In addition to being an online reporter at Examiner.com , Eryn is also a new member of the Chester County BTBS chapter
Are you a happy, optimistic and taking-action (HOT) mom? Do you want to be?
If the answer is yes, check out the November 5th meeting of the Chester County Beyond the Bus Stop (BTBS) chapter. The meeting will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Bling it On located at the corner of High and Chestnut Streets in downtown West Chester. The group held its first meeting in October and plans to continue to meet the first Thursday of the month.
Suzy Stauffer, of Glen Mills, Pa., founded the national BTBS organization to bring mothers together both online and in-person to support and empower each other to take action for their dreams, goals, health and needs. In addition to the Chester County chapter, 10 additional chapters will be launched nationwide early next year. "Beyond the Bus Stop puts the 'me' back in mommy," she said.
Stauffer said the BTBS idea was born during a time when she was suffering from post partum depression after the birth of her third child and found herself not doing much else other than shuffling back and forth to the bus stop. "I had lost myself in being a mother and had put everything on hold," she said.
She said that after talking to a friend who said she had "different clothes for beyond the bus stop," she understood there was a whole other life she was missing. Furthermore, that moment made her realize that she wanted to pursue her own dreams while honoring motherhood and help other women to do the same. The idea of "Beyond the Bus Stop" was born.
According to Rosemarie Miller, the Chester County Chapter leader, BTBS is different because the focus is solely on mom instead of play group activities. In addition, she said that BTBS is a resource for moms with older children since moms groups tend to fade once children reach school age. Miller noted that all moms, no matter if they work inside or outside of the home, are "busy, busy moms with a lot to think about" and rarely take time for themselves.
"A happy mom is a good mom," she said. "BTBS provides a supporting, encouraging environment to express our dreams and goals as well as encourage other women to go after those things."
Miller said the meeting is a mixture of open, networking time designed for women to relax combined with a"working time" of structured discussion. Women will be able to share strategies with each other, and each meeting will end on a "high note" as each member outlines specific steps to move herself forward.
In addition to the meetings, Miller said the chapter would also have a program called "get out and do it," which is series of other events chosen by members such as pampering, movies, concerts, or volunteering. As far as the type of event, as long as it's something a mom wants to try, "the sky is the limit," she said.
Both Miller and Stauffer said that when a mom takes time for herself, it sets an important and empowering example for the whole family,
"We set the example for who we want our children to be when they are our age," Miller said. "Do we want them to put off who they are?"
Stauffer added that it's important for both boys and girls to grow up seeing a mother who invests time in herself, her community and in her family. She noted a recent journal article from her 11-year-old son.
"My mommy teaches me that my dreams can come true."