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Moms Supporting Moms

Taryn Zweygardt, LMSW | Executive Director, The Village ICT

My entire life I wanted to be a mother.

I remember telling many people growing up that I honestly felt as though I was put on this earth to be a mom.

The Power of Support Groups

Recently, I bought a shelf for my bathroom. It was one of those shelves to be placed above your toilet, contained 3 shelves, and what felt like hundreds of random pieces. Immediately upon opening the box, I was overwhelmed. There were poles, shelves, screws, bolts, and several other parts I don't know the name of. Oh, and there was a book of instructions that probably should have come with a translator. Three to four hours, several minor temper tantrums, and a few mistakes later, the shelf was complete.  I had done it all on my own.

My 3 Alarms- Gambling Against Time

Waking up in the morning for me consists of no less than 3 alarms, all set to go off in 10-15 minute increments. Three is my safe number. The first alarm is for when I am feeling ambitious. This alarm is the least utilized but still in the running just in case I decide to dig for that extra motivation that will allow me to make coffee, spend time on my hair and makeup, and possibly consume a bowl of cereal. The second alarm is so I have a normal amount of time to get ready and eliminates rushing around trying to get out of the door on time.

Substance Abuse Prevention

My grand a-ha, this-is-why-my-parents-make-my-life-miserable moment happened one summer when I was almost 17. All of my friends were going to the lake for a camp-out. There were about 30 people in total. I begged and pleaded with my parents to let me stay out, they said no. Didn’t even entertain the idea, it was a hard NO, plain and simple. My sister had just turned 18 so she was allowed to stay out, and my best friend's mom didn't care. Despite her being 2 years younger than me, she was allowed to do a lot more than I was. My parents were strict.

Suicide Prevention

I get lost, a lot! I can go to the same place a thousand times, know exactly how to get there, and still manage to end up on the other side of town. Once, I even ended up in a different state. For over 30 years, I have traveled back and forth from my dad’s house in Missouri to my mom’s house in Kansas. I should know this route like the back of my hand, right? Yet somehow I ended up in Oklahoma. Let me remind you that Kansas and Missouri are bordering states. There was no need for me to ever leave either state, yet somehow I managed.

Recognizing the Signs of Teen Dating Violence

Warning!  I am not a perfect driver.  My infractions are few and I’m grateful no one has landed in the hospital because I was behind the wheel.  Years ago, I backed into a truck parked in the center of my cul de sac.  I saw it earlier that morning, but when backing out of the garage with kids in the backseat…I forgot it was sitting there until the sound of bending metal halted what I thought was going to be a day in the park.  Literally, we were going to a picnic.  It was an old Ford; you know the heavy-duty ones made of true steel and impenetrable.  The