*Maria was a member of a Kids Matter online group in Tower Hamlets this year. She has two sons at home and is in the process of divorcing her abusive husband. Maria is recovering from this damaging relationship where she was made to feel worthless, useless and a failure.
Kids Matter started for me during lockdown and family life during lockdown was difficult. There was no school or routine, the kids had to be entertained all day every day, and I really struggled to find any time for myself.
I heard about Kids Matter from the community group in our local church and I was immediately interested because I love my children more than anything and I always want to develop and learn new skills as a parent.
What else can I do for my children? How can I be a better mother to my children?
It was exciting when I joined the group! Particularly because during lockdown we were all alone in our homes and now we were joining with a community, even though it was online, and with people who had the same goal of learning new skills as parents. I soon discovered I wasn’t alone in my struggles and we all understood each other in wanting to be better parents, giving our children better experiences and understanding them more.
The whole programme was amazing and all the shared input helped us to understand we were already doing a lot of the right things. That was really important because as a parent during lockdown, I felt so alone in my daily tasks and it was significant to know there were other parents who were feeling the same. They also felt alone and we were able to support each other.
After each Kids Matter group session, I always felt excited and positive. It gave me real energy knowing that I am doing well and it confirmed that I am a good mum even if I don’t always get things right. I learnt to understand my children better and it was especially helpful to learn about the five love languages. Even though my children are small at the moment, it still helped me to understand more about their individual needs and what they expect from us, not just what we want to give to them.
There is so much I have learned, and one particular thing we all shared as parents was wanting to be the best we can be for our kids.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals.
The attached picture is not a representation of the individual concerned.