*We know it can be hard to get out the door when you’re a new mom. So we’ve partnered with Munchkin to share real stories & strategies from real moms that will help motivate you to get out the door and get into your mom flow. Below, Katie and Christina of Baby Bailey Mama Drama share how getting out the door has helped them find support as gay parents.
We were nervous attending our first parenting class because we didn’t know what other parents would think of us as a gay couple. Then we realized that it really doesn’t matter what others think. If they don’t support our life and family, then we weren’t meant to be friends.
It turned out that we live in a community that is very inclusive. We took parenting classes following the births of both of our girls, and we met the most amazing group of women. The group still meets at least a couple times a month. We try to do fun activities like swimming, going on nature walks, ocean trips, or playing in the river. We are lucky to be surrounded by many families who are open and accepting.
We don’t have any close friends who are gay parents. We wish we did, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Our gay friends just haven’t had kids yet. Our straight-parent friends are all allies of the gay community, though, and very supportive of our family. Many of these friends went through IVF, so we have that in common and we are able to relate.
But, as gay parents, San Francisco is a special place to us. We loved spending days together here before children, and now, it’s so fun to experience it with them. There is always something new to do here, and each visit is different. One day we might go to a museum, and the next we might go to the beach, or take a boat ride.
This year was the first time taking the kids to Pride. Our girls are very young, so they probably didn’t understand much about it, except that there was great music for dancing! We mostly went to show our support of our gay community and celebrate our family. We plan to continue to go as the girls grow to show them this wonderfully supportive community.
Getting out with our little ones — to San Francisco or on another adventure — is so important to us. We love experiencing moments through our daughters’ eyes. And it’s important for our own sanity! Before kids, we traveled almost every weekend. We promised ourselves we would still do this when we have a family. It can be easy to fall into a routine at home, but it’s so important to us to get out and experience something outside of our home.
We have found that getting out of the house with two kids really isn’t as difficult as we thought. I think we struggled more with our first. It’s all about practice! It would take was forever to get out of the house when Kennedy was a baby, now we wonder what we were doing with all that time? We also no longer take half of the house with us, so that helps.
We know our littles ones may not remember these adventures, but that doesn’t stop us. And even if they don’t remember just yet, they will at least have great photos!
It’s scary going somewhere new with a baby in tow, and you may feel out of your comfortable zone. The Bay Area is definitely a unique place, and more inclusive and diverse than others. We know it’s not like this everywhere, but that doesn’t mean a gay parent can’t find the community they need.
Our advice to other gay parents would be to seek out gay groups or parenting groups. We have lived in small towns in the past, and these group are still present, you just have to search a little harder for them. If they really aren’t there, perhaps you can start one? Chances are, there are others like you out there in the community, seeking the same sense of belonging.
We have also met amazing friends online through YouTube, Instagram, and our online clothing company. We have an entire community around the world that shares in our same experiences as gay parents. This online community has been a great support system for the past several years.
If you’re a new parent, gay or otherwise, and you’re feeling isolated, just take that first step and get out the door. The first step is the hardest, but after you do it once, you won’t regret it.
Christina and Katie’s Must-Haves for Getting out the Door:
1. Our Brica “Out and About” trunk organizer is so useful. It’s like having the entire diaper changing station ready in the back of the car, which is where we do all our changes on-the-go.
2. Our toddler also wants a drink in her cup holder, and she loves the Munchkin Stainless Steel 360 Miracle Cup. She prefers to drink from a regular cup now, and this one is perfect because it’s like drinking from a cup, but without the spills!
3. We never leave home without a baby carrier. We love babywearing and we always have our kids in carriers — even our toddler. They are so useful when traveling because sometimes the new environments can be too stimulating for them, so cuddling up safe and secure next to their parent is what they need.
Photography by Tara Layman.
SHOP MUNCHKIN’S ESSENTIALS FOR GETTING OUT THE DOOR