Meet Carolyn Kagan! | Stamford Moms

Carolyn getting a hug from her kids, 2019

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two children, ages 12 and 9

What do you love about living in Stamford?
I love living in Stamford because it simultaneously feels like a big city and also a small town. There are so many great restaurants, shops, activities and experiences to take part in, but also some amazing small businesses, family legacies and connections. Sometimes it feels like it’s just one degree of separation from one person to the next and coming from someone who values community, that is a really powerful concept.

What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in Stamford?
I’m a big fan of DIG. I love their casual, family friendly atmosphere and my whole family can eat well and leave satisfied. My kids have participated in their cooking classes, which are so much fun! Also, I’m an avid reader, and The Friends Bookshop is a favorite spot of mine – but when they don’t carry whatever my book club is currently reading, then I’m so grateful that Barnes and Noble is still with us. 

The Alliance Center has grown in so many ways over the past couple of years. Congrats! Tell us what inspired that growth.
Thank you so much, as a fellow go to resource for moms, we’ve been so grateful for your support along the way. From the beginning, I’ve always envisioned Alliance as a network of support for moms. When the pandemic hit, my small and already busy maternal mental health private practice became inundated with requests from moms who needed additional support during a scary and isolating time. It motivated me to consider creative and expansive ways to support our community. I knew that once the dust settled, moms would need each other more than ever and in real life.

Out of that need, The Alliance Center was born. Back in 2019 when I did my first Meet a Mom interview I was a solo practitioner, fast forward to 2024 and our team has grown exponentially to now include 12 incredible maternal health experts in the fields of social work, nursing, counseling, coaching, lactation, nutrition, childbirth education and yoga. Together with our network of community partners we collaborate to bring our mission forward. 

Carolyn with The Alliance Center Team, 2022

How do you hope The Alliance Center helps other moms in the community?
Our hope has become a reality in just the last year and a half since we’ve opened our doors. Through each one of our practitioner’s unique areas of expertise we have been able to deliver unparalleled therapeutic services and positive outcomes for moms from preconception, to pregnancy, postpartum and parenting. The Alliance Center is also a beautiful space to gather, celebrate and learn together – a place where moms feel seen and cared for and where their needs are the central focus. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say “I’m just so happy to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way”. Our hope is that every person who leaves our space feels less alone. 

Carolyn practicing yoga at The Alliance Center, 2022

Tell us about some of the workshops, classes and other resources offered at The Alliance Center.

We have a lot going on at The Alliance Center, nearly every day of the week and have created a unique blend of offerings that provide different points of entry, but can be layered on top of each other to form a holistic framework. In addition to psychotherapy, we also provide specialized yoga classes (prenatal, baby & me, vinyasa), support groups (infertility, pregnancy, new moms, parenting for neurodiversity), a weekly playgroup, quarterly workshops on infant CPR, childbirth education and parenting, plus monthly gatherings and moms night out, with so much more in store!

What is your message for a mom who may be looking at your resources but is nervous about moving forward?
Starting anything new can be intimidating and overwhelming. So, I’d suggest dipping your toe in to get a feel of what we have to offer. We’ve designed our programming to provide many points of entry, so if therapy or a support group isn’t your thing, then maybe one of our casual gatherings or classes is a better place to start.  If you’re interested in learning more about The Alliance Center, then schedule a call with our intake coordinator [email protected] who will happily talk with you and direct you to the offerings that are the best fit.

Any plans for further expanding The Alliance Center?
Yes, definitely! I’m fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible team of innovators who are just as passionate about maternal health as I am. We hope to one day be a one-stop-shop for moms in our area and create a model of care that can be replicated far and wide. We routinely garner feedback about the needs of the moms in our community, and use this information to create much needed services. We’ve accomplished a lot since our re-launch in 2022, and we’re just getting started.

Carolyn outside The Alliance Center, 2024

How do you juggle work and mommyhood?
With a lot of support, at every step of the way. Being so close to the work, I’m noticing that even with my children in early adolescence that what I need now is the same as what I needed back then; although it’s taken on a different shape. I still need support, like minded people, occasional guidance, trust in myself, and time for self care. None of us can do this alone, and we shouldn’t have to. Parenting is a lot more fun when done in good company!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
The moms we work with at The Alliance Center are parenting from a place of  consciousness and have a deep desire to be the best version of themselves for their families, which is a big undertaking in this day and age. Because of that, we(myself included) juggle a lot. However, the balls we juggle are not equally weighted. Oftentimes I share an important  piece of advice from a fellow mom friend who once reminded me that with all the balls we’re juggling, some are made of glass and some are made of rubber. It’s based on the “Five Balls of Life” concept, wherein we’re trying to keep the major areas of our life:
work, family, health, friends, and spirit—up in the air. When they inevitably fall, which ones do you think will shatter and which ones are capable of bouncing back? It’s provided a lot of perspective about how to care for what’s most important in my life. I’d take that advice one step further and suggest creating a safety net under yourself, so very few things have to fall at all. 

Read our series of three articles “Ask Carolyn: Your Maternal Mental Health Questions Answered,” below:
Ask Carolyn 1
Ask Carolyn 2
Ask Carolyn 3

Photos by Courtney Souza Photography


Join The Stamford Moms Network Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around the Stamford community with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.