Story: Gratitude for Community in Ever Changing Times

Gratitude for Community

The pandemic has changed so many things over the last few years.

Life today is so different from pre-pandemic life and I feel like “community” has taken on new meaning for me. The pandemic brought us a new kind of community and a new kind of support through La Leche League virtual meetings across the country.

For over two years now, I have hosted almost weekly virtual support meetings. Through these meetings, I have met many families, not just from the Guelph area, but from all over Ontario, Atlantic Canada, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia. Virtual meetings have allowed parents the ability to find a meeting anywhere in the country that fits into their lives. It means that, as Leaders, we can support people through our meetings when they may not yet be ready or able to easily leave the house. Having virtual meetings has also allowed for families to broaden their circle of support by not only connecting with Leaders and parents in their local community but also with others around the country who have gone through similar experiences.

Since this spring, La Leche League Leaders have been able to resume in-person support if they wish. My virtual meetings have become such an important part of my leadership that I don’t want to stop them anytime soon but I am also excited to get back to seeing people ‘in-real life’. For the summer months, I decided to pick one week a month to host an in-person gathering at a local park while also continuing virtual support the rest of the month.

This week, I had the pleasure of meeting three amazing women and their beautiful little ones, in the flesh! These particular families have been regulars of my virtual meetings for much of the pandemic. I have seen them grow as parents and have watched as they have shared their experiences and helped support each other and so many others.

As a Leader, I feel extremely blessed to be able to be part (even if only a small part) of the support network as these families empower each other to follow their instincts and do what feels right.

Though the pandemic has thrown many curve balls at us, and times may still seem uncertain, I will be forever grateful to be a La Leche League Leader. I am lucky enough to witness parents and families grow! We are finally able to get back to some of the old ways of connecting but we have found new ways of connecting, too.

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Written by: LLLC Leader, Natalie