Small-Group Tips For Parents
When you become a parent, your whole world shifts to revolve around your new little bundle of joy. Let us be the first to say, if you are in a season of new parenthood, you are doing a great job! The sleepless nights, constant diaper changes, and new lifestyle can be a hard adjustment.
As you settle into parenthood, however, there may come a time where you start to crave adult interaction or are looking to get back into some normal patterns and relationships. Joining or hosting a small group can be a wonderful way to gain support and solidarity, and build relationships in your parenting journey.
Unfortunately, so many parents opt out of small group opportunities. It is certainly true that once you have kids, you will need to prioritize cultivating adult relationships or it just won’t happen. Being intentional to join a small group, despite child care challenges, nap time schedules, bedtime arrangements, and more will be a challenge, but will also be well worth it.
So many parents forget to take time for themselves, to invest in their physical, mental, and spiritual health, and their marriage. For many, joining a small group is a great way to take time for yourself or your marriage.
You don’t have to sit on the sidelines, small groups can be an option for parents of young kids. There are several ways you can host or join a small group this season.
Small Group Childcare
Childcare may seem like an obvious choice for making a small group work as a parent. The truth is, however, it just isn’t accessible or an option for everyone. One way you can remove the childcare barrier for yourself or others in your group is to find a group babysitter.
This way, everyone is still able to bring and attend to their children as needed but the children are cared for in a separate room by a babysitter, or two!
Many groups find success in people contributing to this cost as they can. Sometimes your church may even be willing to help with childcare costs for small groups.
For those who feel overwhelmed being out late with your kids or the chaos of getting out the door during dinner time, consider an after-bedtime small group meeting. It may be easier for group members to find childcare if their children are already in bed and may ease the nerves of parents who are hesitant to leave their children. This takes advantage of the hour or two busy parents have after their kids go to bed.
Have The Children Join
When in doubt, bring the kids along and include them! We know this may sound chaotic but how cool that your children get to witness you engaging in biblical relationships and conversations. Yes, when the kids are involved the study may not be as long and the conversation may not go as deep, but oftentimes small groups are much more about the community than the actual content studied.
Virtual Small Group
Now that everyone is familiar with zoom and other virtual meeting platforms, it’s the perfect option for busy parents of young kids to build community. Weekly bible study could take place over zoom and then maybe once a month families get together for a potluck. You can have the best of both worlds.
Divide and Conquer
Doing a small group with your spouse can be awesome but it can also be beneficial to meet separately as well. This is a great option for moms and dads. Parents can switch off every other week. One week the moms all get to meet and the next week the dads meet. This leaves no need for childcare and allows greater community amongst moms and dads in the same season of life.
We know it can be hard, but neglecting community in this season of life could ultimately leave you feeling lonely and isolated on your parenting journey. Take the time to prioritize small groups and see what a difference it can make in your faith!
We weren’t meant to walk this journey alone. The Torchable app is coming soon with opportunities near you to join or host small groups in your area. We are striving to remove as many barriers as possible for parents to prioritize their faith in this way!