As humankind develops, many people move away from a village cooperation mentality toward an independent mentality. In many ways this is a very popular and first world way of living. However, the ideal of being independent makes raising children much more difficult. Doing everything on your own is a recipe for exhaustion. Parents need time to rest. Sometimes parents need help with childcare, finances, or other issues. No one can do it all 100% of the time.
I often suggest that families create a village of support. Find people who will love and support you. Find people who are trustworthy and steadfast. Trust your instincts when choosing your village. Here are some ideas to help you create your village of support.
1. Look close to home. Do you have neighbors who are supportive and trustworthy? Are they willing to help when you need a hand or listen when you have a worry?
2. Pay attention when you are out and about. You may meet a like-minded parent or caregiver at the park, museum, book store, or other public place.
3. Look online, for example Yahoo Groups or Meetup.com groups, for others who share your interests or parenting style. Make sure the groups meet in public places. Then, you can get to know the members and discern who is a positive, safe person to get to know better.
4. Don’t underestimate family. Sometimes family members are critical of parents. However, if you sit down and chat about the reasons you parent the way you do, family members may turn out to be supportive.
5. If you need trustworthy and occasional child care, check local high schools and universities. Focus on those who are working toward a degree that will help children. Future occupational therapists, speech pathologists, teachers, and nurses are just a few possible people for which you may look.
6. Remember, a local base of support is fabulous, but support can also come from long distance sources. Be open to receiving information or support via phone, email, Skype, and other long distance options.