Mom has been alone with Baby Zap too much. She is lonely and bored, and Baby Zap is feeling this way too. When the doorbell rings, Mom is happy to have someone to talk to, but the vacuum cleaner salesperson isn't really interested. Mom feels like she is going crazy, and that the walls are 'closing in on her.' She knows that she needs support and has to get out of the house. She scoops up Baby Zap and goes to her nearest community resource centre, where she can talk with other mothers. Baby Zap is glad to be out, too.
Most communities offer resources and support programs for parents. Ask your doctor, community health centre or check the Yellow Pages to find out about them. Local churches, libraries and schools often have programs.
No one parents alone. Everybody needs a support system of friends, family and neighbours.
You should ask for help when you need it - no one should criticize you for it . In fact, it shows you're being smart. If your own network of friends and family can't help with the particular problem, there are professionals who can, such as your child's doctor, your doctor, a public health professional or a social worker.
You need to take care of yourself in order to be able to best care for your child. That means getting some exercise, enough rest, eating properly - and having a little time to do whatever you want. It's a balancing act, to be sure, but
one that's necessary for the good of everyone involved. If you're constantly exhausted and unhappy, how can you do the best for your child? Your important relationships, too, may suffer. That's why it's good to have help.
You and your child need to get out and socialize. Most mothers have times where there is no one to talk to, and adults need and enjoy the company of other adults. This is natural. When you feel trapped, it's important to get out of the house with your child. It's especially helpful to go where there are other parents. You can share experiences and advice, and give each other sympathy and encouragement. And playing with other children and different toys is good for your child, too.
Food for Thought:
- How do you find the programs and resources available to parents in your community?
- What about finding support professionals?
- What is the worst part about asking for help? Do you feel you get enough time for yourself?
- How could you have more?