Becoming a mother is one of the best things you will ever do, but it’s also one of the most difficult physically, emotionally, and mentally.
From the start, even from the first trimester of your pregnancy, motherhood is already challenging. And then you eventually give birth. To say that labor and giving birth are physically demanding is an understatement.
It does not end there. There’s breastfeeding, night feedings, baby blues, and learning to understand baby’s verbal cues – and that’s just the newborn stage.
Having a child takes a huge part of you. Becoming a mother is fulfilling, but it will break your body, your heart, and your mind in a way that no other thing on earth can.
But here’s the thing. No one is born completely equipped with the skills it takes to become a capable mother. At the same time, no one is probably 100% ready to take on this crucial new role. Yet with the right support system, you will flourish.
The Importance of a Mom’s Support System
More than the flashiest baby gifts and the latest parenting apps, what any new mom needs is simple: support and guidance.
Going through motherhood alone used to be an unthinkable concept. Typically, there were always older family members, particularly mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, who were there to guide a new mom. All new moms used to go through the challenges of motherhood with a built-in support system.
You see, when a mom has a solid support system, she is much happier. The guidance of more experienced moms can make a new mom feel more confident of her parenting choices. And the validation she gets from this community relieves some of the pressure that having a baby comes with.
And practically speaking, having a support system makes it easier for a new mom to get help. Errands and chores, like babysitting, cooking, and cleaning, can be shared. It allows a new mom to rest and recharge. In other words, a support system relieves some of the burden from a new mom’s shoulders.
Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with a built-in support system. Physically, we have no doubt that women can go through the nuances of raising children alone. But the emotional and mental aspects of parenting are tough, so tough that the lack of a support system can be correlated to postpartum depression.
But don’t worry. If you don’t have a built-in support system, there are many ways to find your own village. Here are 6 ways to look for your mommy community.
6 Ways to Find a Mommy Support System
1. Start in your own community.
Ideally, the best place to start when looking for a village is your own neighborhood! These are the people you see often, and you can actually identify the new moms just like you. And let’s not discount the fact that these are also the people who can come to your rescue faster.
If you are an introvert, making friends in your own neighborhood may sound like a daunting task. However, it’s only the first conversation that’s tricky. Once you get past breaking the ice, you will have several mommy friends in no time. Give it a chance! You just might hit it off with the mom next door.
2. Go to the park.
Another good place to start in finding mommy friends is the park! Parks are popular meeting places for play dates, so you will definitely find at least one other mom there. You may want to find another mom who has a child with the same age as yours for common ground.
If you are shy to introduce yourself to a fellow mom, then you can try letting your child make the first move. If they start to play with another child, talk to their mom and bring up the idea of a play date. You may soon find yourself going on play dates every week!
3. Join online groups.
It is undeniably a blessing to be parenting in the time of social media. If you can’t bring yourself to introduce yourself in person to another mom, then do it online. There are so many choices – from Facebook groups to online parenting forums – to choose from. You will surely find a group for you.
There are also many types of parenting groups. There are dedicated ones for breastfeeding moms, working moms, single moms, even moms who live near you. You are also not limited to joining just one group. And because of the number of parents who belong to these groups, you will certainly get all the help and guidance you need!
4. Follow mommy bloggers and influencers.
Mommy blogs are an excellent source for information. Reading mommy blogs is also a great way to pass time and get to know other moms. There are many widely read mommy blogs whose readers have formed a community for themselves. If you are fond of reading blogs, this is a great way to meet like minded people.
The same is true for influencers. Many influencers on Instagram and Facebook promote their parenting choices, such as homeschooling and going all-natural, attracting followers with similar lifestyles.
5. Say yes to invitations.
Let’s be honest: saying yes to invitations is a lot easier said than done, especially when you are a new mom. But it’s always worthwhile to invest some time and effort to meet new people. For example, an old friend’s invitation to her baby shower is an opportunity to bond with her over your new shared experiences.
And it’s not just baby showers. If you can, don’t pass up even invitations to an officemate’s family dinner. You never know who you are about to meet! Go to your cousin’s wedding and actually attend your class reunion this year. You can almost always find a new mom like you in these events.
6. Build your village.
Finally, instead of letting things happen to you, why don’t you go and make things happen? Start your own mommy support group! With Facebook around, it’s not an impossible thing to do. You can literally just post a status saying that you’re starting a mom support system. There is nothing to lose!
You can also try messaging your social media friends who are pregnant or just gave birth. You can eventually create a chat group for all of you. This is where you can share parenting knowledge, bond over similar experiences, offer help, and generally encourage each other.
What they say is true: it takes a village to raise a child. Doing it alone may not be impossible, but it makes the tough journey even tougher. Fortunately, while not everyone is lucky enough to come with a built-in support system, you can change your luck and build your own village.