I’m sure you have all heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child?
Well it’s true. As a parent you can do it by yourself but it is damn hard. Support from others is the fundamental underpinning of your parenting. Without it your physical, emotional and psychological well being are at risk. We need others help.
Parenting is fulfilling yet emotionally and physically stressful. We need to know that there are others out there who will have our back if needed.
It doesn’t have to be just family. It can be family and friends and other professionals. Your village can expand all over the world but the people closest to you will be your best source of help, guidance and support.
Many countries have their families live together and they all share in raising the child. In our Western culture we are often isolated and expected to be the multi tasker from the land of ‘you can do it all your a mum’. Why has it evolved like this? Why do we feel the need we have to do it all ourselves when it is impossible. Children also benefit from a village. They learn from others ways in which to live in the world.
It’s impossible to be everything to your children. But we try and often get burnt out. The homemaker, the worker, the driver, the organiser… the list is endless!
Don’t feel shame, guilt or embarrassment for asking for help. Your village will understand and support you.
If you need to expand your village, check out a playgroup, seek out other mums at day care, join a dance class for your child. If you are pregnant go to Preparing for Parenting classes and New Parents Group once baby is born. There maybe one or two other parents that you gel with and become good friends.
I met one of my best friends at mother’s group. Her parenting style was very similar to mine with similar values and beliefs. She is part of my village and l know l can call on her if l need to. I feel very lucky even though she is a bit crazy (just like me).
I’m one of those parents that has no family nearby so l had to make a village from scratch when l moved states 10 years ago. I had the support of my family and friends over the phone but no village. Once l had my first child l realised how much l missed my family and the support that they could provide me on a daily basis. I sometimes feel sadness when a friend is going out to have her hair done while her mother looks after the kids. I know l don’t have that. I don’t share these feelings often because l know I’m ok. I have some kind of village and I’m not alone.