They say it takes a village to raise a child, and they are right! The ‘village,’ or rather the community that you are a part of, plays a significant role in the child-raising experience. Although applicable to all moms from different backgrounds, with varying career trajectories and family dynamics, a strong community connection can prove extremely helpful to mothers who are keen on striking a balance between work and raising a family. The process of giving birth and then raising a child requires all the logistic help that you can get. Here are some important lessons to keep in mind:
1. Working When You Have Children Is A Real Struggle
When you finally return to work after spending such precious time with your newborn, it becomes natural to get anxious when your child is no longer around you all the time. When you are at work, you worry about your baby; and when at home, you worry about your career.
2. The Support You Need Is Out There
Instead of being disheartened and rethinking your family plans, know that there are several success stories out there. There are several mothers who have successfully managed to balance a work-life with a family-life. Use them as inspiration and know that you have all the help you need out there.
3. You Are Not Alone
Unfortunately, there is no award for being a supermom. However, always remember that a happy and healthy mum will raise a happy and healthy child. And to achieve that, we promise, you need all the help you can get.
Getting In Touch With The Community
Scroll down to learn about the various ways you can manage a successful family and work life with the help of your community:
1. Finding Support Within Your Neighborhood
In addition to finding support within your family and extended family, try and find fellow parents who are in a similar spot as you. You’ll find your logistic and mental struggles to be the same—and hopefully bond over such struggles. Together, you can organize and divide the workload of group activities for the kids, picnics, babysitting hours, and eventually picking and dropping kids off at school.
Knowing that you have help just a call away provides you with a sense of protection that is hard to come by otherwise.
2. Balancing Home And Work
Some people hate bringing work home, whereas some people have no choice but to do it. Everyone has a different work schedule that demands different ideologies. And making sure that there is a desirable yet healthy meal on the table in the middle of all of this is a whole deal altogether! To avoid overworking and exhaustion, schedule a weekly or bi-weekly potluck! Instead of cooking up a big meal, make a serving portion of your best yet easy dish, take it to your friend’s place, and enjoy the little social break.
3. Managing During A Global Health Pandemic
In times of crisis, such as COVID-19, when everything has moved online, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage work and play at the same time! With the need to socially distance, the sense of community starts thinning. Interdependence and organizing picnics become next to impossible. However, remember that there is a large digital community out there trying to overcome the same problem! There are multiple blogs, Quora and Reddit chats, and e-books that address almost everything you would want to know. You can also enroll in hobby classes, download origami sheets, or podcasts to keep your kids engaged.
4. Other Forms Of Support Within The Community
For moms who don’t have immediate family members around, you can always look up nearby daycare centers. There are plenty out there with professional accreditation. They offer a safe and healthy socializing environment for your children. They also allow your child to get used to the concept of a school and staying away from home for long hours.
Like we said before, it takes a village to raise a child. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to build community ties. We understand that work gets busy, and you don’t have the time to socialize, but instead of thinking of it as socializing, think of it as a bonding experience for your children. And in that process, you may come out with more friends than you thought you needed!