I knew as I prepared for having my first child that I would need and want help those first few weeks of motherhood. Numerous people told me how beneficial it would be to have my mother and any other family around to help. People to bring over meals because I would be too exhausted to cook or do anything other than feed my baby for that matter.
As my son grew older I realized how beneficial it was to have friends and family that were there for me as a new mom and my family in general.
Immediate Family –
My parents and in-laws may live 2-4 hours away, but they will be at our house in a heartbeat if we need them. After my son was born I went to my hometown, and stayed with my parents for a couple days because I enjoyed the comfort of my home growing up. My tiny apartment also made me feel super claustrophobic and didn’t help my baby blues. My sister lives in my hometown and has 5 girls, so she was also a great person to talk to when I had questions. Am I doing this right? Am I crazy for feeling this way? Why won’t he stop crying!?
I am blessed that many of my close friends from college moved to Austin. They are the best when it comes to babysitting. I don’t think they will ever know (until they have their own), how much I truly appreciate them watching my son so my husband and I can have a date night. To be able to save money is truly a blessing. Although, I try to pay them with a bottle of booze : ) Not the greatest payment for a babysitter? Eh…they love it.
We lucked out by having the absolute best neighbors one could ask for. Literally 4 houses almost in a row, all in the same life stage, all with young kiddos, and we all get along. How crazy is that? My neighbor actually watches my son while I’m at work. Almost daily we will find ourselves congregating in our front yards to chat. We work out together, go to the park together, party together, and have weekend game nights together. Most importantly we help each other. We celebrate our children’s achievements, vent about our issues, and ultimately support each other through whatever is going on in our lives.
I can’t imagine how hard it would be to move away from family and friends to a different state or city, but my advice would be to try your best to find your village. Get connected whether that be through a neighborhood playgroup, church, at the gym, etc. Meet your neighbors, you never know what connection you might make.
:: Do you have a village? ::