We have all heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." I completely agree with this saying. I know for a fact that gleaning the wisdom of other mothers who have "been there, done that" is priceless. I know that having mothers who are in the same place as I am is very comforting. Being able to surround ourselves with other mothers in order to aid each other in all of the different child rearing stages is invaluable. Unfortunately, for most of us in our modern mobile society, many of us don't have a village readily available. Our family has moved almost every year since my husband and I got married. That makes it really hard to build sustaining relationships. That also means that neither of us have any family closer than 6 hours away.
So how do I go about creating the village that is needed to help me as mother? Here are some of the avenues that I have taken to create such relationships:
1. Facebook - I know, I know. Facebook is a crazy social media frenzy that has nothing helpful on it. Actually, Facebook and Yahoo groups are a great place for you to locate and connect with other mothers. You can do this in the comfort of your own home, and distance is no barrier. I have been very blessed to be able to join some local and nationwide mom's groups that are always only a few clicks away. We connect on topics such as parenting philosophy, activities, geographical location, and spirituality. Even if you live in Timbuktu (real place in Africa), you can join in to the mommy world via the internet.
2. Local Groups - There are tons of local moms groups in almost all geographical locations. While I love my Facebook groups, having a group of people to connect with in real life is also very important. Some groups that I have been able to connect with are Le Leche League, Attachment Parenting International, and The Motherhood Collective. Each of the different groups has offered assistance, camaraderie, a shoulder to cry on, information, and friendships. 3. Church - I have been very blessed to be able to build a community of women/mothers at our local church who are always willing to support my family in many different fashions. Many churches offer groups such as MOPS. Even if the group is not focused on mothers, getting involved with other women will allow friendships to form. We all need friends, right!
4. Practitioners - Finding the right practitioners is another piece to this puzzle. It is invaluable for me to be able to take my kids or myself to see our care provider, and know that I can trust them with our health. I have very particular opinions about our healthcare (as do most moms I know), and I want to find people with whom I can work as a team with.
There are many other avenues for you to connect with other moms. Creating this village is very important because we shouldn't have to do this alone.