I did this video on supports a couple weeks ago. I thought I would share it today.
I’m a firm believer in making sure us parents and our children have good support systems in place. This is definitely something I took with me from my years in child protection. Upon meeting parents one of the first questions we would ask was who are your formal (doctors, counsellor, pastor etc) & informal supports (friends and family)? So many times over and over I would wait for the answer. In hopes I would be given a long list of names especially because if I was at their home as a child protection worker they were in a really bad time in life and they needed assistance to help in barring the load. The reality is we all need help and support in life. It doesn’t matter what age your child is. When parenting we sometimes need all hands on deck and the situation may call for more hands then what we have. I find our society and social media portray a lie that we can do it on our own especially if their are two parents in the home. I have seen many times first hand what happens if we attempt to do this so called parenting on our own. It’s called burnout people! It most likely wont be everyday we need extra support and will really depend on what your current situation is. Parents of newborns all the way to teenagers can use a strong support network. If people offer to help you take them up on the offer. You don’t show weakness and I hope there is no judgement by allowing this. Also if you need help first time parents call for help. If you are parenting a 6 year old who still has temper tantrums bounce off ideas with friends who may be in similar situations. I know I sure do and worst case scenario I can vent and even sometimes laugh off some of the worries. Each age and stage brings new challenges and joyous moments. It would be so nice knowing by talking to a friend or even random parent at the park that your child isn’t the only one who acts like that.
If you are reading this and can legitimately say you don’t have a support network I would encourage you to get involved with some community programs. Each city has some types of “mom to mom groups”. You can find these at the Ontario Early Years Centres and some churches. Also just ask…. You may have family and friends that if you asked they would be willing to help at a drop of a dime. Support will look different to everybody. It may be the practical and tangible support of watching your children or bringing a meal to you after you have a baby. Or it may just be a text to someone asking them for suggestions regarding a situation you are dealing with. One thing I can guarantee is that you will never know if you don’t ask!