Articles
You are Not Alone
 

Welcome! You went through the big move and now you are all here in NYC. It was a long journey, and after the move you feel it is time to help your family be more present, to plant some roots for the family. You are trying to make sure the kids will adjust to the new school and to the new language, you make sure the house has everything needed for the everyday life, you spend hours learning the new products in the grocery shop to make sure you would be able to cook meals that smell and taste the way it used to be at home. Meanwhile when your spouse is busy with the new job, you are reaching parents you don’t even know to ask for their emails and schedule playdates to make sure your kids will have some friends. But hey! What about you???  When was the last time YOU spoke with an adult other than your spouse? When was the last time you did something for yourself?? You were too busy with everyone else around you that you didn’t have time to deal with you.

Here are some ideas how to take the first step to take care of yourself and have some social life in your new life:

  • If the kids are with you try to find an online parents group (Yahoo and Google have many of those) and post that you are looking for a friend / group of parents whom you and your kids (and mention their age) would like to join in/meet with. I can assure you there is a parent/group out there that is looking just for you.
  • If you like to work out sign up for a class/gym. Yoga, Platies. Sign up for something you really like to do to make sure you will stick to it. Doing a workout you love will give you a good feeling. Try to come each time on the same days and hours, it might help you meet the same people, and also put you into routine.
    Most gyms have child care service for free or small fee as not more than few dollars. It is a great way to let the kids meet other kids, be with other caregivers than you, and you will have some childless quiet time for yourself.
  • Mother circle/Meet up groups – what’s better than meeting with other people that share the same feelings and challenges you have? It helps so much to be clearer about yourself, being listened and being supported.
  • Volunteering – There are so many organizations that need your help and your skills, and embrace it with both hands.
    • School – If your kids go to school the school PTA or the class teachers will always say “YES” for extra hands, they need your help. Some schools and teachers send home letters/emails with the help needed, but most schools have a PTA room. You can always reach them and suggest your help.
    • Public Garden – like flowers, gardening? What’s better than working in the fresh air in a public garden? most places don’t mind the kids running around (some of them even have kids area).
      Check this website to see a community gardens near where you live
      http://www.oasisnyc.net/garden/gardensearch.aspx
    • Share your experience – many organizations will want to use your talent, check for ideas here or just Google “volunteers in NYC”:
      http://www.volunteermatch.org/search
      http://www.nycservice.org/
    • Take a class and follow your passions – art class? Draw class? Writing class? Kick boxing class? Just name it, what’s better than some alone time with adult people who share the same passion you share? There are also adult enrichment courses, for more information check the following websites:
      • NYU – SCPS programs offers more than 4,000 different courses in different subjects, some are also certification programs, that can help you get more connected to the American working and business market. Most of the courses are during weekends or evening time.
      • Adult Courses in Museums –living in NYC is a real gift for Art lovers. Many of the city museums offer different adult courses that can allow you to see and explore in personal.

I know it can be very uncomfortable to reach people you don’t know and start a conversation (although it isn’t too bad when you do the same thing for your kids). Don’t wait until other people approach you, just try to be curious about them and the magic will start because the conversation will start. We all need someone to talk with (not just our spouse or the kids) and we also need to be listened. Having friends in your life will help you feel more fulfilled with your life and most important you feel much better with your life here. I can assure you that both your family and you will gain from you having social life; it is the first step to feel here at home.

 

School Open House
 

If you are a real New Yorker Parent you probably already know that it is all about education, people in this city are constantly trying to make sure their kids will have the best education, or at least searching for a good one. When the bzzz starts people start skipping from one place to another checking what is the best option for their child. With some it will start when there is a seed in their belly, they want to buy the house in the right neighborhood with the right schools and one day when their baby will be born he will be able to go to a good public school.

Coming from Israel I didn’t think we will need to deal with open houses for so many years, ok, so we will check some nursery schools, public school? We can see how they look, but we can’t really choose, anyway we are zoned to a school by where we live, and then middle school, well…too far…

The truth that one day it hits you, it is not so simple and it not too far, and you need to deal with it, many private nursery/pre-schools already started their open house tours, you see groups of parents standing day after day asking questions, hoping that their child will get to that school, they pay registration fee to realize it is not so sure that they will get in, the neighborhood has more and more families, and less of a chance getting into those well-known schools. I don’t mean to stress you out, just let you know that if you didn’t start searching around the end of October for some options, this is the time to wake up and do so.

How do I find schools?

There are many good resources and blogs letting you know about schools here are few websites you can check:

http://www.parkslopeparents.com/index.php?option=com_sobi2&catid=7&Itemid=212

http://www.achildgrows.com/2011/11/21/school-news-new-schools-deadlines-and-tours/