2 min read

They Say “It takes a village to raise a child”... and they couldn’t be more right. As a Mom I’m proud of the work I do for my family, at the beginning I was a little stubborn, wanting to do it all myself. I’ve learned since to play my strengths and reach out for help when it’s needed. There’s certainly no shame in asking for help, especially when it’s - what is best - for your child.

So how do you build and strengthen your village, especially now, in a socially distanced world? The tips below should help.

 

1. Ask for it.

Whether you're looking for support, commiseration, or random ideas - voice your need. Defining what it is you’re looking for, will help you narrow down your request and allow others to help you find it.

Asking might feel a little weird, or scary, but not only can asking for help - bring you the help you need but it can also result in deeper bonds and relationships. A neighbor asking if you want something from the grocery store is a great example. Taking them up on their offer is the first step in building your village.  This also takes us to our second tip...

 

1. Keep an eye open for Unlikely Friends

A friend of mine used to just say a polite “hello, how are you” with her elderly neighbour. Recently, due to the pandemic that relationship expanded into her picking up a few items at the store for him every week. Learning more about him and his experiences opened the door for him to help tutor her 12 year old daughter in math. You never know when or where a valuable resource or connection will occur, keep it in the back of your mind and that way you’re ready to ask when the moment presents itself. 


3. Join the community around you.
As adults, it’s hard to make new friends. During a pandemic, it's impossible - or NEAR impossible. My friend Diane moved to a new home several months ago. They were expecting their second baby at the time and needed more space with a great school nearby. She found it, but not being able to host a housewarming or a block party was frustrating for her. So Diane ended up creating a “Free Shelf” on her front lawn. It started similar to a free garage sale - any unwanted items were put out. Diane met a lot of neighbours this way, mostly because the items she had out, provided great talking points or conversation starters with neighbours walking by. When they were out of those household items to give away, Diane started offering baking. She eventually started hanging out - out front of her house, drinking her morning coffee, offering muffins to passerbys. From doing this she built strong relationships in her neighbourhood; not only gaining a couple options for babysitters, but Moms started bringing her stuff she needed for the new baby, and her toddler as they grew.