Anna is an America living abroad for the past decade, now settled outside of Amsterdam, The Netherlands with her Dutch husband. She welcomed boy/girl twins in 2017 and her daughter Emily was unexpectedly born with Adrenal Insufficiency, a chronic disease which impacts her body's ability to produce a vital stress hormone called cortisol.
Motherhood was suddenly very different than she had expected it to be and she struggled with postpartum depression, anxiety and to cope with the very difficult implications of her daughter's traumatic birth and lifelong medical diagnosis.
She wondered just how many Moms were also faced with unexpected circumstances, were blindsided by the 'invisible' aspects of motherhood which are not openly discussed, or just need a space to share their story and connect with other Moms who had a similar experience.
The more she started to share about her journey as a mother, she quickly started to realize just how many women struggled with the reality of motherhood.
In 2018, she launched a Facebook page for Moments with Mothers to encourage Moms in her local area to meet up and talk about the 'less discussed' aspects of motherhood. The community continued to grow and Anna expanded the blog to feature stories of motherhood from around the world. Today the MwM community has over 4000 members worldwide.
Between 2018-2020 Anna hosted various meetups per month for Moms living in the Amsterdam area, partnering with important local resources for parents and even hosting two special "Weekend Getaways for Moms' in the Netherlands. MwM quickly became a safe, fun place for Moms to get together, take time for themselves, share, connect, and also find support related to maternal mental & physical health.
In 2020, the entire world was deeply impacted by the corona virus pandemic and in-person meetups were no longer possible for the foreseeable future, yet mothers needed more support ever.
Anna continued to expand MwM as a place to provide virtual support for Moms, through creating a birth stories & motherhood blog and help them remember that we are never alone in how we are feeling, no matter where we physically are located.
Moments with Mothers focuses on sharing a variety of stories about motherhood - stories of hope and pain and grief and happiness - stories about the beauty and hardships of
motherhood - stories about the invisible struggles of mothers and especially to bring awareness to the invisible populations of mothers who live with extremely difficult circumstances.
MwM also collaborates with multiple non-profit organizations supporting mothers, helping to bring awareness to their important work and supporting them financially through the 'Messages for Moms' initiative.
messages for moms
In 2020, Moms around the world were greatly impacted by the implications of the corona virus pandemic. Global lockdowns brought the world to a halt. Families could not leave their homes, children could not go to school, childcare was not possible, people around the world avoided human contact... mothers around the world became more isolated than ever, while simultaneously coping with more stress than ever.
Anna started to collaborate with various artists, who are also mothers, to create a series of greeting cards called, "Messages for Moms", with the goal to encourage Moms to stay connected with each other but also remind others not to forget about Moms.
A portion of the profits of all products sold goes towards various not-for-profit organizations who advocate for maternal health around the world.