What is Making Mama?
My name is Karen O'Mara. I'm a mother of two, an experienced clinical social worker, and founder of Making Mama Village. My goal is to help mothers feel heard and supported by building a village around them.
Making Mama is for mothers who are learning to be gentle, responsive parents. The services provide evidenced based attachment parenting information so you can make decisions that are right for you and your family.
It is a safe and judgement free zone at Making Mama, where you will be nurtured and supported to share your feelings about being a mother. Motherhood is not all glamour and roses for many mums, and it can sometimes feel scary and shameful to say your thoughts out loud when they might not seem socially acceptable. At Making Mama you have permission to say the hard things, and you will be supported in doing so.
Build lifetime friendships in the Mama Village mothers' groups and in the Circle of Security® Parenting™ programs.
Circle of Security® Parenting™ programs
The Circle of Security® Parenting™ program is for any parent with a child aged 4 months to 8 years, who is looking to understand their child's emotional needs and how to respond to them in a way to build emotional security in your child. The program is an excellent reflective parenting program which will look at whether your parents met your emotional needs, and how this impacts on the way you parent your child. It will help identify why your buttons get pushed, why certain things with your child drives you nuts, and why you might respond in ways you wish you didn't. It's a lovely judgement free place where you can explore your personal experiences as a parent in a safe way to help you build stronger bonds with your child throughout their childhood and beyond.
Who are Making Mama's Services for?
Mama Village mothers' groups
The Mama Village mothers' groups are suitable for all mums with a baby under the age of 12 months. You may have just given birth, have a baby eating family foods, or have a baby crawling or walking around. Mums need support at all stages of parenting, and the Mama Village is here for you in the first year of your journey through motherhood.
Many mums with newborns find they are feeling lost and lonely and are unsure of how to achieve being the parent they want to be. In many cases caring for a baby is far more difficult than you anticipated, you might have worries about not bonding with your baby, breastfeeding might be REALLY hard, and you just get nothing done at home. Wouldn't it be great to meet other mums who feel exactly the same way as you? It's always such a relief to find that whatever you are going through is not just happening to you.
You might have an older baby and due to COVID-19 or the fact your family lives interstate or overseas, you have limited support. Perhaps you have no 'mum friends', no one you can lean on during the tough days. Making Mama is for you too.
Join the village to get the support you deserve.
Individual counselling is offered for mums struggling with any aspect of parenting. Sometimes mums find it helpful to talk to a professional when you experience postnatal depression and/or anxiety, but in many cases, it can be helpful for mums to work through some of the challenges you might face with parenting when it feels safer or more reassuring to talk to someone one-on-one instead of in a group setting. Counselling is available for all mums, whether you have a baby, toddler, or school aged child.
Who am I?
I am a clinical social worker with more than 25 years experience working with families in play therapy, child protection, hospital social work, along with individual and group counselling for mothers. I have volunteered since 2011 as a breastfeeding counsellor for a non for profit organisation. I strongly believe in supporting women in informed decision-making regarding pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting.
I have two children who are now in high school. Motherhood wasn’t easy for me in the beginning. The first year was a blur of sleeplessness and worry as my baby cried. A lot. Like All.The.Time. He didn’t sleep. I’m talking 30 minutes tops, day or night. I had significant breastfeeding pain. I felt alone. I didn’t know what to do to get help. I felt like the other mums around me had babies who were reasonably settled. Why was parenting so hard when I had so much experience with babies? I truly understand what you might be going through. I’ve been in the trenches too.
As a qualified clinical social worker and a mum, I completely understand how a new mum can feel very vulnerable and fragile. I also understand how an older mum can feel isolated and lonely and just crave support.
Some mums worry about coming to mothers groups when they don’t know anyone. It can be scary walking into a room full of strangers, especially when the intent is to talk about your feelings! Some mums experience postnatal depression or anxiety, which makes it harder to get out of the house and go to a strange place with new people. I totally understand this and know how scary it can be.
For this reason I keep the mothers groups small - only about 10 mums. This is to enable you to feel more at ease, to share your experiences in a confidential, non-judgmental environment.
Whether you come for a mothers group, counselling or Circle of Security Parenting program, my promise to you is that I will hold you in your space. I will ensure that the discussions are gentle, kind, and supportive. They may be difficult, there may be tears, but there will be comfort. If you feel like you are not coping, or if you feel like you need support from other mums, come along. We will support you. I will hold your hand.
If come to a mothers group or Circle of Security Parenting program and we establish that you require ongoing support of a much more intensive nature to address postnatal depression or anxiety concerns, birth trauma, or general adjustment to parenthood issues we will discuss options to see me for one-on-one counselling, to see your GP or another social worker or psychologist.
I hope that your experience of mothering is rewarding, and you have the arms of other mothers wrapped around you as you tackle the challenging times.
~ Karen O’Mara
- Masters of Social Work
- Bachelor of Arts - Psychology major
- Certificate IV Breastfeeding Education
- Certificate IV Training and Assessment
- Certificate in Staff and Student Supervision
- Trained PIPPS Parent Mentor by Possums for Mothers and Babies
- Mental Health First Aid Certificate
- Member of the Australian Association of Social Workers
- Registered Circle of Security® Parenting™ Facilitator
What is Social Work?
Social Work promotes change, problem solving in human relationships, and enhancement of a person's wellbeing. Social work operates at the interface between people and their social, cultural and physical environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.
The social work values I adopt in my practice are:
- respect for others, including compassion, fairness, equity and justice
- acceptance of the uniqueness of each individual
- belief in collaboration as the cornerstone of effective practice
- valuing families and communities as social structures fundamental to the functioning and well-being of individuals and society
- positive change that brings about growth and development for human beings
- the right of individuals to have their privacy respected
- valuing diversity and difference