The first three months after having my first child was so hard, especially after my husband returned to work. Trying to figure out why my daughter would cry, how to make time to take a shower or even eat seemed impossible. At times, the best thing to do was to look out my bedroom window and cry. I told myself, things will get better, and they did. Before I knew it she was walking, talking and bringing me something to eat. But in those dark early days, I realized how important it was to have people in my life for support, encouragement, and care.
Here are a few reasons why you need a village of parenting support in your life.
Having a safe space where I could share my thoughts on being a first-time mom, and now second-time mom, was very important to me. Whether that safe space was a gathering at church with women or at a friend’s place, I needed to know that I could trust my friend and feel comfortable sharing my struggles. I knew isolation wouldn’t help me, so I made sure to call my dearest friends when I needed to talk. I needed a safe space to be vulnerable and know no one would criticize me.
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! It can happen to any new parent, and especially mothers. It’s easy to fall into deep worry about what to expect from a newborn baby that has no instructions on how to provide the best care. We learn day by day, but it can still feel as if things aren’t going right. Finding a support group gives parents the opportunity to bring questions to others who might’ve gone through a similar situation. Getting support from a group of mothers who understand has felt really amazing for me, as well as helping other mothers who need support as well.
Having 4 and 10 year old keeps me busy and can make it hard at times to find a moment for self care. There are moments (usually more often than I would want) when it’s hard to spend a few hours with my husband without the kids. Between full-time work and mommy duties, finding “me” time sometimes feel impossible. Asking for help from my village has been the best thing I’ve done for myself so that I am able to be a better wife, mother, and friend. Drop off playdates have been extremely helpful. Whether it’s for two hours or just 45 minutes, I have an opportunity to read, pray, meditate, plan a breakfast date with my husband, take a fitness class or just stare at my living room wall. Taking the time to rest, rejuvenate and clear our minds could be best thing we can do for ourselves. Our friends can help us with that.
Where’s my village? I’m thankful to say that my village is with me every step of the way. You can find that village in a support group, your local church, friends from high school or an online chat forum. Find a village and make it yours.