Magazine

Thanks to wellcome and the volunteers, Nina found a supportive network - an interview with the young mother

- Guest article by wellcome -

"It takes a whole village to raise a child." Wellcome founder Rose Volz-Schmidt likes to quote this sentence, as she herself realized how important a helping network is for young families after the birth of her eldest daughter. But more and more often, parents, siblings and acquaintances are scattered all over the country and such a supportive network is no longer automatically available. Children need time. Parents alone are often overwhelmed. Those who don't have help after the birth of a child get it from wellcome. The interview with Nina*, a mother who was supported by wellcome, shows what this can look like in concrete cases.

© wellcome (Fotocredit: Christoph Niemann)

How did you come to contact wellcome and ask for help?

Actually, I had already been a wellcome volunteer before my daughter was born. So I knew wellcome and knew that there was still capacity in my team to support my family. I was happy to accept this help, because everyday life with a child is a big challenge. Especially when the family lives far away and friends don't have time during the week.

How did you find out about wellcome - practical help after birth?

The first time I read about wellcome was in a weekly magazine. I was immediately enthusiastic and then signed up as a volunteer for my district. At that time, I didn't have a baby yet and didn't think about the fact that I, too, would soon be able to take advantage of wellcome's help.

What did the support look like in concrete terms?

For about six months, our wellcome angel visited us once a week and took my daughter for a walk for two hours. During that time, I had our house all to myself - a dream! Most of the time I spent the first half hour cleaning up the rough mess and then took time to do something nice.

What effect did the help have on you and your family?

The visit from our wellcome angel every week has been a nice bright spot for us to just take a breath without a child. So many things are left undone when you spend the whole day taking care of a little one. Of course, you don't get everything done while you're on the job, but at least you can get some of those things done or put your feet up.

What of what you have experienced with wellcome is also helpful for your future?

I am very happy that I was able to get to know wellcome both as a volunteer and as a relieved mother. Both perspectives have enriched me greatly. Helping yourself and being helped is a beautiful thing. Many people find it easier to help out themselves than to ask for help. That is also the case for me. But life has shown me that it is good to accept help. There are also many opportunities to return the favor if you want to. So I can really only keep encouraging all families to accept help from a non-profit organization like wellcome. The first year with a child turns life upside down and that's when it really feels good to have a wellcome angel by your side.

Did Corona contribute to your need for support and if so, why?

Because my family lives abroad, I was not able to get the support from her as I had hoped. This is because travel is anything but easy at these times. My mother could not meet her granddaughter until she was four months old. Otherwise, she would have come right after she was born to help us out. We have also greatly reduced our social contacts here in Germany due to the Corona crisis. That's why I particularly appreciate the fact that we received help from wellcome during the pandemic.

The interview was provided by wellcome. They add: For our volunteers, their voluntary commitment is an expression of their sympathy and interest in the well-being of their fellow human beings. From a societal perspective, civic engagement is a cornerstone for the cohesion of our society. For wellcome, getting involved means standing up for others and taking responsibility. A living democracy needs solidarity. wellcome cares for a good start in life: for babies and their families. Because they are convinced that the healthy upbringing of our children is a task for society as a whole. 

*Name has been editorially changed.

 

wellcome

Started as a small project in Hamburg in 2002, wellcome organizes practical help after birth together with local partners. Meanwhile, volunteer support is provided to young families at around 230 locations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland nationwide.

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