No mum is an island and having a good group of people around to support her is essential. Setting up a strong parenting network can ensure a mum can cope with stressful parenting times and save her sanity. However, it’s all about quality, not just quantity.
Groups to Include In Your Parenting Network
There are four groups of people that each mum should have in her network….
1. Support Crew
Who can you call on to support you on a day to day basis or go have a cup of coffee with? Is there someone you can call when you’re having a problem with your child’s behaviour and you need to talk it out? Your support crew often consists of other parents, because they know the stress that you’re going through. They can empathise with the interrupted nights, the tantrums, how frustrating it is when the kids fight and the daily parenting stress that we all face, and that unites us.
Uplifters are those people who don’t let you wallow in parenting stress. They’re always helping you think of the bigger picture, looking forward beyond the struggles of today. These supporters help you feel better about yourself, about the type of mum you are. They help you lift your spirits and plan for the challenges that lie ahead. Uplifters are often different to your support crew and in some cases may also be an outsider.
This group is those who are outside of your social network. They are often professionals including coaches, psychologists, counselors and medical practitioners. These people aren’t involved in your life so can give you an objective view on the challenges that you are facing at any given point of time. They are unrelated to you and unfamiliar with other people in your life and have no conflicts of interest.
4. Inner Sanctum
Your inner sanctum consists of those one or two individuals who know the real you, warts and all. They know where you truly struggle or when you are feeling unappreciated as a mum. They are loving and accepting people who you can count on at an hour of the day to be there for you or your kids. Your inner sanctum may be part of your support crew or uplifters, and may or may not be your partner/husband. These individuals are those who you feel completely comfortable around and whom you may contribute your success as a mum on.
How Did You Go? Do You Have These Groups In Your Life?
How do you feel reading these group descriptions? Have you got people in each of the four groups? What happens if you don’t?
One of the common stresses of mums that mums mention is not having support around. Support for mums frequently comes up with clients of mine. Sometimes it’s because mums are isolated from friends or family, or sometimes it’s that the people who are around her, aren’t as supportive in the way that she would wish. This can often happen with family members. Just because someone is a member of a mum’s family, does not automatically mean that they are a suitable member of her support network.
How To Find Your Support Peeps
So what can you do if you don’t have these support networks already? Simply, find them! It is as simple and as complex as that. There is a six-step process that I recommend you take.
- List all your friends/family who you call upon to help you with your kids and being a mum.
- Allocate them to their current support group.
- Look at where each person is and ask yourself if you would like them, or do they need to be moved to another group.
- Ask yourself, are there any gaps? Do I need to find some new members of my tribe to help support me?
- Strategize and plan (a great thing to do in your journal!), how can I find new people? Mothers Groups? Online networks e.g. Facebook, Community Groups? Making friends with other parents at your child’s extracurricular activity?
- Evaluate and re-evaluate this plan on a frequent basis until you find that your support network is what you wish it to be.
This process might seem a bit formal and a strange thing to do, however, it is incredibly important. We spend a lot of time planning our kids’ lives and how we can support them, so it stands to reason that we plan our own support network as well. I’d recommend doing it even if you feel you currently have a good support network as it’s always useful to check in and remind yourself about all the amazing people who are already in your life.
I hope that this post has been helpful and will enable you to set up an awesome parenting support network that can be there for you through thick and thin. In the meantime, you may like to consider joining my parenting support programs.
I’d love to know how this strategy helps you so please leave a comment below or get in contact with me via social media.