I sat at my kitchen bench. My full belly pushing against the edge, stopping me from comfortably sipping my tea and flicking through a magazine. My thoughts turned to the two little beings growing inside me and imagining them in the here and now. I wondered at how I was going to cope with three under two. How could it possibly work out? What did I need to have in place so that I didn’t fall into a heap?
As a stay at home mum I wanted to be able to take care of my family, provide healthy home cooked meals, keep a clean house and have happy children. So far I had been able to achieve these things but now there was going to be two babies in the house. Two babies with the same high need demands that come with all babies. Plus an 18 month old toddler just flexing his independence and meeting life at full tilt!
30 children in a classroom suddenly seemed like a walk in the park!
There’s a saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Let’s take that a bit deeper and say, “It takes a village to support parents to raise a child”. We weren’t meant to parent alone!
Historically mothers have always been surrounded by others who have helped her in some way. It is only in our modern Western society that the village is missing. How can we surround ourselves in a parenting community?
The solution: Create a tribe!
There are many options available for creating a parenting community. I completely understand that each place is unique and has its challenges. But it is important for your own wellbeing to reach out. Start with baby steps. Look around you and begin with what’s already in your life, then push the comfort zone that little bit further.
- For me it began with accepting the help offered by my next door neighbour to come and hang out a load of washing every morning for me. This then developed into her taking Chook for an afternoon play every now and again so I could get dinner on.
- Enrolling Chook in daycare for a few days allowed me time to focus solely on the twins, get the shopping done, meal preparation and catch up on cleaning.
- Attending a Mother’s Group every fortnight and accepting offers of cooked meals in the early months with the twins.
- Attending a Playgroup where there are two other mum’s with twins. Their twins are Chook’s age and they are a fantastic resource for advice, tips and support.
- Building friendships that are open and honest. Being able to get things off your chest reduces stress, helps us to deal with our emotions, gives another point of view and gets you back on track.
- Organise playdates at the park. Or take the kids down to the park and meet other parents down there.
- Your parenting community can also include people far away from where you live. My parents live interstate but that weekly phone call with my mum can help when I am stuck for meals, parenting tips and advice. I would also count some awesome bloggers and their blogs in my parenting community. My community also includes all the wonderful readers of Triple T Mum who stop by and leave a positive thought or helpful comment (Thank you)!
These are the things that have worked for me in creating a parenting community in which to raise my children. It has built over time. It hasn’t been easy and requires getting out of your comfort zone. But at the end of the day we really weren’t meant to parent alone.
Where do you find your parenting community? How could you be a support to another parent?