If you’re a mum, you’re a wonder woman! Keep up the great work.
But there’s something a lot of you aren’t doing and it worries me!
Something you need to do for YOU!
And that is, build your support network!
No ‘mum’ is an island. It takes a village to raise a child. Many hands make light work. The list of sayings are endless and very true.
I am so very blessed and fortunate to have an extended support network. I’ve had to build one for myself for my own sanity and because as a single mum, I couldn’t do without it.
This week I’ve had to go away for work. Well I didn’t HAVE to but the opportunity paid about 3 or 4 times more than a normal week here at home would so obviously with three kids at school I chose to take the opportunity. I could not have done this without my support network. Firstly my 21 year old niece lives with us and does a brilliant job helping out, but she works as an Assistant in Nursing and therefore isn’t available for a lot of the time. In stepped my first line of support. Another single mum, a good friend, who we have shared ‘kids’ and supported each other for the better part of the past six years. She’s the one who taught Dan to swim! Her kids are like ‘step-siblings’ to my kids. We are like family. I couldn’t do life without her, and vice versa. This kind of kindred support is priceless.
There are many many other friends I can call on for one off favours (and I do, THANK YOU) and sporadic favours and this fills the holes of the primary line of support. These people are priceless. These people are the village that helps raise my kids with me. I depend on them a great deal and am extremely happy when I get to reciprocate the favours.
And then there’s my social network. That group of girls who it doesn’t matter where they live in the country they are there for me, and I for them, at any time (child related or not). Catching up with them is filled with laughter, hugs, laughter, food, laughter, and they are lifelong blessings. I am so blessed to have a good two handfuls of them in my life. I love them so much.
If you don’t have support networks it’s time YOU started building them. It’s up to YOU to reach out to others. Not everyone will fit into your ‘network’ and that’s fine. Find your tribe, find your people, find your niche support group. Invite other mums out for a cuppa or make play dates for your kids at a public place. Initiating the contact can cause anxiety and stress for some of you, I know, I understand. But you have to do it. It’s for your own sanity, your own welfare and your own happiness.
So my challenge these school holidays.. let your support network know how much you appreciate them, and if you are yet to build your support network, set yourself some challenges:
- Organise at least three public place play dates
- Invite another mum or two for a cuppa with or without kids
- If you get knocked back by the first one or two invites, don’t take it personally many people are super busy and others have issues that aren’t yours. Try another. Look at your neighbourhood, neighbours, class mates of your kids, mums you run into in the shops a lot (this isn’t always coincidence – one of the people I hold dearest in the universe stalked me in a shopping centre and now I can’t imagine life without her).
In addition to help with the kidsitting and mental support, the other aspect to consider is as mums we have an expiry date on being ‘needed’. Sure as kids grow older they still ‘need’ their mums, they just don’t ‘NEED’ their mums 24/7 and what does mum do then?
If mum has built her own hobbies, career and/or interests she is just fine (well almost fine it’s never easy as they learn to fly and leave the nest which begins around 13 for most of them. .. damn that first year of highschool). If she has built herself a support network it’s a heck of a lot easier.
I can’t espouse support groups enough. They are there in the good times, the hard times, the rough times, the laughter and the tears and everything in between and as parents, they are crucial. Let yours know how much of a blessing they are to you, and if you don’t have one yet go get yourself one. If you’re in mine, THANK YOU I LOVE YOU and I HOPE I show it often enough <3
Now, don’t forget if you’re after a Christmas gift for your teen or a teenager you know then check out Practical Tips for Teens HERE
AND, If you’re looking to book a holiday, check out wotif.com .. I’m now an affiliate which means I get to feed the kids when you book a holiday through them 🙂
Enjoy the craziness that is the end of year school calendar.
PS This pic is of myself with two gorgeous mumsat a fundraiser we ran together supporting another family.