Posts Tagged 'award'

Beaumont Parenting Program: Longest Running Group

Photo of groom surrounded by his mom and her friends

Our group was thrilled to celebrate the wedding of one of our kids.

Awaiting the birth of my first child in 1981, my mom’s best friend, Linda Bicum—one of the first volunteers in the Perinatal Positive Parenting Program (as it was then called)—found out I would be delivering at Beaumont and sang the praises of the program. When a volunteer came to my room after Dan’s birth, I was grateful for the opportunity to talk about nursing. It turned out that my volunteer was nursing her second child, so it helped put me at ease at a time when nursing was not always accepted.

Shortly after, I was invited to join a group. It was fun and informative because sometimes the dads were invited and we had outstanding speakers. Not too long after that, I became a volunteer in the program. I loved working with the moms in the hospital and doing home visits with them. Naturally, it followed that I became a group leader! I had two high-risk groups: One had all teen moms (such a challenge getting everyone together because I was the only one who could drive!), and the other had older moms at higher risk for post-natal complications.

Group #3 is the group that still meets 29 years later! These women and their families have become my family. We began in May 1984 and will celebrate 30 years together next Mother’s Day. The breadth and scope of the Parenting Program permitted others to join our group: one, the daughter of a delightful friend from church, had a 3-month premature infant, and the other a local mom who had adopted a son.

The Mom’s Group (as we call ourselves) has done everything together: from infancy, nursing, sleeping issues, siblings, girls nights out, family gatherings, dads playing golf, celebrating graduations, and even a few divorces. We shouldered one another in terrifying times and times of loss, and have celebrated every achievement and joy. We began when a physician come to talk to us, (as well as an Oakland County marine officer about water safety), and are now beginning conversations about social security! We have two grandchildren among us (we don’t how, because we are all 34 at heart.).

The Beaumont Parenting Program is the forum for some of our greatest joys and we deeply love one another. With gratitude for this gift, we celebrate with you at this landmark time.

– Nancy (Hendricks) Kelly

Beaumont Parenting Program Contest: Runner-Up 2

Moms holding babies on their laps

I feel incredibly blessed to have met a wonderful group of mothers and children. I honestly don’t think I would have survived my first couple of years of parenthood without the support and friendship of my Beaumont parenting group. It’s been five years now and we still keep in touch regularly. It’s amazing how a random selection of people has brought me some of my closest friends.

After the first year of regular, scheduled playdates, my group decided to continue having monthly playdates and holiday dinner potluck parties. We created a private Facebook page so we could easily contact each other. As our kids got a bit older many of us also coordinated extracurricular activities together for our children. It was not only an excuse for us moms to see each other, but to also have our kids play together as they’ve known each other practically since birth!

I can count on my parenting group to answer all of my questions (Which car seat do you recommend? How do you get your child to eat his vegetables?). When some of us were having discipline issues with our children, we quickly coordinated a Love and Logic speaker to do a two-day seminar for our group (along with our husbands). We were all in the same boat and it was so nice to have a group of people who understood each other so well. Not only does my Beaumont parenting group help me with my children, they help me as well. We meet often for “moms’ night out” just so we can recharge and take a little break from the routine.

Within a year, the size of our group of children started increasing. To help each other out during the first month of delivering a newborn (and now also having a toddler at home), we started a dinner drop off. I remember being so relieved to not have to worry about dinners after having my second child because my parenting group arranged dinners during the week. We still continue this for each other. We help and support each other not only during times of joy, but also come together during our toughest moments. One of the moms had a child fall in a fire pit a few years ago and we immediately came together to help her out with anything she needed by arranging meals and just being there to support her during the difficult time. (The child is doing great now!) Another mom’s family recently suffered a significant amount of damage to their home during the flood and lost a lot of things. Again, our group came to her support and donated items to help her replace some of the things she had lost.

We all love spending time together with our kids, but last spring we decided to arrange a girls’ weekend in Colorado to visit a fellow mom in our group who recently moved there. Thanks to our incredible families, most of the moms were able to take a much needed vacation. Even though it was our first time all traveling together, I already felt that I had known these ladies for years, as we have all shared so many important milestones in our lives together.

