To say that being a new mother was effortless and easy…well, I’m no comedian, but that would be funny. My identity as a person changed. My priorities changed. My relationship with my husband changed. My body changed. Navigating these changes alone was just too isolating. I needed to know that what I was doing and what I was feeling was normal. I craved advice on how to overcome challenges, and cheerleaders to revel in the joys of parenting. I found that in the group of mamas who continue to be my dear friends today. We have been together through almost 5 years of parental bliss, have celebrated the births of second (and third) children, enjoyed moms’ nights out, play dates, family pool parties, and holidays together.
One fall day, Krista and I got together for a play date, and she asked, “What if we can create groups for all new Austin parents?” If you know me at all, you’ll know that my type A personality is hard to locate. But, I’m a great dreamer. So, Krista and I decided that we should try to provide neighborhood based peer support groups for new parents. We reached out to a Seattle nonprofit, PEPS (www.peps.org), who has been doing this exact thing for 30 years. We were hoping they would support our endeavor, and while they couldn’t provide the infrastructure for a branch, they gave us their support in numerous other ways. I don’t want to bore you with the details, so we will flash forward a year, and Krista and I had formed Partners in Parenting (www.pipaustin.org), which is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping new parents with their transition into parenthood.
Krista and I began as a two-woman team. Together, we facilitated groups, created marketing materials and a website, built an active Board of Directors, recruited dedicated volunteers & guest speakers, and tried to spread the word. Now in our third year, we have seen the success of many Newborn and Baby PIPsqueaks groups, hired Rachel Ladov, an amazing Executive Director, and generally found ourselves a part of Austin’s vibrant birth community.