Today I had a personal issue come up and it was time to dial some friends for support asap. I needed someone who knew the history behind my circumstances, and someone who would listen and empathize, rather and help me to solve a problem. It got me to thinking about all the people in my support system I could choose to call and how important they are to us.
As parents, there are plenty of days when we feel overwhelmed, too busy, stressed, and in some kind of crunch. During these times, it sometimes feels like we are alone to face our stress. But the truth is, most of us have at least a short list of people we count on for different things in our lives and each one may offer something different to us than the others. For example, one friend may be a good listener when it comes to your marriage difficulties, while another friend may be better at helping with childcare crunches.
Identifying these people in our lives can be comforting in times of stress. Your list may be long or short, but having a list is the key. An easy exercise to do is list the names of people in your life that you consider supportive in some way. Then, describe how they are helpful and when you can call on them. Be sure to write these down because the act of writing and visually seeing your support network is important. I attached one below as an example.
If you find you don’t have much of a support network, then it is imperative you get one. Think about what relationships you can foster more, reseach local support groups and play groups, or make efforts to meet some other parents at your child’s daycare or school. A support system is important for your health and therefore, your child’s health!!
I would love to hear how this worked for you or if you have any other suggestions on this topic!