There’s few life transitions more abrupt and potentially isolating than having a kid. For one thing, there’s remarkably few people out there that want to hear about the color and consistency of your baby’s 3 AM poop. Discussion boards aren’t enough to do the topic justice, there’s no playground or school for 2 month olds, and it’s not like you want to hang out with somebody that has a 6 month old. Your baby on their back will look defective next to that baby sitting up all on their own.
Well, that’s why there’s PEPs, based in our very own Good Shepherd Center since 1993, where you can meet parents with kids and families that are precisely matched to yours. Groups are led by former members for the first 11 weeks, then keep going on their own after that. Sometimes the kids in the groups end up like extended family, in the good way. We went through the process and my wife led a couple groups, so when PEPs reached out to Wallyhood to get the word out about upcoming classes I figured I’d spread the word:
While You’re Waiting is a free, informational 1 time session, Newborn groups start nearly every day and rotate through the homes of new moms, and Adjusting to Parenthood is a drop in therapeutic session.
There are also a few formal classes that are in community locations and start quarterly if at least 5 families sign up.
Second Time Around is for parents with a newborn 0-4 months in a family with one or more older children. One parent attends with the baby, with a topic discussion related to the adventure of parenting a growing family and with a focus on the newborn. As one parent put it, “I loved getting together with other parents who “get it” when I talk about the challenges of my day!” Second Time Around meets for 11 weeks, beginning:
- April 8, 7-8:30 pm at the Illumination Learning Studio in Phinney Ridge
- April 14, 10-11:30 am at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford
Baby Peppers is for one parent and a baby 5-12 months. Each meeting includes time for sharing parenting highs and lows, followed by a topic discussion related to the adventure of parenting. Meetings also include break time for socializing and connecting with other parents, as well as time to focus on baby’s development. Toys are provided. Baby Peppers meets for 11 weeks, beginning:
- April 15, 12-1:30 pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Association
Little Peppers is designed for families with two children ages 3 and under. One parent attends with both children, with a topic discussion related to the adventure of parenting and time to focus on the development of baby and toddler. Babies and children remain in the room with their parents for the entire meeting. Groups are led by a professional facilitator, who is assisted by a trained Wondersitter childcare provider. Little Peppers meets for 11 weeks, beginning:
- April 17, 10-11:30 am at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford
- April 17, 10-11:30 am at All That Dance in Greenwood
PEPS for Dads is a great way to meet other Dads, have a structured activity with your baby, and learn what our area has to offer for new parents. This group works well for dads with flexible schedules, or are the part-time or full-time caregiver for their 0-12 month old babies. PEPS for Dads meets for 11 weeks, beginning:
- April 20, 12:30-2 pm at Umbrella Tree in Queen Anne
Of course if you decide to have a kid in May instead of April, that’s fine too, classes keep starting up all year. Just remember PEPs.org!