Mom-mentum's (formerly the National Association of Mothers' Centers) roots stretch back to the early 1970s when a social worker in Nassau County, New York, named Patsy Turrini noticed some of her patients felt conflicted and lacked confidence in their new role as mothers. They felt alone and didn't know where to turn for help. Her concern led to a research study that involved some 40 women, who met regularly to discuss the issues they were facing--along with some possible solutions.
The women found the meetings to be educational and therapeutic. In fact, when the research project ended, they continued to meet and eventually formed the first Mothers' Center, under the auspices of the Family Service Association (FSA) of Nassau County. Word soon spread about the center and the difference it was making in the lives of the women involved. The founding volunteers began getting calls from women all over the United States, wanting to know how to start centers in their own communities. With the help of the founders, Mothers' Centers soon took hold in other parts of the country and in Germany, too.
In response to the demand for information, the FSA helped organize the Mothers' Center Development Project (MCDP). Lorri Slepian, a social worker and one of the founders of the original Mothers' Center, co-directed the project. She and her co-leaders secured funding to hire a small staff. The appearance of Lorri Slepian , NAMC [Mom-mentum] Co-Founder, speaking from the audience on The Phil Donahue Show and a feature article in Parents magazine about support available for mothers at Mothers' Centers in 1984 led to more than 10,000 inquiries from women around the country!
By 1991, the MCDP had grown into an independent organization: The National Association of Mothers' Centers. Its purpose was to develop a national support network and serve as a resource for Mothers' Centers across the United States. The number of centers and their programs continue to grow; Mom-mentum continues to nurture and foster that growth. There are now Mothers' Centers meeting in Family Place Libraries, we have an active, informative parenting blog -- Mothers Central -- and we offer parenting webinars. We also provide an eNews with resources and information.
Over the years, the organization known as NAMC has grown and expanded their own programming, offering: postpartum support, mother-daughter programs, worksite programs, education on public policies and so much more. Mothers have changed, and in response, so have we in order to continue to provide our membership with the best support we can. In 2014, the NAMC launched its new name, mission and expanded programming to meet the needs and requirements of its members.
Today the NAMC is known as Mom-mentum. Our vision is to be the leading voice and resource for women as they navigate their lives as mothers. Mom-mentum provides leadership, education, and advocacy to support mothers in meeting today's personal and professional challenges. This includes peer and group support, training through seminars and workshops, professional development, and a public policy advocate. Mom-mentum offers an Annual Women's Leadership Conference to make a business case for flex options in the workplace which we know most employees (especially moms) need to manage their work and personal responsibilities. We also host the Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility to highlight companies that do this well.
Mom-mentum's focus on work/life issues began early on as it witnessed the changes women were going through in their working lives. We heard our members throughout the 1980s when women in greater numbers were taking advantage of the opportunity to enter professions that had been predominantly male in the 70s. In the 90s its members were re-entering the workforce more quickly after childbirth and adoption and pressures to work longer and harder increased. It became clear that not only were mothers handling a double load of both work and family responsibilities, they were also time starved to address any of their own needs.
As a result, the NAMC [Mom-mentum] began addressing work/life issues of working parents with an annual Work/Life Conference instituted in 1996. This program allows employers and employees alike to explore issues in the work/life integration arena. Nationally recognized experts and corporate leaders share their insights into how workplace flexibility and family-friendly policies make good business sense. Mom-mentum became the host of the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility in 2009, to encourage companies to apply and to highlight best practices that benefit both employers and employees.
Today our Work/Life Conference is now a Women's Leadership Conference: Achieving Extraordinary. This conference brings together a powerful group of speakers to 1.) cultivate awareness and empower women to execute positive changes, and 2.) create a network (through the event's speakers, attendees, sponsors, and media partners) that inspires action and moves the needle on women's leadership.
Our Work/Life Blog -- Careers and Motherhood -- helps to address and talk about the joys and concerns mothers have as they navigate careers.
Despite the many joys and rewards of motherhood, mothering can have long-term and often unanticipated economic repercussions for women and their families. In 2001, following the publication of a highly acclaimed book, The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is the Least Valued, we invited the author to deliver the keynote address at our national conference. Ann Crittenden's powerful presentation--and the dismaying facts documented in her book--inspired the creation of our Advocacy Initiative.
This Advocacy Initiative launched in 2002, (originally entitled Mothers Ought To Have Equal Rights (MOTHERS)) was spearheaded by the NAMC [Mom-mentum] in collaboration with Crittenden and other authors and activists. Mom-mentum's advocacy effort is now an economic rights initiative with a clear mission: to spark discussion and drive change at both grassroots and national levels about the economic impact and value of caregiving work.
Our Public Policy Blog -- Your (Wo)man In Washington -- is our blog to help mothers change the conversation about issues that affect mothers and other caregivers.
Mothers Central Blog is created and generates lively discussion thanks to the musings and sharing of Kate Fineske.
First Annual Mile for Mothers Walk: Walk a Mile in Mom's Shoes to highlight the value of everything mothers do on a daily basis.
NAMC became the regional host for the national Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.
NAMC launches its BEST Program: Best in Business, Best in Life for employers to bring in as a benefit to their employees and to empower employees to find creative solutions to managing their work, family and life responsibilities in ways that work for them and their families.
NAMC offers its 24th National Conference, MOTHERS '08 - Thinking Beyond Ourselves & Beyond Today including a historic gathering of mothers' organizations from around the country. NAMC launches its Parenting in the 21st Century seminar and webinar series featuring speakers on topics from "How to Have it All..." to "Financing a Family" created to address the needs of parents at all stages of parenting. The seminars provide an added benefit to members and allow NAMC to expand its outreach to a wider audience.
Launched Your (Wo)man in Washington blog to bring mothers and others pertinent policy discussions and news on issues that affect mothers, fathers, other caregivers and families.
The NAMC launches an elder-care component of its New Neighborhood work site program, for people caring for aging parents.
The NAMC's headquarters relocate to the historic Elias Hicks house in Jericho, New York.
The MOTHERS Initiative premiers an e-card for Mother's Day on its home page. The card leads to a viral campaign about paid family leave efforts in several states.
Valerie Young, NAMC's advocacy coordinator, submits a white paper detailing economic issues around mothering, caregiving, and legislative solutions that would address them at the request of Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
The NAMC launches its monthly eNews, an email update that includes a new DC Dispatch column to keep readers informed about policy issues that impact families. The MOTHERS eNews is now going out monthly reaching subscribers nationwide.
The NAMC hosts a successful press event and luncheon with the Women's Media Center in New York City to publicize our CEASEFIRE petition, against the "Mommy Wars." The campaign resulted in significant media coverage and partnerships with other organizations. We collected thousands of signatures on the petition.