You’re having a new baby, YAY! You’re thinking, planning, and trying to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. You picked an OB or a midwife, a hospital or birthing center or maybe you’re having a home birth. You registered for all the cute things and necessary things you think your baby will need. Your friends and family celebrated you and your baby with a beautiful shower, gifts, and lovely notes of encouragement and advice. And now baby is here.
If you’re anything like me when I had my first baby, you can’t believe that they’re letting you take this sweet tiny fragile child home. Birth may or may not have met your expectations and you’re running on a couple of hours of sleep and a whole lot of adrenaline. Whether you chose breastfeeding, pumping, formula, or donor milk, you are probably still having trouble, anxiety, or at least questions about feeding baby.
The first couple of weeks pass by and you start to get the hang of this parenting thing. You’re problem solving. You’re a rock star. But….
When the freezer meals are gone. When your partner returns to work. When help stops coming by regularly… You may find yourself alone. With a crying baby. Wondering. What am I supposed to do?
I was that mom seven years ago. I lived thousands of miles away from my parents and long term friends. We literally knew four families in the whole city when I gave birth to my daughter. Rather than prepare for isolation and pulling up our bootstraps we chose to join a Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS) group on the suggestion of one of our few friends. This group became a source of community, consolation, encouragement, and help in times when we needed it.