Support. I find myself obsessing about how I can help new families get the support they need. Often, there seems to be so many blocks: family distant, either physically or emotionally, one or both parents needing to work long hours to feel securely employed and make ends meet, being new to Connecticut or the community, and difficulty finding a venue to make connections and develop supportive relationships. And, of course, our busyness– we are all so busy, racing from work to errands, to activity to activity before collapsing before a television to chill.
In addition to these overarching external challenges, frequently there are internal blockades as well: shyness keeps some isolated from others, independence prevents some from accepting help, and insecurity paralyzes many from moving into the larger world from the “baby bubble”. Yet, in order to cope with the physical and emotional challenges of moving from a couple to a family; nurturing support from others can be critical!
How can I and others who care for these developing families help? The first step, I believe, is by learning about the support already available in the community and then, directly referring to it. Support like the moms social group offered by Nurturing Connections coordinator Jen Vendetti, MSW, and the wonderful baby and toddler parent groups taught by Pat McClarney through Hartford Hospital, and support for the birth process offered by so many childbirth educators and doulas (see archived blogs and Resources for more information about these services).
Through networking and self-education, I have been working on developing a larger “web of support” to catch and hold new families-link by link. Please let me know what YOU think: what are the challenges new families face in developing a support network? As always, I’m really interested in learning about the resources available to families! Please comment here and let others know what is here right now in our community!