So, you’ve had a new baby. Everything’s changed. You no longer hang out with work colleagues throughout the day. Your friends offer to go out to dinner and drinks frequently fall in the too-hard basket. Your partner is at work. Whilst cooing at your baby is a wonderful pastime you crave adult conversation. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a lot of new parent support in Lake Macquarie – you just have to know where to look. Check these new parent’s groups and activities out and find other people who are on their new parent journey in Lake Macquarie, just like you.
Join a mothers group
It doesn’t matter if you don’t hang with the mothers you met at the hospital or in the classes you were first put into. You might find a group of women suited to you by a chance encounter at the park, in a cafe, or at the shops. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable hanging out with these parents and share your parenting journey.
Mothers with babies or toddlers the same age as yours will generally be the most likely to listen and support the achievements and disasters you encounter as a parent. They’re living it too and will be empathetic when you’re late, tired, or dealing with a child that isn’t following the program. Many women find these friendships groups can last for years. My mother-in-law still hangs out with her mother’s group every week and she is in her 70’s!
Find friendship at playgroup
Dotted all around Lake Macquarie, playgroups are aimed at parents with young children. You’re welcome to attend most of these from the time your child is born until they start primary school. Playgroups tend to be run by volunteers who are parents or grandparents.
It’s a great way to build friendships, find support and share your parenting journey with other parents or caregivers. A playgroup is a great place for your child to build friendships with other children, learn to share and play with others. You’ll often find ample toys, crafts, music, and many groups offer an outside play area. Morning tea is usually on the agenda as well. You’ll need to find out how each particular playgroup works before you attend which is simply making a call to the organiser.
CHECK OUT OUR LIST HERE
Sing, dance, and rhyme
If you love to sing and play music with your child, Mainly Music is a volunteer church group that gives parents and caregivers the opportunity to sing, dance, and play music. There are several Mainly Music groups dotted all around the lake.
Children are encouraged through music and activities to develop gross and fine motor skills, imagination, and language. They also will enjoy spending time with other children. Parents and caregivers also get the opportunity to engage with their children in a fun environment and to socialise with other parents and caregivers.
Learn to love books
Lake Macquarie libraries offer a multitude of opportunities for your child from birth to primary school age and beyond. ‘Babies into Books’ and ‘Books and Babies’ are aimed at young children from 0 to 1 year old. They offer stories, rhymes, and songs that you and your child will enjoy together.
From age 1 to 3 years old, ‘Read and Rhyme’ time offers stories, songs, and instruments. This encourages your child’s imagination and language skills. For the older children aged 3 to 5 years, ‘StoryTime’ offers stories, songs, and crafts. All of these events are free of charge.
Find support at The Australian Breastfeeding Association
The Australian Breastfeeding Association has regular meetings where they offer pregnant, new mums or mums of toddlers the opportunity to socialise with other mum’s. At these meetings breastfeeding counsellors and breastfeeding educators attend to offer support and information. If you’re encountering problems or just have questions, they are there to offer help for new mums.
You also have the opportunity to share with other parents and offer support, advice, and friendship. Many mum’s find it invaluable to share their parenting journey and find out they are not alone in the challenges they face. All mums are welcome, however, you choose to feed your baby.
Parent-friendly movie time
Did you know that both Reading cinemas and Event cinemas offer special sessions for mums with young babies and children? Reading call theirs Spit the Dummy and Event call theirs Bring your Baby. The lights aren’t fully dimmed for the movie so you can still see enough to feed your baby or watch if your toddler goes walkabout. What an awesome idea! Check with these outlets directly for more information.
Becoming a new parent is exhausting and reward and one million other emotions at the same time. Breath…..you are not alone and there are lots of places here in Lake Macquarie where you can connect with other parents.