How to Build Your Village
Raising a child is a journey. A village is a group of people who come together to support each other and their families. They can provide childcare, emotional support, and practical help.
So how do you build your village?
Start with your close friends and family. These are the people who are most likely to be there for you through thick and thin. Let them know that you need their support, and be specific about what you need help with.
Reach out to your community. There are many organisations and groups that offer support to families. Look for groups that are specific to your needs, such as playgroups for stay-at-home mums and dads, or support groups for parents of children with special needs.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's okay to admit that you need help. In fact, it's a sign of strength. When you ask for help, you're opening yourself up to receiving support from others.
Be willing to give back. Once you've built your village, be sure to give back. Offer to help others in need, or volunteer your time to a local organisation. This will help to strengthen your village and create a sense of community.
Who Should Be in Your Village?
Your village can include anyone who you feel comfortable asking for help. This could include your friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, or members of your community. It's important to have a variety of people in your village, so that you can get the support you need in different areas.
Here are a few examples of people who might be in your village:
A close friend who can come over to watch your children for a few hours so you can have some time to yourself.
A family member who can help out with childcare when you need to work.
A neighbour who can walk your dog or take your children to the park.
A co-worker who can share tips on parenting or offer emotional support.
A member of your community who can connect you with resources or offer support.
Your village may change a lot when your little one is between 0 and 5 years old. When your little one is first born, your village may consist of your immediate family and close friends. But as your child grows and develops, you may find yourself relying on a wider range of people for support. This could include:
Your health visitor or GP
Parenting groups such as Peanut to meet like-minded parents
Apps like Nextdoor which help you find people to help you with everyday tasks.
Identifying Your Needs
It's totally normal to not feel supported at times, especially when you're sleep-deprived and feeling overwhelmed. If you're feeling isolated or unsupported, there are a number of things you can do to reach out for help. There are many parents who feel the same way you do.
Babbu's recent research showed that:
2 in 10 parents feel that they do not have people near them when they need support.
70% of Mothers and Fathers feel that being a parent is very stressful.
Over half of parents with children under five feel lonely.
How to Ask for Help
It can be difficult to ask for help, especially when you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed. But it's important to remember that everyone needs help sometimes. Here are a few tips for asking for help:
Be specific about what you need help with. This will make it easier for the other person to know how they can help.
Be honest about how you're feeling. This will help the other person understand why you're asking for help.
Be willing to compromise. Sometimes, you may not get exactly what you want when you ask for help. Be willing to compromise and work with the other person to find a solution that works for everyone.
How to Set Boundaries and Agree on How You Want to Raise Your Child
When you're building your village, it's important to set boundaries and agree on how you want to raise your child. This will help to avoid conflict and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Here are a few tips for setting boundaries:
Be clear about your expectations. Let the other people in your village know what you're comfortable with and what you're not comfortable with.
Be respectful of the other person's boundaries. Just as you expect them to respect your boundaries, you should respect theirs.
Be willing to negotiate. Sometimes, you may need to compromise on your boundaries. Be willing to do this if it means that everyone can be happy.
Be willing to get a second opinion. Seek advice from other friends or parents for some tips that have worked for them in a similar situation.
Agreeing on how you want to raise your child can be a challenge. But it's important to have these conversations early on. This will help to avoid conflict and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Be open-minded. Be willing to listen to the other person's perspective and consider their ideas.
Be willing to compromise. Sometimes, you may need to give in on some things in order to reach an agreement.
Be willing to revisit the conversation. As your child grows and changes, you may need to revisit these conversations and renegotiate your agreements.
Building your village takes time and effort, but it's worth it. A village of supportive people can make a big difference in your life and the life of your child.
Don’t forget that Babbu has its own ‘Virtual Village’, here to help you get through the tough times and find joy in the everyday.
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