Homegrown with Hope: Lessons from the first year of parenthood

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BISMARCK, N.D. - My intention for starting the Homegrown with Hope series was to bring your families stories that would help you with the impossible and wonderful work of raising children.

When I first began, a viewer sent me a message saying being a parent just may be the most important job we'll ever have, and yet no one teaches us how to do it.

She was right.

I read the books. I took the classes. I asked the questions and I studied the parents around me. And still, I have to admit I didn't know what I was doing.

This weekend we celebrated a first birthday. It's been a year of unimaginable growth for my baby, now a bumbling, babbling toddler. And a year of growth and learning for myself. In this Homegrown with Hope, I'd like to share some of those lessons with you.

Free clinics in Bismarck can put new parents at ease during the first year with weekly weight and height checks. Their lactation consultants brought me invaluable lessons to navigate the unfamiliar process.

Families can even leave with a free can of formula. To learn more, stop by Sanford's Well Baby Clinic on West Interstate every Tuesday from 1 - 4 or on Fridays from 9 - Noon, or the Well Baby Clinic at CHI St. Alexius every Wednesday on East Main from Noon - 2:30.

Get free help installing and checking car seats for children of any age at a monthly Car Seat Check-Up held between 3 - 6 p.m. You can call Custer Health with questions at 701-667-3370 and check this site for dates and locations: https://www.bismarcknd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/32525/2019-check-up-flyer.

Active Life Chiropractic holds Mommy & Me Fitness Classes to help teach you ways to get active, even with a busy baby at home. To learn more, call them at 701-255-4241. Their staff of chiropractors and trained health professionals take a wholesome approach to an active lifestyle.

During those moments of the first year you're determined to capture, photographer Deborah Kates in Bismarck specializes in capturing the genuine moments. Call her at 701-471-4180 to learn more.

The Missouri Valley YMCA holds swimming lessons for children 6 months and older. To learn more, visit www.bismarckymca.org.

To help foster a love for learning with your children, visit the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Library. Their special children's programming includes story times with Miss Sparkles, who adjusts her sessions based on the age of your children. To find a time that works for your family, visit https://www.bismarcklibrary.org/183/Childrens-Library.

And, for those looking for support in growing or navigating a new pregnancy, social workers at The Village Family Service Center provide everything from counseling to adoption services. Contact them at https://www.thevillagefamily.org/content/bismarck.