Working mothers in Foxboro have found a place where they can find useful resources online shared by others who face similar issues particular to their situation.
It was the brainchild of Foxboro native Carolyn Cahill who is one of the creators of the Foxboro Working Mothers Facebook Group.
Cahill, born and raised in Foxboro, left for college and came back 10 years later to marry her high school sweetheart, Dan Cahill. They have two children Danny, 6 and Declan, 3, and a third baby boy on the way in June. Cahill works at Cahill Lawn Care and Landscape helping her husband run their family business.
It was about four years ago, that Cahill had an idea to start a local Facebook group as a resource for working mothers to be able to go to one place to see what is happening in the town, get advice, and also, to “vent.”
Cahill said the best part of creating this group has been seeing all the support mothers are getting and making new relationships.
Questions on the page run the gamut — from when baseball starts, did you bottle or breastfeed, therapist recommendations for children (and adults), the birth process and birthing choice questions, and most importantly, how to achieve the working mom/home life balance.
The group had 1,437 members at the start of April.
Brenda Glover, who works as an assistant project manager at a construction company, said she visits the site every day.
“It helps me feel connected to other working moms. Because we struggle with the same things like work/home balance, staying organized, being positive support for each other,” Glover said.
Foxboro native Sarah Caracciolo, who is an exercise physiologist and the assistant fitness director and group fitness director at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex for the past two decades, said she was an original member of the group and a short while later, as it grew, accepted when Cahill asked her to come onboard as a page administrator.
“Carolyn and I are the ones who approve new members. It is a private group so we ask a series of questions regarding your residency and if you are a mom (or expecting). If not enough information is given, we will private message those requesting to join to confirm their connection to Foxboro,” Caracciolo said.
Not only do the members exchange information and build friendships, but also conduct volunteer efforts, starting with Cahill reaching out to the Foxboro Discretionary Fund to host a toy drive. From there, Cahill and Caracciolo have come up with different ways to help and give back to the community.
“Our efforts have inspired other moms in the group to do the same, and they then use our platform as sort of a call to action from our members,” Caracciolo said.
Key to the group’s platform is what they can offer each other.
“As working moms, we all have a lot of similar challenges, and knowing you are not alone on your hardest days makes you able to survive them. We have broken down the wall to a lot of stigmas in this group and the way we all open up in solidarity is beyond comforting,” Caracciol said.
Caracciolo said her volunteer work is rewarding, seeing women supporting women. She said it is also a place where “we can disagree in a civil way and still be friends.”
She said she gained many friends from the group.
Jessica Andrade, a Foxboro resident who works in advertising at The New York Times, said she finds the group insight helpful.
“It answers questions I didn’t even know I had. So thankful we have this resource as busy, working moms,” she said.
Town selectwoman Leah Gibson said she checks the Facebook page every day.
“There’s always good information shared to help us keep up and in touch with everything going on. The group is powerful because it helps us share info, ask questions, and get perspectives all within a safe place of working moms,” Gibson said.
And the effort has received some official notice.
Cahill received a proclamation by Gov. Charlie Baker designating a day for Working Mothers in Foxboro for all the hard work they have done this year.
Cahill said it was amazing to be recognized and she was happy the group got the recognition it deserves.
“The goal of this group is to keep supporting working mothers and to help our community when the need arises. I will keep this group till at least when I am 60 years old when my last son graduates from Foxboro High School,” she said.