Everyone has heard of the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” But what about a mother? So often, after the baby is born, mom gets forgotten, and baby takes her place as the priority with friends and family. It’s quite a bizarre transition as a mother when you think about it. One day, you are pregnant, and everyone is incredibly concerned with your well-being. As soon as your baby is born, that little one becomes everyone’s focus. Of course, it’s not their fault. Excitement for a new baby is natural. But we need to remember that moms need support just as much, if not more, than anyone else. In fact, moms need support not just in the fourth trimester but throughout the entire parenting journey.
Here are some reasons why we believe that it takes a village to raise a mother:
Reasons It Takes a Village to Raise a Mother
Getting advice from fellow moms who have walked in your footsteps before is the best kind of advice! Experience is the best educator. And moms everywhere love to help out a fellow mom with advice that has worked for them. You might actually receive a lot of unsolicited and unwelcome advice. Some might be helpful and some might not. Remember only to take the words of advice that serve you and your baby. Of course, all moms need to learn what works best for themselves and their little ones, but it certainly helps to have a starting point.
No one can better empathize with a struggling mom than another mom who has been through it or is currently going through it as well. Being a mom is hard work! There is an incredible amount of emotional, mental, and physical labor that takes place as you raise a child.
Sometimes you just need someone to acknowledge that your feelings are valid and that whatever you feel is completely normal. It helps take away the feelings of loneliness and isolation when someone can reassure you that they are experiencing the same things or have been in your shoes and that it can and will get better.
There is an inherent sense of tribal knowledge amongst moms. The experience that you gain simply by mothering, making mistakes (yes, we all make mistakes even if it seems like we have it all together), and learning from those mistakes is invaluable. Learning from the mistakes you and others make while walking the journey of parenthood is something you will never find in a book.
Gadgets and guidelines change from generation to generation. With today’s technology, things change even faster regarding what is safe and acceptable for child-rearing. It is still important to learn from the inherent knowledge that friends and family carry with them every day.
Diversity of Thought
Every mom I know tends to approach scenarios with their children differently, even if the differences are slight. I love going to my mom friends and my mom for their thoughts. Each of them has different experiences which shape their opinions.
At times, multiple opinions can be overwhelming. But it usually helps me think logically about a problem and determine the best way to move forward for my family. My favorite advice that I have received as a mom is from the women who think differently than I do. Having diversity in your village is critical to helping you learn and develop into the strong and confident mother that you are!
The Internet is NOT always an Expert
Searching on the internet for your concerns or problems regarding your experiences in motherhood can be pretty frightening. So often, the results that land at the top of a search results page can be worst-case scenarios. Going to my network of moms has helped me filter out some of the scarier parts of the internet but allows me to raise alarms to our medical care team or other professionals when it is truly necessary.
My son had an expressive speech delay. Without my network of mom friends, I would have never gotten him the diagnosis and help he needed in a practical and effective manner. Searching on the internet sent me into a tailspin with misleading information. The steps it offered towards early intervention were vague and unclear. This is one situation that I would have never been able to find on the internet!
Raising children is hard enough. It’s even harder trying to do it on your own. Find a group of moms you trust, who provide valued advice and empathy, and never let them go! They will be one of your most valuable resources as you navigate the beautiful challenges of motherhood.