For most new parents, the toughest part of parenthood is not the sleeplessness or dirty diapers that they encounter but the navigating of their social life in this new, child-centered chapter of their lives. When you become a parent, it is not uncommon for simple tasks to become a daunting situation which leaves you easily anxious. And, in times like these, it always helps to get some reassurance, advice and companionship to support you through.
The first thing parents have to do is work up the courage to understand that they cannot do it alone and that any sort of extra help is good. While it can be hard to seek assistance sometimes, getting additional support from another could make a positive impact in your parenting skills. Though it takes time, the support and empathy you’ll get from your new parent-based community will be worth the effort.
So, how do you go about building your own support community? Here are five tips to help you out.
1. Join an online parenting group
Perhaps before you meet anyone in real life, you might feel more comfortable when you try joining a few online parent groups. Though it is beneficial to join groups that are near to your home (in case you want to eventually meet-in-person), distance doesn’t always matter. You could still have a close-knitted mummy group where the members live hundreds of miles away from you, but when you’re chatting online, it will still feel as if they’re in the same room with you. While they can’t be physically in your living room talking with you; they will still be there for you with advice morning, noon, and night.
You can search for local and active groups on Facebook to get started.
2. Join a social club that meets in person
When you’re ready, you can take the next step by joining a parenting group that does meet-ups. While it is easier to cast a way wider net to search for fellow like-minded parents online, the support you get in real life is invaluable. Not only will your child make a new friend; you’ll also be able to learn about the local schools, family-friendly restaurants, and much more.
To find the perfect parenting group, you can consider visiting Meetup Singapore where you can find groups like Conscious Parenting Training and Playgroups, The Singapore East Coast Children Playgroup, Singapore Active Toddler Playgroup, Blissful Babies and more.
3. Enjoy a local story time with your child
Do a bit of research and find out if your local library, bookstore or community center has a children’s story time session. When you’ve got the details, make sure to arrive there a little early as before and after the story time is a great way to meet and chat with other parents. The activity will also give you an easy opener for conversations while your child will get to enjoy the fun way to connect with other little ones. As a friendship begins, so will the opportunities for playdates and the expansion of your social circle.
4. Hang out at playgrounds
If your child loves the outdoors, you are probably no stranger to spending hours at the park or playground. So, make the best of it; instead of playing with your child or doing other things while watching your child, consider interacting and creating a connection with the other parents around you.
5. Take your child to classes
Pre-schools are an amazing resource for parents as it is the easiest way to gain a parent friend. You’re surrounded by parents that are likely to live nearby with the same-aged kids, and may share a similar parenting philosophy due to your choice in pre-schools.
However, if your little one is not yet of pre-school age, you can still benefit socially by signing them up for various classes, such as a ‘Mummy-and-me’ activity, a baby swimming class or gymtots.