“It takes a village to raise a child.” I believe the majority of us have heard this saying at some point or another. Sayings of this nature stick around and translate transgenerationally because they are true. So where is this village?
As a parent, you learn early that raising a child(ren) is difficult. Ideally, you surround yourself with friends, colleagues, relatives, child care workers, a nanny, and/or babysitters in order to allow yourself, and yourself with significant others, to enjoy some adult time or just decompress. Every parent needs a break now and again in order to maintain the sanity that enables you to be the parent you long to be.
So, what happens if you live in a land that is less than the ideal? What about the parent who relocates for a spouse’s job, the parent who does not live near family, the parent who does not have family or close friends as support, or the single mom?
Last summer, I started up an 8 week support group for mothers that slated weekly meetings for an hour and a half. Group therapy is amazing because it allows you the opportunity, within a safe space, to connect with other people who understand what you go through and struggle with because they go through it, too. Groups allow individuals of similar circumstances or backgrounds to share their stories, successes, failures, and tips with one another. It is a nice way to gain support and not feel so alone when perhaps you do not have another venue.
If you find yourself searching for the village, reach out to local churches, parents day out groups, or check those bulletins at Panera! Facebook has groups for local mothers to chat with one another, though I’m uncertain of the security or screening measures there. Think of activities you do often with your child(ren) and make casual conversation with another mama while on the playground, at the park, crawling through tape tunnels at MOD, or walking through the neighborhood.
I get all the hard work that goes into being a mom. I understand that you have good days, bad days, and ugly days. I get that it is hard to move past that mom guilt or let yourself off the hook for worst mom of 2019 because you made a mistake. Reach out to others. And if you can’t locate your village, I’d love to listen.