You would've heard the saying...."It takes a village to raise a child."
Well, today's post is where I encourage you to embrace your village and to use them for their worth! Now that I am a mother to two, and a step mother as well, I can tell you firsthand that having a supportive village is vital in surviving ...and thriving in motherhood.
Being a mother (especially for the first time) is no easy feat. Yes it is a blessing beyond all others, and an exciting beautiful ride. But it is also tiring and repetitive and challenging. It is overwhelming and exhausting and sometimes very lonely. Mothering infants and small children can be very taxing and constricting on us, our relationships and our mental status.
This is why it is important to have a network and community around you that you completely trust. It may be your parents, siblings, extended family or circle of friends. It could even be your neighbours, playgroup association or work colleagues. And even in today's world - you may have joined some secure online groups/forums/organisations that you rely on and turn to for support. Whoever they are, embrace them, their knowledge and their offerings to help.
My husband and I are lucky in that we live fairly close to both his parents, and mine. Our children are growing up with their Grandparents' presence playing a very strong role. I love this and feel very grateful that we have this family bond for our children. I'm also VERY grateful that we have trusted and loved 'babysitters' on call - making my return to work a lot easier, but also having the physical support when times are tough and you simply need a day (or two) off from parenting.
I know not everyone has this opportunity (their family may not live close or be in a position to help), so I encourage you to surround yourself with people who you trust, and who embrace you as a new family/mother. Whether you need them to watch the baby for an hour while you have a long hot shower and read a book for a short break, or to head to the shops on your own (a luxury once you become a Mother), or while you and your partner head out for a quiet dinner together. Whatever it is that you're needing (for your sanity, self-worth and busy schedule) ensure you have a village to help you out.
Because, do you know what I've slowly learned? It's much easier (not impossible....just easier) to be a patient, happy, healthy, excited, grateful, loving and thriving mother when you have support.
In a nutshell Ladies, embrace your network/village/community/family and allow them to play a role in raising your little one. Don't push them away because you feel guilty or inadequate or even too confident. It's ok to ask for help, or to take on other people's suggestions or offerings, and it's definitely ok to lean on your village.