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I Was Simply Coping

No matter what our path to parenthood involved, we are all experiencing the same joys and challenges.



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PEPS groups bring new parents together to connect, share, learn and build critical support networks during the earliest days of parenting your new baby.

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- Kristen W, PEPS mom

3 years ago when our first son arrived, we didn't really make time for a PEPS Group.  We were happy first-time parents and things were going well.  So well, in fact, that I was pregnant again just 9 months after Azure was born!   When Theo arrived, I was thrilled to have 2 children but I didn't really grasp what I'd gotten myself into.  I'd heard the cliché, but had no idea how much harder it would be with 2.  Even with great support networks in my life, at times, I still felt very isolated.   And when my husband went back to work and out of town family had come and gone, I was home alone all day with a helpless infant and a demanding toddler.

My sense of isolation was far greater with my second child than with my first. I knew I needed to get out of the house more so I tried various mom and tot activities: a preschool class, story time at the library, Community Center playrooms.  But these places were designed more for the kids than the parents.  Invariably when I got home I'd feel more exhausted – and sometimes even more isolated.  I wasn't in crisis but I often felt that I was simply coping – that I was on my own.

I heard about a new Little Peppers program in my neighborhood so I eagerly joined.  Little Peppers was different from our other experiences.  I could afford it, it was close to home – and it was designed to support both, the parents and the kids.

- I could relax because I knew my kids were safe and occupied.
- I could relax because I wouldn't be judged for not being the perfect parent
- And because I could relax, I was freed up to just let go and be myself.  And to hear from other parents facing some of the same day to day challenges.

It sounds simple and really it is.  But you'd be surprised how uncommon such a resource is.

Even though our official Little Peppers group ended a year ago, 8 of us have continued to meet weekly.   Now that we've really come to know one another, I can see how powerful the peer-to-peer model can be.

In one year our small group has been through a lot together:

  • one mom becoming a single parent through separation and divorce
  • one mom diagnosed and treated for cancer
  • and  another parent losing a mother to cancer.

But I think it's the little struggles and victories that have brought us together the most.  When you're struggling, there's nothing more powerful than hearing from someone else facing the same challenges.  That you're truly not alone.   Because I got the support when I needed it most, I managed to stay healthy and sane and focused on being the best mom I could.  Now I feel like I can reach out and be available for others.

With all the stresses families face today, it's more important than ever to make sure that parents have the resources available to not take that stress out on their kids.  I want other parents, other stay-at-home moms, other moms with 2 or more kids, to get the kind of support I did.

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