I moved cross-country to North Carolina when my babe was just 3 weeks old. I didn’t know anyone except my partner who was finishing his nursing program. We had just had an incredible 3 weeks of family 24/7, friends and a large support network. To say the least, I was lost. My partner was starting back at school in a rigorous, accelerated program, and all of a sudden I had a newborn to try and entertain/get to sleep/keep happy and feed/keep alive on my own. I didn’t know a soul and then, on top of it, I was trying to find “time” for myself, trying to meet people by going out (with babe), applying for jobs, and keeping myself fed. Although I LOVE babies and absolutely adored being able to spend time with my fresh baby, it was overwhelming, isolating, and exhausting!
Along comes TAPS. This group that I saw posted to a Facebook group and says it meets once a week and discusses newborn issues, promises to be a group of amazing, strong women (okay it didn’t promise, but it did happen to be true)…I was hooked. After my first meeting and discussing our arrival stories, I knew that this was it. A group to support one another without judgement, to share successes and struggles as well as teach a few things along the way – this was exactly what I needed. To get out of the house, be in a “safe place” where if babe starts to scream, it was totally cool, was a godsend.
My TAPS group really helped me to connect with local moms. They were a sounding board and a truly supportive space. The most important thing that I took away from TAPS is that it is OKAY and normal to be going through/feeling ___(fill in the blank)__. These weekly affirmations were exactly what I needed to hear as a new mom.
My group still connects via Facebook group to celebrate victories, share milestones and “low points”. We strive to have monthly family outings -- very informal gatherings/potlucks/hikes/picnics, etc. -- which are wonderful ways to keep up to date and connected with everyone! Aside from group meetings, I have made some incredible friends and close connections with whom we meet at least weekly with babes. Without TAPS I have no idea where I would have been able to find the same strong support network that is critical to those early baby days.