LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --
Parenting, while extremely rewarding, is also challenging. The term “it takes a village,” leans genuine truth to the fact that it is easier to take care of your child and keep your sanity when you have the help of friends and family. Recalling daily to-do’s and keeping up with chores, work, and other life events can seem draining as well. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut, do not worry! The Parent Support Network at the 189th Airlift Wing is here to support you!
Whether you are a new parent, single parent, empty-nester, etc., the SPN provides exceptional resources and networking to help you through all types of situations. Between those snuggles and cuddles are sleepless nights and overwhelming depression. Who better to understand what you are going through than a fellow parent?
“This is a great group for our wing members to come together and support each other as parents,” said Tech. Sgt. Gwen Hernandez, the PSN coordinator. “Being a parent can be hard, sometimes lonely, and flat out feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing at times. This is a safe place for our wing members to come together and not feel alone in their parenting journey.”
The PSN is open to all 189th Airlift Wing service members and their spouses going through any phase of their parenting journey. From expecting parents to first-time grandparents, the group shares first-hand experiences and ideas and introduces members to others going through the same or similar situations. The meetings also provide an opportunity for parents to put a face to a name or find a friend to meet at the park for a kid’s playdate or on other outings.
The group also incorporates classes taught by volunteers to provide resources to utilize on Airman’s behalf. An unofficial infant and child CPR and emergency care class was recently provided to members during one meeting and provided an opportunity for parents to ask questions in an open forum without fear of reprisal. Other meetups include postpartum discussion and support, finance courses for budgeting with a baby, and so much more! During meetings, all members have the opportunity to address any questions or issues they might have as parents, communicate what they need to, or simply talk about the really bad day they’re having.
“Sometimes parenting can get overwhelming and we as parents tend to put our needs to the side or just flat out neglect ourselves,” Hernandez said. “We need to take care of ourselves just as much as we need to be there for our babies. It’s important to know what resources are available to parents. There is so much out there, that it can be overwhelming. We want to alleviate that as much as possible for everyone.”
The PSN typically meets each Sunday of drill at 11 a.m. The group discusses different topics each month or conducts informal, informational training. If you are interested in attending a meeting, contact Tech. Sgt. Gwen Hernandez or Master Sgt. Jessica Roles at 501-987-6068.
“The parenting network can be anything we want to make it. But most importantly we want it to be a place people know they can go to and have the support they need no matter what.”