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Given the stressors of everyday life and the ambiguities of having your first child, it is no wonder that new parents are often overwhelmed by their new lifestyles and responsibilities. Despite how many siblings you have, how many children you’ve babysat, how well you deal with other people’s children, or even how well you’ve raised your dog, nothing can truly prepare you for life as a new parent. Sure, there are also countless parenting books out there with extensive guidelines on how to deal with various situations. But, no matter what those pages outline or how prepared you think you may be, your real-life experiences with your new child and family will always be sure to surprise and test you.

As a new parent, it often seems like your anxiety and your scrambling to get your new life in order takes away from social activities. Discovering different outlets and social family activities may not only remedy your sanity but also help you understand and find comfort in your life as a parent. It is incredibly beneficial for parents to share experiences while giving and receiving advice even though making time to find new friends may not quite be at the top of your New Parent list. There are your parenting support groups, but why not make it a little more casual and beneficial for your baby? You should be able to find a place where you can connect with other new parents while your baby plays and develops social skills and imagination with kids play.

Mommy/Daddy and Me classes are always great for you and your child to get out there and interact with each other through fun activities. But while you are there with other new parents and their children, these kids classes for the whole family seem to place more emphasis on strengthening the bonds between parents and their children. Although you meet new parents, the interactions are often brief. A perfect balance would consist of an area where parents could sit with each other while their children can play. A great example of such a place is an indoor play facility that also provides an enjoyable environment designed for parents. Think play dates for grown-ups. Here, new parents can truly exchange ideas and experiences while allowing their children to take part in activities and classes that nurture their cognitive and physical development. As opposed to having brief encounters, new and experienced parents could sit over a coffee or tea and actually share their thoughts and anxieties about the constant unknowns of parenthood. Regularly attending such cafes/playgrounds/classes can prove to be an amazing stress reliever and valuable social outlet. Being able to make new acquaintances while exchanging ideas and concerns will not only help clear some of your new parent apprehensions but could even lead to valuable and lasting relationships.