We have seen each other during both our highs and lows. It’s a great feeling to know I will always have a group of friends to count on, no matter what. These ladies are not just my friends, many of them are like my sisters. I am so lucky to be part of this amazing group of women and I can’t thank Beaumont enough for bringing us together.

– Sheena Desai

Beaumont Parenting Program Contest: Runner-Up 1

Photo of a group of kids lying down

Then …

Don’t you wish parenting came with a user’s manual? Most of us have no clue what we’re doing when we first become parents. The very best we can hope for is a good support network. With all of the life changes in this new role, sometimes all you want is a group of friends who understand and relate to you—and that’s exactly what we all got with the Beaumont Parenting Group.

What started out as a group that met on a monthly basis for expert tips has evolved into a spectacular group of friends. These are not just any friends, but rather the type that understand what you are going through. They can offer their own insights and points of view. These are the people who help to make parenting a really rewarding experience, and we are happy to be going strong for six years now.

Photo of kids standing in front of fence

And Now

We’ve seen each other through some traumatic lows such as death, loss, unemployment, and the temporary struggles that parenting can sometimes present. We’ve celebrated the highest highs like the birth of younger siblings, marriage, promotions, and so many wonderful milestones. We are truly a united front that are there to support and lift each other through the various chapters that life presents.

Not only have we become great friends as parents, but we have the unique privilege of watching our children grow up together. They have become friends in their own right and taught each other much about life at an early age.

Whenever one of us has questions about a milestone or how to handle a particular situation, we can lean on each other and are always in a judgment-free zone. There is a distinct comfort that comes from our Parenting Group, and perhaps that’s why we seek each other out and count on each other as great friends.

Men and women sitting around a table

Parents’ Night Out

We can relate to each other and cheer each other on through whatever our children may be going through. We have learned what being a good parent means, and helped to keep each other sane and calm through the various challenges, and above all we have evolved together as a group.

These are some of the dearest friends that we could hope for, both for ourselves and for our children—we are all lucky to be part of a group that has bonded us through parenthood for the rest of our lives!

– Mary Frederick

Beaumont Parenting Program Contest: Grand Prize Winner

Mom, dad and daughter standing in park

When I found out I was pregnant, I was so excited but also very nervous. My pregnancy was full of constant anxiety and some depression, but I stupidly thought that all of that would just melt away when my daughter was born. Boy was I wrong!

I remember the first night in the hospital: Sitting on the edge of the bed looking over at my newborn daughter all bundled up and my snoring husband enjoying his slumber, I had an intense feeling of panic and doom. I would fall asleep hard, but then wake up basically mid panic attack and then be afraid to fall back asleep.

I was very blessed to have a very supportive husband and also extended family that stayed with us to help with nighttime feedings, but I started feeling guilty because I wasn’t caring for my baby all by myself. It was a terrible cycle and I was continuing to get worse. I started to hear voices and I was paranoid that I would hurt my baby or someone else. I had to spend five days in a mental health facility away from my daughter and family to get myself back. It was the hardest time ever, but I survived it!

Then I was introduced to the Beaumont Parenting Program and an angel by the name of Kelly Ryan. I remember my first postpartum adjustment support group meeting. I walked in and was greeted by her welcoming smile. I was a mess but she was so patient with me. I remember telling my story and bawling to her. Her support and her listening ear helped immensely. She then called the psychiatrist office that the program worked with and got me in for an appointment the very next day! I was also given a contact number to someone who had gone through similar issues. Kelly was doing anything and everything she could to help and continued to tell me that I would make it through this.

I am forever grateful that the Beaumont Parenting Program support group was there to help me make it through my postpartum depression/psychosis. I have since made it my duty to be there for any friend, family member or even stranger who goes through any postpartum issues. I feel that I made it through my issues to pay it forward and help anyone else I can. Together we will make it through this!

– Sarah Hutton


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