It's a tough time to be a new parent, but we're here for you

Heidi Krause with her two young sons.
Heidi Krause with her two young sons. 

At a stage in life when we would normally be told to "find our village"  and connect with other new, and equally sleep deprived parents, we are instead being told to isolate with our immediate family and stay away from others.  These are stressful times to be a parent of young children, there is no doubt about that. But we're to help, guide and support you through this unchartered territory.

Parents' groups have been cancelled, uncertainty surrounds play-dates and nobody knows if they are allowed to take their kids for a play at the park or a swim at the beach. The good news? Most of us will hopefully have access to a phone, laptop or iPad…

Meanwhile trips to the supermarket have become like a game of Pot Luck where you may or may not be able to buy toilet paper and baby wipes, nevermind your toddler's favourite snack. 

Add to that concerns about our family's health, including that of our children and maybe elderly parents, and it is impossible to not feel a little overwhelmed and anxious. We get it.  

With that in mind, Essential Baby is holding our first ever Virtual Parents' Group to provide a place for mums and dads to come together and chat. Hosted by Essential Baby Deputy Editor Heidi Krause, herself a mum of two energetic boys under four, we want you to come and share what your life is like for your family right now. 

Have you let your toddler watch episodes of Bluey on repeat so you can work from home in peace for a short while, or have your kids had way too many ice-blocks in the past 24 hours because you just don't have the energy to argue when they insist on eating yet another one. That's OK, we've all been there and we are all doing whatever it takes right now to get through each day.

We are not experts, just parents like you. But if you do have questions you would like answered by those in the know, come and tell us and we will do our best to reach out to the right people and get back to you with an answer.

Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime, be kind to yourself. Don't feel the need to be a "perfect parent" right now, try to step away from the never-ending stream of coronavirus updates and focus on the people you love.

For more information visit the Essential Baby Facebook page here. 

FEELING OVERWHELMED?

Here are some other places you can call or visit online for help and support:

Beyond Blue - beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites
Lifeline - Call 13 11 14
Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) cope.org.au
PANDA Helpline - Call 1300 726 306
RANZCOG – Latest updates for pregnant women ranzcog.edu.au/statements-guidelines/covid-19-statement