New parents can feel so isolated — even the most well-meaning people around us can be ignorant about our experiences and our needs. We can feel invisible or even devalued. I’ve written about facing the outside world as a new mom. How can we find a safe place, where we feel understood, and where we are not questioned, or challenged, or criticized? Yes, one is with a wonderful postpartum doula!
Another, so important, is with other moms and dads experiencing the same thing. Often the discussion with parents revolves around the baby trifecta (eating, sleeping, pooping), but many parents crave talking about their own feelings and will dive in with just a little prompting. In parent-child classes, especially ongoing ones where you see the same families week after week, I’ve found real fellowship and support. Some groups you join while you’re on maternity/paternity leave, and others are great if you are a stay-at-home parent, work part-time, or have a flexible work schedule. Many happen on the weekends, too!
My favorite SF-based classes
Read more in posts I’ve written about these classes: my first experience with CCSF’s parent-infant classes; connecting with peers at Yeshi’s Group; feeling close and present with my daughter while playing in nature at SF Waldorf School.
- City College of San Francisco’s Child Development Department offers FREE parent-infant and parent-child classes. Each semester you can download the latest schedule.Classes are divided by age for new babies, older babies, and toddlers. Let me say it again – FREE!!
- Natural Resources has drop-in new parent groups, Yeshi’s New Moms Circle, music classes, breastfeeding groups, workshops on parenting topics, and more. My favorites were Yeshi’s Group and Susan Appé’s music classes.
- San Francisco Waldorf School has wonderful parent-child classes, where I’ve found real community with other families and deeper connection with my daughter. The Exploring in Nature class is my favorite!
- San Francisco Public Library has weekly singing and storytime for babies and toddlers at every branch, as well as great family events.
Around the Bay Area
Resources for prenatal classes, new parent groups, parent-child classes, and more.
- Day One Center
- Golden Gate Mothers Club.
- La Leche League – find California chapters
- Parents Place
- San Francisco Parents of Multiples Club
- Blossom Birth
- Bay Area Homebirth Collective
- Bay Area Discovery Museum family classes
- Randall Museum family classes