"Assemble your support team before your little one arrives," my aunt advised when my baby bump was just starting to show. A few weeks later, a friend echoed her words. "Figure out where the new mom support groups are, when play dates meet, and the resources around you before your son arrives. If you wait until after he arrives, you just won't have the time." And turns out, it was some of the best advice I got as a mom-to-be. Know where and who you can turn to for support.
Your life changes in ways you could never imagine or plan for when you become a parent. And when you are overwhelmed with diaper changes and midnight feedings, it important to know whom you can turn to for advice and support. Karla Trotman, local mom and owner of BellyButtonBoutique.com says, "It's ok to feel scared. Call a seasoned mom and talk about it. It can be lonely feeling like you are the only one." Fortunately, Media has a number of wonderful resources for new parents, including a diverse community of supportive moms.
Recently, I asked a number of local moms for their best parenting advice and resources. And Media moms responded with wonderful reminders and resources that parents, both new and not-so-new, can benefit from.
Take It Day-By-Day
Heather, a Media mom of two, says don't sweat the small stuff. "I loved when people would remind me that 'No one goes to college in diapers or with a binky, etc.'" As a new parent it is easy to become overwhelmed with what your little one should or shouldn't be doing based on all the expert advice you'll get from books, the internet, and from family and friends. Melissa O’Donnell, a mom blogger in our area, advises, "Don't get caught up in looking forward to what milestones they should be hitting next week or next month. You may miss what they are doing NOW, and that's what's most important!" Take time to treasure each day.
Search Out Local Experts
Media has a wealth of resources and local experts to help support new parents. One of those experts is Jacqueline Kelleher, known by many moms in our area as the owner of the Family BirthMark, formerly a storefront on Monroe Street. As a doula, childbirth educator, and certified lactation counselor, Jackie has supported and advised a great many moms in our area. Author of Nurturing the Family, Jackie's wealth of experience and expertise in birth and postpartum care makes her a local expert new parents will want to get to know. And while BirthMark no longer provides a brick and mortar location, Jackie continues to provide support and services through BirthMark's Facebook community.
Take Care of Yourself
New parents can easily become overwhelmed by all the changes that come with an infant's arrival. New moms in particular often neglect to take care of themselves, attending to everyone else before taking care of their needs. Build healthy habits early by carving out time to attend your needs. Begin before the baby arrives. And Camille Holstein can help.
Camille is a yoga instructor at Enso, located on the west end of State Street in Media. On Thursday evenings she leads a Pre-Natal Yoga Series. And it is something that she is passionate about. "This series aims to empower and educate women supporting them through the use of their breath, yoga practice, meditation, and discussions for labor and beyond. Each class will guide women into deeper connection with themselves, their babies, their community and the beauty of the journey of pregnancy." And once baby arrives, Camille also leads an all-levels class in addition to a power yoga class that offers lots of modifications for beginners and those returning to the practice or building strength. "There isn't a mommy and me class offered here at this time, but I would love to do that, too, if there is enough demand for one," says Camille.
Media has a wealth of groups where new parents can find support and camaraderie. Our library offers a variety of programs for parents and their children, including an weekly Infant Story Times and Petite Playgroups. Be sure to check out their summer schedule for more information.
Another great resource for local moms is Media's MOMS Club. MOMS Club is an international organization which offer support to stay-at-home and work-at-home moms, and our own Media chapter is very active with over 50 members. "The Moms Club is a perfect place to meet other moms and build community connections. We have a calendar of events each month, which have at least one event per weekday. Moms host events such as a playdate at a park, going to a museum, going to lunch, and more," says Michele Wahba, Media MOMS Club Membership Vice President. Interested moms can find more information (and a great list of local playgrounds) on the group's website.
With so many wonderful resources for parents in our neighborhood, it is no wonder that so many families love calling Media home! What other resources can you recommend to new parents in our area? Please share!