I recently heard an interview where it was said that child rearing wasn’t meant to be done alone or even by a couple but rather with a family or “tribe” of people. In most cultures, families continue to live together or near one another allowing for caregiving to be shared among immediate and extended family.

The United States is one of the few countries where this trend goes the other direction due to the fact that many couples move away from family for various reasons, including jobs, opportunity and lifestyle preference. The interview went on to state that the task of raising children without a network of support puts added and somewhat unnatural stress on a parent or couple.

Hearing this made me realize the truth that it takes a community to raise a child.

Whether you have family around to help or if you are raising your children alone, there is the need for support. It is an enormous task of raising a little human and one that often feels overwhelming. Fortunately, Steamboat has some incredible community groups that offer support and access to a “village,” giving you some added encouragement and support.

Here are just a few of the groups that I have enjoyed:

Newborn Network: This group is offered through the Family Development Center and is geared toward families with children ages birth to 36 months. There are many free services, including weekly meetings for parents and children; a library offering books, CDs and tapes with a wide range of parenting support and tips; and even a “warmline” where parents can get answers to their parenting questions. I’ve enjoyed the benefits of this network, and encourage anyone interested to reach out.
More information: Newborn Network

MOPS: This group is geared toward mothers with kids from birth through kindergarten. It meets twice a month and offers a community of support of fellow moms.
More information: Steamboat MOPS

Bud Werner Memorial Library: We are so fortunate to have such a wealth of options with our local library. With everything from story-time to yoga on the grass, there are almost daily options for you and your little one to connect with other parents, caregivers and kids. Freya and I often join the Toddler Time Tuesday, which offers stories, songs and activities.
More information: Bud Werner Memorial Library

Wiggle Wednesday: Elevation Dance Studio offers a free class the first Wednesday of every month. This is an awesome chance for you and your kiddo to enjoy music, a story and some dance moves! We’ve loved being a part of this class.
More information: Elevation Dance Studio

I encourage you to reach out and take advantage of these free services and support groups. I know it has helped me navigate the world of raising a child with a little more grace and ease.

 

Caroline Lalive Carmichael moved to Steamboat with her family in 1995 and joined the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. After one season, Caroline was named to the U.S. Ski Team and competed for 13 years, attending two Olympics. After retiring in 2009, she returned to Steamboat as a coach. She and fellow Olympian Nelson Carmichael were married in 2012 and welcomed their daughter, Freya, in 2015.