc.) and talk about challenges and rewards of being LGBTQ+ and pregnant or parenting.

This is a group open to all LGBTQ+ people at every stage of the process – from those simply exploring becoming parents to those parenting older children.  People who are single or in relationships are welcome, as are people who are transgender, gender-fluid or non-binary. This is a space designed to be welcoming and safe.

Facilitated by Nichole Heig, CNM, Jess Cronin, LICSW, and Sarah Bowman, MPH

Sessions will be drop-in, monthly, and last 90 minutes. We will have water and snacks. Each group will have a topic but we expect that the bulk of the time together will be spent discussing matters pertinent to the participants’ expressed needs.

DATES
First Saturday of every month, with the exception of holiday weekends:
March 7, 2020
April 4, 2020
May 2, 2020
June 6, 2020
July 11, 2020
August 1, 2020
September 12, 2020
October 3, 2020
November 7, 2020
December 5, 2020

TIMES
4:00 to 5:30 pm

COST
Free

RSVP/more info

Open Circle for the 4th Trimester

The first three months after the birth of a baby (often referred to as the 4th trimester) are often the most stressful and tender weeks in the life of a family. Learning to feed and soothe your newborn, recover from pregnancy and birth, and deal with the intensity of shifting relationships and identity can be a huge challenge. Open Circle offers a safe and nurturing space for finding your footing in the new life that welcoming a baby brings. With an emphasis on mindful self-compassion, resource building and practical solutions to support your new life as a parent.

Lisa Gendron guides this peer-to-peer support group with enormous respect for the difficulties facing new parents. She seeks to help parents in developing self-care practices and coping techniques to adjust to the challenges of the 4th trimester.

Offered weekly on Wednesdays, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, starting February 26, 2020. Best suited for parents with babies ages 3-14 weeks.

DATES
Wednesdays starting 02/26/20

TIMES
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

COST
$20 ($5-$15 IBP)

Open Circle for Mindful Parenting

.Being a parent can have enormous challenges! Parenting in the modern world can be an isolating and confusing experience… It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but many parents feel without the social and emotional support needed to feel centered in their parenting journey. Join our village at Open Circle to connect with other parents, learn about ways you can practice self care as a parent and touch base about child development.

Led by Lisa Gendron, family doula and self-compassion practitioner/mother of three.

Meets monthly.

DATES
Saturday, March 14, 2020

TIMES
12:30 to 2:30 pm

COST
$20 ($5-$15 IBP)

The Open Circle Fathering Group

The Open Circle Fathering Group* aims to create a shared space for fathers-to-be, new fathers, and fathers with younger children.  This group is designed as a safe, brave, and comfortable space to talk about joys, hopes and frustrations, share the numerous obstacles and challenges we experience, and brainstorm/share practical solutions. Becoming a parent forces us to come face-to-face with intense inner experiences — joy, love and humor, but also perhaps anger, anxiety, jealousy, shame, grief and more.  Often, our identities, priorities, independence and relationships with our partners change at a disorienting speed during pregnancy and after the baby arrives. This group will offer a space to air it all out, so that we can ride the waves of fathering with more skill and find renewed energy and meaning in our ever-changing roles and identities.

Facilitated by Sheldon Malcolm and Avi David.

*Open to anyone identifying as a father or father-figure

NOTE: babies/children (up to age 3) are welcome to attend under their parent’s care and supervision.

DATES
Meets the first and third Sundays of every month.

TIME
1:30 to 2:30PM

COST
Suggested donation $5-10. Drop-ins welcome.

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Future support groups will include:

  • Parents of Ill or Special Needs Children groups
  • Pregnancy Loss groups
  • Fertility Support groups

Please check back for more information.