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Get a Car Seat, Then Sign Up for PEPS

Belonging to a PEPS Group has added a joyful and necessary and critical component to the sometimes stressful and lonely realities of parenting... we are all experiencing the same joys and challenges. - Hilary H, PEPS mom

Vivvy in the hospitalGet a Car Seat

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When Seattle mom Hilary Hoover got the call that she and her husband had been matched with a soon-to-be-born baby girl, life suddenly went into overdrive preparing for Vivienne to come home in just a few short months.

One thing that was never in question was whether or not to join a PEPS Group.

Hoover always knew she wanted to be part of a PEPS Group based on recommendations from friends and co-workers.

Their advice for when she was matched with a baby was to "first get a car seat and then sign up for PEPS right away," remembers Hoover.  Support for the baby, support for parents!

Belonging to her particular PEPS Group has added a joyful and necessary and critical component to the sometimes stressful and lonely realities of parenting.

Hoover and her husband joined an evening couples group that is as diverse as her own family. Says Hoover, "I love that our PEPS Group is so diverse; at least half of the families have a parent not born in this country, one family has two Dads, and our daughter is adopted. No matter what our path to parenthood involved, we are all experiencing the same joys and challenges."

The close-knit group, who are all within a few miles of one another in the Madison Valley area, made a conscious decision to stay together after the initial 12 PEPS program-weeks were over. As a result, they have a schedule for get-togethers laid out a year in advance.

They've helped one another through challenges ranging from struggling with the decision to return to work (or not), to sleep struggles, to making time for their relationships.

But the group also makes plenty of time to enjoy life with the kids in tow. They have regular dinners at one another’s homes (and sometimes venture out to the Madrona Alehouse), fun outings (zoo for Halloween, a ferry trip to West Seattle, and picnics in parks), and have even taken a few group vacations to the beach.

"It's pretty rare to have relationships with all the people in a family," says Hoover, who feels that a benefit of the evening group is that "the kids are equally comfortable with the moms, the dads, and each other and can get hugs from anyone in the group. It's pretty hard to replicate this type of situation."

Their group gets excited for each child as they hit their milestones and, for Hoover's family, any get together with their PEPS family is a place and time of great joy.

They also continue to share their "Highs and Lows" which Hoover feels, "helps foster introspection and a greater dialogue among the couples."

Unlike other classes and playgroups, the PEPS experience doesn't have to end.

As Hoover's group knows, PEPS can continue to be a part of your life if you commit to it for the long haul. "We're looking forward to these kids grow up together. I can't overstate how fun and rewarding it is!"

Written by Angie Ballas

About the Author

Angie Ballas is a mom to two daughters and lives in the Seattle area.

Angie Ballas

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