Yes, I want to help more parents like Kim.
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The arrival of a first baby can turn life upside down – especially if you entered motherhood amidst a global pandemic with all your family living abroad. For English-born Kim*, who navigated the challenges of 2020 through a fog of postnatal depression, the support she found at Parenting Place’s Space for you and your baby proved to be a lifeline.
Kim’s partner is a New Zealander but his family live out of town, leaving Kim with very little help with their newborn – “In a year when everything went wrong that possibly could”. Kim found the adjustment to motherhood incredibly difficult. Unsure of where to go for help, Kim was recommended Space by a friend.
Kim suffered terribly from postnatal depression. “If I’m honest, that group (Space) saved me. Everything else in my life felt desperate and dire. I was sleep-deprived, in need of a lot of physical healing after a difficult birth, and facing really hard times in my relationship with my partner.”
Kim and baby Ava met with their Space group in person for several sessions before the nationwide lockdown saw the programme pivot to online delivery. “Even just Zoom calls were something to look forward to.”
Ava was captivated by the music and activities during each Space session, even when delivered on a computer screen. Kim really appreciated the speakers – including guests that group facilitator Kirstin would organise in response to the needs of the group. For example, Kirstin brought in a parent coach who specialises continued over in marriage and relationships in light of the tension many of the participants were experiencing with their partners during lockdown. She also extended the programme beyond its scheduled sessions once New Zealand was back in alert level 2, for the benefit of the group’s attendees. “Kirstin went above and beyond to look after us.”
Kim recalls Kirstin’s gift for encouraging participation and discussion within the group. “Through Space, I could connect with people who didn’t know me. I felt comfortable to talk. It was a safe space. I didn’t intend to talk so openly about my mental health struggles, but it helped others open up too. It was so empowering to see others put their hand up and say, ‘Yeah, me too’.”
Your support makes a way for parents like Kim to flourish within community and to receive the help and encouragement they so desperately need.
These days, baby Ava (now a one-year-old) is sleeping well and Kim is finally feeling back to normal. “I’m so grateful to be in New Zealand, and to have the support I’ve found here.”
My deep desire is to see more parents receive the support they need, ensuring every child feels deeply loved, but we can’t do it without your help. Will you help us again? If you are able to make a special gift using the enclosed donation form, more parents like Kim will be able to receive the lifeline they long for.
Ngā manaakitanga (Many blessings),
Dave Atkinson, CEO
P.S. Remember, if we receive your donation before 31 March, it will qualify for a 33% credit in your tax return this year. Whatever you are able to give, thank you so much for your support for the work of Parenting Place with families like Kim’s.
*Names have been changed to protect this family’s privacy.
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As a charity, it is the time, energy and money given by thousands of New Zealanders that make the delivery of our life-changing programmes possible.
Established in 1993, Parenting Place is New Zealand’s charity for families, working to enhance the lives of families and young people in communities and schools throughout New Zealand. We do this by encouraging and strengthening parents with parenting programmes and resources that make a difference while being accessible, fun and inspiring.