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Guys In The Same Shoes!

~ By Aileen Sabbatani, Red Tricycle

Seven years ago when Todd and Pam Behan had their first child, they knew they needed to make connections with people who could support them as parents.  A friend told Pam about PEPS, and she attended her first meeting in August 2003.

Todd BehanGroupesizedThe Behan’s joined a PEPS Group for parents with newborns and found it was just what they needed.  Every Friday Pam and the moms would meet and discuss the joys and frustrations of parenthood – nights when the baby was teething and not sleeping, or periods when the toddler was experiencing a growth spurt – and there was always someone in the group who could share similar experiences and help with solutions to common problems.

After the women in the group bonded, the husbands became involved.  Todd recalls the relief he felt when he met the other dads:  “These were guys in your same shoes, experiencing the same things you were experiencing.” New parents often feel overwhelmed by their new responsibilities, and for Todd and the other dads, the PEPS Group was a community where they could “talk about all these challenges parenting brings which you feel you’re not equipped for.”  The members served as parenting resources for each other, exchanging advice and information on a wide range of topics which included education, discipline, and even how to find the energy to play with the kids after a long day at work.  As Todd says, this was “an affinity group to relate to and talk with about kids who were the same age and going through similar situations.” 


The Behan Family with the Smith Brothers Farms Dairy Fairy at PEPSapalooza 2011!

Sometimes parents learn best through example, and the couples in the Behan’s PEPS Group demonstrated how to work together to develop positive parenting skills.  Todd found inspiration from one dad in particular who “was just wonderful in supporting and assisting his wife, getting up early with the baby and relieving his wife, and at least once a week he’d send his wife to a spa.” Hearing about this gave Todd an “Aha” moment, one which affected the course of his parenting thereafter.

Today the Behan’s are still in touch with the members of their group, and Todd meets with two of the men on a regular basis to golf or play poker.  The families get together for dinner on a quarterly basis.  Todd’s company, Smith Brothers Farms, formed a partnership with PEPS because, he says, “they target families and so do we.  It’s a great fit, as we both support mothers and families.”  PEPS provided Todd and his family with the support they needed to successfully navigate their parenting journey.  And Smith Brothers Farms is a committed Presenting Sponsor of PEPSapalooza Family Music Fest from 2011 until 2013!  Together they form a perfect partnership.

About the Author

AileenSabataniAileen Sabbatani is a mother of two, and a writer for Red Tricycle, an online parenting resource providing “Pint-Sized News for Savvy Grown-ups.”

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