After becoming a mom, I couldn’t wait to get outside, get some fresh air, and just BREATHE. Becoming a parent is so overwhelming, especially when you leave the hospital and realize you and your hubby are left to just “figure it out.” That feeling of leaving the hospital with our baby in tow, placing him in the car seat (not really knowing what the hell we were doing), and driving home with OUR baby felt like we were being thrown to the wolves. As I spent weeks inside the house trying to figure out how to be mommy of the year I started thinking about how I would embark on this new life of ours. What would I discover? How was I going to discover it? Would I go on play dates? How would I make “mommy friends?” That all seemed like a whole new job in itself! So, in a day and age where the internet is where we go for everything; reports, data, and basically how we diagnose ourselves (Hello Dr. WebMD, it seems today I am suffering from either migraines, have a life threatening illness, or just the common cold; I thank you for catering to us hypochondriacs!) Anywho, I began my search for local ideas and came across a group called the Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN, hi acronym!) here in Chicago. I decided to pay the $45 for the membership for the year which includes discounts on SO many things; stores, activities, and all sorts of other fun stuff! NPN has something for everyone; single moms, working moms, moms over 40, stay at home moms, parents of disabled children, same sex parents, you name it! I love that they cater to our very diverse city.
The first activity that I signed us up for was Kids Day 2012 which took place at MayFest, up North. Kids Day was a great way to break the ice of me being involved as a member. I was with my family and was going to be surrounded by about 100 other families in the Chicago-land area as well. When we arrived we were greeted with a goodie bag that included some items for Johnny and informational packets from surrounding businesses that cater to children, how rad! We signed up for some raffles which of course we didn’t win. We were given a free teether and sippy cup for Johnny as well! We walked around and checked out local vendors and took some samples, danced a little Zumba, played with balloons, and took a gander at what would be in store for us next year when Johnny could walk (yikes). All in all, I was very impressed and glad that I signed up with this organization. Our next adventure is going to be a 45 minute class at Gymboree! Wish us luck, time to meet more mommies and babies.
The point of this is, don’t be shy! Go out there and participate! You never know what your town may have in store for you until you just go. This will help you and the baby get out of the house and out of your ordinary schedule by adding a little spice of the unknown in there. Enjoy! You deserve it!
Link for NPN: www.npnparents.org