“It takes a village” have you heard that one before? It’s one of the many parent-isms that we hear on this journey through raising our kids. Support. It’s one of the first places I go with a new client in our first session because it’s THAT important. So many moms I work with tell me that they have trouble delegating or asking for help. Whether it is babysitting for a date night or that person you lean on for advice because she is a few years ahead of you in this parenting game, we all need the support of other people. There are 4 main categories for support and I think it’s important to start generating your list of people you can call on when you need it.
- Emotional: this category we think of when hear the word “support”. Who will listen to you vent? Who is someone who you trust that will be there and listen with no judgement?
- Instrumental: help or service. Who is the person that, in a pinch, will run over and watch your kids if you need it?
- Informational: advice, suggestions or information. Do you have that friend that seems to just know A LOT? Where are the best swim lessons? Any after school-care options in our area? Where is a great restaurant for date night? Does teething EVER end? These friends are in the know and we should use them to our full advantage. Ask away.
- Appraisal: has information that is useful for self-evaluation. Who is that person that will be honest with you and tell it like it is? Who will point out your strengths, but will let you know if something doesn’t seem like a good idea. Who’s the person who will tell you how your butt really looks in those jeans?
It is not easy to give up control and let other’s help you. We are supposed to be able to do it all and do it really well even if it is at the risk of burnout and compromising our mental and physical health. This may be a good time to take inventory of who is on your list of supports. Who has your back?
Hillary Pilotto, MA, LCPC is a licensed clinical therapist with New Dawn Wellness Group. She is trained in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She sees patients at both Oak Lawn and Orland Park location. www.NewDawnWellnessGroup.com