Building a Support System and The Importance of Community for New Parents

They say it takes a village….

Becoming a Family

When a couple becomes parents, their world is upended. Community is very important for new parents, because we all need reinforcements to help us navigate new roles. You have probably heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but in fact, it takes a village to give parents the support they need to do the job. When you are expecting, you should begin building your support system, establishing a community for yourself.

Start with Your Family and Friends

In the early days, your biggest hurdle may be letting people know you need and value their support. Take your friends and family members up on their offers of help, whether that’s an offer to bring you a meal, help with laundry, provide some emotional support and help care for your new baby, or simply give advice. Lean on your friends, letting them know when you need their assistance, and making sure you are there for them, too.

Connect with Your Community

Sometimes, there are resources in the community that provide tangible assistance, like visitation services, diaper drives, meal delivery, or mommy and me outings. Look to your local library of community center for resources that can connect you to the people and programs that can offer support. If you are a member of a faith community, that community can provide a great deal of support as well, if you will simply reach out and let them know you need it. According to the National Institutes of Health, new parents who receive community support grow more confident in their parenting.

Make Friends with Your Neighbors

In our modern culture, it’s not uncommon for people living in the same neighborhood to be complete strangers. Make the effort to meet your neighbors, and you may be surprised at the level of support they can provide. Say hello when taking your baby for a stroll, bake some cookies at Christmas, and get contact information so that you and your neighbors can call or text when someone needs a hand. This will benefit you and also give you the opportunity to benefit others.

Join Some Groups

Pregnancy is an ideal time to join a parent support group. There are many that meet online, and this gives you the opportunity to connect with people who understand first hand what you are experiencing. Once your baby is born, take advantage of play groups, story times, puppet shows, and other community activities, where you can meet other people with young children. You may find that these people turn into friends and you are able to offer each other much needed support, but even if you don’t, interacting with people on an outing is beneficial for you and introduces your baby to social interaction.

As Your Child Grows

The community you are building will serve you, but it will also serve your children well. Having a protective network of adults surrounding your child helps teach the child how to interact with others, and show respect for adults. Being part of a larger community helps your children feel secure and also shows them that rules are universal. Build relationships with the parents of your children’s friends, and get to know their children, too. Encourage your kids to have hobbies and extracurricular activities, and don’t forget to pursue your own interests as well, ever widening your circle and giving your children a chance to practice social skills and learn about sharing, discipline and team work. Volunteer for things involving your child, like carpooling, coaching a team, becoming a room parent, teaching Sunday school, or serving with the PTA. This keeps you closely connected to your child’s world, while also demonstrating connection to the community.

Support for Your Family as it Grows

We hope these tips will help you to build a support system of community, to help you navigate parenthood. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people grow their happy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.