You’ve probably heard of the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”. There was never a truer statement if you ask me. Every new mum needs a support system.
Equally so, if like me you have dreams and ambitions you want to go out after and pursue even after adding children to your dynamic then that saying will resonate with you even more so.
It’s hard work raising a family and harder still to try craving out time for other things in your life. You can spend many a day in some kind of headless trance, sleep deprived, bouncing from one disaster to the end. That my friend is exactly where and when the need for a support system really kicks in.
So what is a support system?
Simply put it’s a group of people you can lean on in the tough times, who will listen to you, emphasise with you and will urge you to be your best you . They will happily share your feelings and emotions with you. Will be the first to celebrate even the smallest of events in your life ( like actually sleeping for 4 hours straight without interruption). They will understand your why’s, your goals, your dreams, values and reasons and will believe in you and your ability to do the things you set out for yourself or your family.
So who should you have in your support system?
This area is massive and will ultimately depend on exactly what is it you are aiming for and what goals you are intending to achieve.
As a new mother, you first inclusions will be friends and family, who will have been there pre and post baby, who know you the best to begin with.
Then you’ll want to add other mothers to the mix, people who are in the trenches with you, who will relate to trying to drop the night feed or potty train a toddler. These are those you’ll be sharing you are never gonna guess stories with and uh oh I got you mama, happened here as well.
If you are looking to take part in certain hobby, or want to launch your own business, you are probably going to want to further extend that group to include people with like-minded interests. Just because you are launching a business as a mother, doesn’t mean your support system has to all be business minded mothers. It will help to have one or two who can relate to the juggling of both, however sometimes those without kids can offer a different take on matters which you may not have been able to see.
Above all else, they will all be people who share your core beliefs, values and have similar goals and outlook. They will be smart people, people who are able to challenge you and make you question yourself.
But why do I need these people in my life?
They will be your rocks when you meet the bad stuff. Will help you handle and come through the other side of a difficult situation. Motivate you when you have no get up and go, and will keep you motivated when you feel like quitting. Every new mum needs a support system if they are to keep their sanity at times.
When you find the right people, you will feel happy and confident in their presence, you will be able to open up to them and expose your vulnerable side. Allowing you to grow as a person. They will offer you a safe space and make you feel comfortable in asking for help or what you see as a silly question
You can be yourself around these people and you will no longer need to do it alone. They will offer you sanity in the craziest of moments and survival when you think the world is gong to swallow you up. You will come to trust them and look for their guidance in matters you cannot handle alone. They will help you round-up the resources you need to meet your dreams and be there to bounce the baby and watch the kids when you need time to focus or in an emergency.
But how do I find my tribe?
As a mum it is so easy to feel like you don’t have time do everything. Let alone invest time into other people beyond your immediate family. It’s ok to feel like that. Just recognise that the investment will be worth it. That with a bit of work to begin with over time, there will be no work involved at all in these friendships.
Firstly get out there. Hiding away at home in your pajamas, is not the place to start. Look for social support. Join groups, like mums and toddlers, go to the park, find a children’s activity centre to hang out in for a few hours once a week. Your child will enjoy it as well, so even if you don’t achieve your goal of meeting someone you will have had fun and done something with the baby.
If getting out is difficult, get online. Look for Facebook groups of like minded mums or matching interests. Join them, drop a message introducing yourself and let people know you are there to make friends. There are some great mum forums you can join, start asking questions or try asking someone else’s. You’ll be surprise how quickly conversation can strike up and similar interests appear.
If you’re looking to expand your network to include others with similar hobbies or business interests, look out for networking events in the local area, or find networking sites that match your needs. You can also look at sites like Momstown.com and mommyandme.com
Finally if building a successful business along with being a mum is where you’re heading then I would highly recommend reading Going beyond mom by Randi Zinn
My steps. Who, How, Why
For me, my tribe really came into its own when I moved abroad to Portugal and left all my friends behind. Sure I was joining my family who were already there, however I had to start from scratch and build my network of friends.
It started with a chance meeting in a bar with a girl who spoke English. Pretty soon she had introduced me to her own circle of friends and strong bonds were quickly formed. These were to become my go to girls.
I have since gotten married, had a baby and have one on the way. As time progressed in each stage of my life. I found and made a friend of someone in a similar circumstance. When my son was 4 months old I started attended a mum and toddler music group.with invitations starting to fly in for group activities, birthday parties and events, I just kept saying yes. In the midst of it, I was luck enough
to find two other mums. Both in similar situations and with understanding of what I was aiming for.
I have also been luck enough through those friends to build further support with a close friend who has similar ambitions. Encouraging me to form a small support group with her and 2 others to network on a business level about what we are setting out to do
I am always building my tribe right here on This Trendy Mama. So feel free to reach out and leave a comment below. Maybe we could help each other