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Sleep Deprived Dads

Jeff admits to not typically being a "joiner" and felt the group would just be adding one more thing to their already busy schedules, but the group sessions became a "lifesaver" for him.


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- Jeff K, PEPS dad

Where can a new father turn when he's just as sleep-deprived as his wife and is feeling a bit overwhelmed by parenting?

Jeff K. was just one of those fathers.  Pre-baby, Jeff (a physicist) and his wife Laura (a Realtor) were professionals with high-powered careers and long hours. When it came to questions of real estate or Newton's laws , they both had all the answers.

They even became reluctant experts in the infertility roller coaster after enduring many years of heartache in their quest for a child. When baby Sam was finally born, Laura was 42 and Jeff had just turned 51. "Most of our friends were picking out colleges for their kids and a few were even grandparents! People forget what it's like to have a newborn and especially how hard those first 10 weeks can be," says Laura.  Jeff, analytical by nature & profession, says "There was no technical manual to tell us what our baby needed."  With zero family support nearby, the couple was scared to death.

Luckily, Laura's friend, Maja Chaffe, was a group leader for PEPS and invited them to join the evening/couples session. Jeff admits to not typically being a "joiner" and felt the group would just be adding one more thing to their already busy schedules, but attended to support his wife. He was more than pleasantly surprised and describes the group sessions as a "lifesaver" for him. He even attended meetings by himself if his wife couldn't make it.  At the couples sessions, they learned invaluable parenting tips (Mylicon drops!) and formed friendships they never would have imagined due to their age differences. "We even swapped babysitting with some of the other families which was great for everyone involved," says Jeff.

Group leader Maja Chaffe loves leading the night sessions and providing a forum for couples to talk about parenting. She finds that men want to support their wives but don't really know what they need or exactly how to help. New dads can often feel left out during those early weeks, especially when nursing is involved. For Maja it's special to see the men come out of their shells as they grow in confidence over the weeks and develop as fathers. "Without fail," says Maja, "at the last session it's the fathers who are always floored by the experience they've had at PEPS".

DID YOU KNOW? PEPS offers both day and evening groups.  Day groups tend to work best for parents with flexible daytime schedules and evening groups tend to work best for those with regular daytime commitments, but both are open to ALL parents.

Written by Angie Ballas, Red Tricycle

About the Author

Angie Ballas

Angie Ballas is currently a stay at home mom to two girls - ages four and 11 months. She's also a freelance writer for Red Tricycle, "Pint-Sized News For Savvy Grown-Ups". Subcsribe to Red Tricycle's free e-newsletters to stay updated on kid-friendly events and products in the Seattle area.

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