Tidbits for Mia

Ideas for new moms.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Join a Parent’s Group

The best thing I ever did as a mother was to join a parents’ group. It helped me, my husband and my baby.

In the parents’ group, I learned of various problems babies might have and various solutions to them. I learned that whatever problem I was having, others were having too, and if I was up in the middle of the night with my baby, so were others I knew with their babies. I also realized that the problems I was having were small in comparison to problems others were having. It helped me cope to know that however difficult I thought parenting was, it could have been worse.

In addition, I met other new moms & dads in my area. My daughter had an immediate play group of local friends, and now some of my closest friends are moms I met through the parents’ group.

Besides all the social benefits of the parents’ group, the facilitator, Beth, was a pediatric nurse and social worker who had a wealth of information and knowledge about parenting, the emotional changes we all go through when we become parents, and local resources for parent/child needs.

My parents’ group was organized through Alameda Family Services, New Parents’ Groups (formerly known as Smart Healthy Babies) (http://alamedafs.org/index.php?id=28).

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“First-a-Day” Calendar

My mom was spending a lot of time with us around the holidays during my second pregnancy and noticed new things that my 18-mo. old daughter was doing every day. Coincidentally, my husband gave me a Tropical Island-a-day flip calendar for Christmas, and my mom suggested I write down the new things my daughter was doing each day and present it to him the next Christmas.

Since the calendar is on my desk anyway, it’s easy enough just to flip over today’s page and jot down a note of the new activity on the back of the page. The hard thing is keeping the calendar bound together as the year wears on.

The endeavor makes me pay more attention to the new or interesting things that my daughters, two at this point, are doing each day. Some days there is more than one new thing, but other days there aren’t any, so I just spread them out because it doesn’t really matter if it’s written on exactly the precise day.

What’s nice is that the recipient, Daddy, Grandma or someone else who would care about all these “firsts” will feel included, rather than feeling he or she has missed out on these activities. It’s also interesting for me to look through and see exactly when my girls first did certain things. Eventually, these could be left for my kids as a memento of their youth, except that I am writing about both kids on the same calendar.

Thanks to my mom for this idea.

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