Parenting is hard work. As the mom of four kids born in the span of five years, I can attest to this fact every. single. day.
Some days, it feels like I’m doing it alone, wandering aimlessly down this path, trying my best to keep my kids from smacking each other, hoping that they don’t grow up traumatized by how I mothered them.
I don’t like to feel that way. I don’t think anybody does.
It’s been said countless times, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I agree with that phrase wholeheartedly.
Unfortunately, though, it can feel like that community is non-existent, or so far away that you don’t how to reach it.
But you must. Because without outside help, as hard as we try to be good mothers, we will fall short. We need support. We need community. And as much as some of us don’t like to admit it (ahem, moi), we need help.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wave a white flag of surrender to get help. You can strengthen yourself as a mother and surround yourself with the support you need in a variety of ways:
Find Your Tribe
I think this is the most important way to feel supported as a parent. Building up meaningful relationships, online and off is the number one way that I’ve found relief when I was feeling overwhelmed.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to seek out friends, like-minded mothers and mentors who can offer support in your parenting journey. I’ve been helped by friends offering to watch my kids so we can go on a date, who bring me coffee so we can chat when they know I’m down and who have helped Ian and I as we struggle at different parenting stages.
I’m a researcher to the core, so when I need help, I try to soak up as much information as I can. While it can take a little while to wade through, I’ve found my favorite sources who offer intuitive, research-based advice that helps me approach my kiddos in a loving, more understanding way.
Shelly at Awake Parent is one of those sources. I’ve looked to her site many times for advice (and I really love the helpful stuff she posts on Pinterest!).
Tara Wagner is another excellent resource. Her Parenting Organically e-course, (available through the Organic Sisterhood), contains the help of several other parents (myself included, I am so honored!) and is full of great advice to help you nurture your family and yourself.
Sometimes, it helps to speak with another person whose passion it is to help others be better parents. A few months ago, I began working with Jen Hume, a wonderful parenting coach and a personal friend.
She gave me so much insight, information and practical ideas that I could put into practice to help me as I mother my children. She (and other coaches) typically offers group classes in addition to one-on-one coaching.