A Visiting Mom for almost ten years, Audrey Schuster describes her experience with the program as “amazing and powerful. Visiting Moms gives my life balance and I am grateful to be a part of it. I’m not sure who gets more – me, or the new mom.” Trained by JF&CS staff, Visiting Moms provide support during the challenging months after the birth of a child. Founded 25 years ago, the program has served nearly 2,800 culturally and economically diverse families in 66 communities.
Audrey came to JF&CS in 2004, when the eldest of her three children went off to college. A self-described “homemaker extraordinaire,” she realized that one-third of her professional life as a mom had downsized. She wanted to find the right opportunity to fill the void of her dwindling business as a mom. “I wanted to be a part of something, to be relevant, to be purposeful. I believe there is nothing more important or noble than the business of motherhood.” So Audrey contacted JF&CS after a friend had mentioned the Visiting Moms program to her and soon, she became a Visiting Mom.
“I have three rules that I try to live by when it comes to my family,” Audrey points out. “Show up, keep your heart and mind open, and listen with empathy and without judgment. I feel like I can make a difference just by showing up and being present, even if I don’t have all the answers. I can simply listen and offer a hug.” Audrey applies those three rules to her role as Visiting Mom, as well.