Active Dads Hume is about connecting families through supporting a Dad’s learning, strengths and journey to fatherhood and promoting co-parenting and safety in families. It includes the Baby Makes 3 program.
The core focus of these initiatives is on strengthening infants’ safety, stability and development through working together with maternal and child health nurse teams, parent support workers and a broader range of agencies that come into contact with new parents living in the city of Hume.
Active Dads Hume aims to strengthen:
The focus is inclusive of all dads, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
New parents attending the Babies in Hume program are invited to enroll in the Baby Makes 3 program by the Parent Support Team who run the Babies in Hume new parent groups.
Julian and Leidy came to Melbourne 8 years ago, leaving family and friends back in Colombia. They didn’t speak any English and were making their way in a new country. They shared a love of dancing and cycling, and worked and studied to make a life in their new home in Melbourne’s north.
They recently welcomed little baby Nico.
Leidy participated in the local Babies in Hume group for new mothers for nine weeks where she learnt about a new program called Baby makes 3 (BM3) that brings both mums and dads, and babies, together over 3 evenings of discussions, and pizza.
“We underestimated how broken sleep, financial stress, and relationship stress really affected us. Attending the Mothers group and then BM3 really helped us to have safe conversations about problems and feelings. It gave us positive ways to work out problems or negative feelings,” Leidy explained.
Julian added “Inviting Dads is important, and we learnt many things about active listening and communication. ‘I’ messages and `you’ messages were very powerful exercises in the BM3 group.”
Mums and Dads often feel like beginners in the first year of parenthood and need to get out of the house and share stories about the lovely and the challenging experiences with others going through similar experiences.
“We love to cycle together and we miss doing that since becoming parents. In the group it was great to talk about hopes we will get the chance to do that again in the future”, Julian said.
“We underestimated how important building and working on our relationship was, for us as a couple, and for Nico.”
“Mums are beginners too, and so are new Dads, and it’s important not to be judged. We listened to other new parents and shared our experiences in a safe and fun atmosphere.” Leidy said.
The parents were encouraged to stay connected and keep the discussions going by organising picnics and BBQs.