Tips on how to build yours
It may be cliché to say, “It takes a village to raise a child”—but it’s also true (even if you’re one of the very best parents in the world!). You owe it to your children—and yourself—to lean on, learn from, and give back to others around you. Here are some of our top tips on how (and why!) to build up your community, mom tribe, parent posse, or whatever you’d like to call your own personal support system.
Put yourself out there
Yes, finding fellow new-mom friends can sometimes feel like online dating. But we’re all in this together, and learning as we go. Broaden your existing support system of family and friends by asking around or looking online for mom groups in your area. Check out a meet-up or connect with a friend-of-a-friend who also has kids. And, if a particular group or person isn’t the right fit for you, keep looking! It’s your village, and you get to decide who plays a role.
Be open and honest
In any group of people, there are always those who act as though everything is sunshine and rainbows, all the time. While we appreciate that type of optimism, it’s rarely the case that raising a child is completely smooth sailing. You’ll get the most out of any kind of fellow-parent friendships by being open and honest. We all have struggles—and by sharing them, we can learn, grow, and commiserate! And, on any given day, one of us may have just the right knowledge, encouragement, or simply a listening ear to help another parent out in a meaningful way.
Learn & share
Once you’ve built your village of trusted people, take advantage of having so many wonderful resources to draw upon. Your fellow mom friends have so many talents that can enrich the lives of your children—both now and as your kids get older. Plus, you can help each other out with little things that make a big difference; if you’re great at crafts and love doing them, help a fellow mom friend with her kid’s birthday party. In return, maybe she’ll help you bake perfect, unburned cookies when your kid’s special day rolls around!
Ask for help
Even if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed or in desperate need of alone time, asking for help can be one of the toughest things for a mom to do. But we’re here to tell you that it’s by no means a sign of defeat or weakness to ask for help; on the contrary! You need time to recharge your own batteries so you can be the best version of yourself (as not only a mom, but also a spouse, friend, family member, and for your own sanity and satisfaction!). Ask a member of your village to watch your kids for an hour, pick up your kid at school one day, run to the store for you, or whatever will make your life a little bit easier. Before long, you’ll undoubtedly be able to return the favor.
Speaking of returning the favor, a community thrives only when everyone does their part and chips in. So, always be on the lookout for ways you can help your fellow villagers (even if, like you, they may sometimes be hesitant to ask for help explicitly!). Whether it’s a “random” act of kindness to brighten another mom’s day, coordinating an impromptu “girls’ night,” or an offer to babysit a friend’s child, a little help and support can go a long way.
Happy village building!