By Kate Phillips
Sopris Sun Correspondent
The Sopris Sun is conducting a series of interviews with folks you may not have seen in the paper before – a sort of introduction to your neighbors. This week we caught up with Rachel Mulry, founder and owner of Roaring Fork Valley Parenting.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from?
A: I actually grew up here. My husband is from San Francisco, and we lived there for eight years and had our first two kids there. Then we moved back about three and a half years ago to be closer to my parents, have help in parenting, and to give our kids easy access to the natural beauty that is abundant in this valley.
Q: What is Roaring Fork Valley Parenting?
A: Roaring Fork Valley Parenting offers support throughout the range of parenting stages through talks and workshops, classes, and one-on-one consultations. My vision is for parents to be able to find the support they need wherever they are in parenting for whatever challenges they are facing.
Q: I noticed on your Facebook page you are doing some great work with new mamas.
A: I started out focusing on new moms because I was one myself. I’ve been leading a New Mama Support Circle … that meets every Monday morning at The Family Nest. Each week the group of moms join together with their babies, and we spend time building community, getting to know each other, [and] connecting with the babies through songs and games.
The other piece of that is to connect these new moms with the resources that could be supportive to them in the community. I bring in “wise women” from the community to share their area of expertise: a women’s pelvic health physical therapist and a pediatric physical therapist to talk about physical well-being and development … a nutrition coach, mindfulness teachers … and just recently a graduate of the New Mom program who taught other moms how to do yoga with their babies.
Q: Is there an age limit?
A: The group does because of the limitations of space, and for the ability to create that emotional safety. It is just for babies and their moms in the first year. It is not open, unfortunately, to older siblings because of the attention older children require.
Q: What will be offered for the older groups?
A: I am trained as an Infant and toddler potty-training coach. I recently led a potty training Q&A where parents were able to come and discuss the process. Parents who were just starting were able to get a sense of what to expect, and others who already started, but were encountering road blocks, were able to get some strategies and ideas.
Another offering is the Hand In Hand Parenting approach, which I have been training in over the past six years. Hand In Hand Parenting is about building a strong family connection and using five listening tools to help parents and their children build their emotional well-being.
One more area I am offering is Simplicity Parenting, based on the book by Kim John Payne. [Children] need a much slower, much simpler life in order to really enjoy childhood. Simplicity Parenting helps parents focus on their family values and making the life they want with their kids. Hand In Hand parenting covers the emotional aspect of life with children, and Simplicity Parenting is a little more practical.
Q: What is something that you are really proud of in either your work or personal life?
A: I am proud of the work I have put into my own family. Before becoming a parent, I had no idea how hard parenting is and how uniquely challenging our own children can be. My children challenge me in exactly the areas where I have the most work to do. I am proud that I keep trying to be a better parent, and I keep reaching for my vision of family.
Q: Any words of wisdom?
A: I want parents to know what vital work they are doing every day and that there is a reason it gets hard, because it is emotional work that we are doing. In order to do that well we need our own support. Also, my mom has this quote on her refrigerator: “Sometimes courage is the small voice at the end of the day saying I will try again.”
New Mama Support Circle: Monday afternoons in January
Simplicity Parenting: 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 12
Hand In Hand Parenting / Tears and Tantrum: 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 15
Hand In Hand Parenting / Six Week Starter Class: Wednesday evenings in February
To learn more and register for upcoming classes. visit Roaring Fork Valley Parenting on Facebook or email Mulry at email@example.com.