Having never really been the most sociable of creatures, I’ve never really felt like I’ve had to have lots of people around me. Some people have hundreds of friends and always have to be busy seeing people, but a lot of the time I’m happy in my own space (and mind) and happy with my small group of close friends.
Or so I used to be.
Since becoming a Mother, I’ve begun to realise why community is integral to our lives and how it can really enhance your parenting experience. This is especially true if you’re a Stay At Home Mama, or if you work part-time.
The town I live in has a lovely community. When we first moved here I was 8.5 months pregnant, and it snowed a lot that winter… We live on top of a hill and I felt totally stranded and alone.
Especially when Nick went back to work after his paternity leave.
The first 6 months (and probably up to a year) of Busby’s life were tough; I didn’t really know anyone and everyone seemed to know each other, so I always felt like the outsider – even when I was included. My pre-Busby best friend lost interest in me pretty swiftly after giving birth, so the community on Twitter and through Blogging kept me sane. I honestly don’t know how I could have got through those months without the support from social media (thank you guys).
In the last 6-8 months Busby and I have started making friends (in the flesh) in our town and surrounding areas. In a past life the majority of my friends were male, but I have come to realise now that female friends (especially fellow Mothers) are a necessity; who else can sympathise when you’ve been up all night with a teething toddler? Who else can you moan about postpartum periods with? Who else understands your gin requirements without deeming you an alcoholic?
There are lots of benefits to community; from play-dates to get you and the toddler out of the house, to Mama-dates where prosecco and a good chat are required (sans toddler), to babysitting circles so you and your partner can have that rare date night.
I now understand why a community is so important in many cultures.
Has community enhanced your parenting experience?