We are happy to welcome back the Mama’s to the Mama Bear Lodge. We created this space with the intention of support and care. However, we are always learning about the best way to hold up our mamas and every year without fail we face the question from several mama’s of weather they should bring their little babes to the gathering or not. While this question must be answered individually it is our hope that by addressing what we can offer to the mama’s out there, we can create a clear picture for you to base the decision of bringing your babe .
The lodge was created with the intention of holding a physical space for mama’s and babies centered around self care, support, and community. We honor the process and needs of mothers with young children and the lodge was created to give mama’s an opportunity to ground down, find care, someone to share your story with, or a moment’s rest. Within the lodge we provide books, toys, basic care items (such as balms & wipes). There are pillows for resting or to help aide in feeding and this space is meant to be a gathering place for the mamas and any aunties. This year the lodge will be centrally located and we will have no classes within the lodge.
We are blessed to hold the gathering among the Illinois River shores where we are living in tune with mother nature for this gathering. There are options for renting tents or yurts which provide ease for mamas traveling solo. We ask that you book these accommodations as soon as possible after purchasing your ticket as they are limited. Camping is the primary source of shelter during the gathering. Traveling with a babe alone to the woods is a challenge that we acknowledge and will do everything to help you navigate this experience, but ask that you take this into account as you consider bringing a young child to the gathering. If you are traveling from far away with a young baby, or this is your first time camping, it may be optimal for self care to try and coordinate camping with another mama/ attendee or inviting a family member along to share in the experience. All meals are served and eaten outside and with a pre-made menu. Lunch will not be provided but can be bought at the gathering or you can bring your own food to cook. I would also encourage you to reach out to other women to collaborate on meals as well.
As many of us are mothers, grandmothers, aunties within our own paths there is a great respect among us for the mothers who honor us with their presence at Spirit Weavers. We hold you in our hearts and understand fully the need or desire to bring your children to the gathering. Every year I am asked by mama’s if they should bring their child to the gathering and though I am honored with this question, I can not answer it for you. Every mother’s journey is different and your needs, desires, and vision for the gathering are a part of your path. I encourage you to envision what you want to take away from this gathering and hold that in your heart when making a decision about bringing a young child. Our vision is that the gathering become a place for self care, and though it can be very difficult to give that to ourselves as mothers, we lovingly encourage you to hold that in your vision for the experience of the gathering.
Something to note, from previous experiences from Mothers; If you are a Mama who really just wants to be at the gathering, even if that means spending a lot of time with your child in Mama Bear Camp, with no expectations around your experience, or how many or which classes you will be able to attend, perfect! In the past, some women who have brought children ages 1-3 have found themselves challenged if they are coming to take classes or really drop in because they have had to leave classes early to tend to their child’s needs. Though you are welcome to bring your littles to the Skillshare classes we have also found that many women are not able to finish their classes or be fully present with their young child there. We ask that you please tune in deeply about bringing your toddler to the gathering if they fall between the ages of 1 and 3. Thank you for understanding and for really taking the time to come to your own clarity around this.