As a mom of two kids (boy, 3 and girl, 1), I can honestly say I never thought I’d be the type of personal to talk to random people or ask for help. All that changed, especially as time went on and it seemed to get harder and harder. In this point in life, I am at a cross roads where half my friends are starting to get married and having kids and the other half are still living that single life (Party on sistas!). Therefore, especially in the beginning, motherhood was definitely isolated. These 5 tips will help you find the support you need.
Tip 1: Join a mom group – look for one that might fit your needs or lifestyle. Personally, I have found that joining multiple groups, giving them a feel, and then leaving ones that don’t fit has worked out. You can’t judge a book by its cover!
Tip 2: Seek out mom friends. When my son was born, I had no one else in my “friends” group who was close to having kids. It was definitely hard and as a result, I started reaching out to other moms and asking them for help. These women were mainly acquaintances but I had never really had a conversation with them before. It turned out to be just what I needed! Don’t be shy! Message someone on your friend’s list that has kids and ask them for help. You can even message me! The point is making sure you find solace in a mom friend somewhere. Chances are whatever you are going through you definitely are not alone.
Tip 3: Go out. Anyone that knows me knows I am not a fan of taking my kids anywhere (I am working on it lol). The thought of being out with the two of them myself gives me insane anxiety- but I do give it my best effort. Believe it or not, I have found support from other moms who are out at the grocery store, target, and the park, basically anywhere. We see each other and we have been there. We understand the struggle and having kids is always a great small conversation starter. An example, yesterday I was at ShopRite and a woman was struggling keeping her toddler from throwing the groceries on the floor. I started the conversation knowing she was flustered and probably embarrassed. Why? Because that was me last week! Kids have a way of doing everything and anything to see what we will do. My son took a baby food container and shattered it on the floor. I was stressed out and trying to find someone or something to clean it. A woman comes over and says don’t worry about it. It happens all the time. So I pay it forward and tell this mom the same thing. She had the instant look of relief on her face.
Tip 4: Be the friend you are searching for! Being able to support your friends or new acquaintances is always a good way to get support in return. In addition, it also makes you feel better by helping someone else. If you are more outgoing, reach out to other moms, ask them questions, and see how they are doing. You never know, they may be struggling for help and don’t know how to ask for it or where to find it. Nonetheless, you can provide the support and help that they need!
Tip 5: See a therapist (or any type of mental health professional). There is no shame in asking for help. Unfortunately, there is a huge stigma when it comes to post partum depression and anxiety. It is often brushed off as “baby blues” and in reality it is so much more than that. In addition, it can occur anytime after your child is born- there is no time limit. If you feel like something is off, it probably is. Follow your gut and get help. Don’t sit alone and hope it passes. You will wish you saw someone sooner. If you don’t know where to find one, you can ask your doctor, search your insurance database, ask other moms for recommends, or do a general search online. The options are endless
Getting support as a mom can be very challenging. In my experience with talking to other moms, more often than not, moms have no idea where to look to find help. If you know someone you may find this article helpful, share it with her. Save in your bookmarks for when you need to remind yourself where you can gain support. As moms, we tend to put ourselves last, and don’t seek help until it is too late or ever at all. Make a promise to yourself to reach out to someone and ask for help. No one will know you need it unless you ask for it!