This originally published in TheSkimm.
Parent-centered advice, recs, and resources.
Mothers Need a Village—Here’s How to Make Sure You Have One
“For many, finding trusted support people and groups is intimidating. [And] we know asking for help in the way moms need is complicated. Consequently, some parents find themselves socially isolated and feeling lonely at a time when they need support the most,” says Nkechi Charles, MA, from the 4th Trimester Project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Her tips to feel less alone:
- Make it a goal to regularly connect with your favorite people: Text, call, FaceTime, or schedule a visit with someone you care about, and don’t be afraid to ask for support. Tools like this postpartum plan for new parents can help you think through the types of support you need, and help you communicate those needs with your friends and family.
- Be vulnerable and put yourself out there: Making new friends as an adult can be awkward, and intimidating. To start, try joining community groups that include kids, like IRL meetups at local storytimes or finding online support through Facebook parenting groups. It may be hard, but reaching out with a “hello” to a mom passing by or sending a message to a fellow parent on IG asking to grab coffee can lead to amazing friendships.
- Remember self-care is not selfish: It’s doing something that makes you feel like you. Prioritize your mental health to better care for yourself, baby, and loved ones. Maybe it’s reading or getting some fresh air. Just 15 minutes of solid self-care (even if it’s just to sleep) can do wonders.
- Seek professional help if needed: It’s important to care for your mental needs. If you aren’t feeling like yourself, tell your healthcare provider or reach out anonymously to a support hotline. And know that it gets better — the phases of parenthood pass quickly.