Motherhood can bring amazing rewards, as any mother will tell you. However, it can bring a good measure of stress as well, leaving many mothers exhausted and even at an increased risk of depression. That’s why self-care for mothers is important. One of a mother’s greatest resources is social support. Because of this, friends and other mothers can be a valuable resource. Mothers need friends for several reasons:
Social Support: Social support is important for health and stress relief; it increases resilience, multiplies joy, and softens sorrow.
Sharing Advice: Nobody understands a mother’s issues like another mother who’s been through the same thing! While all mothers don’t experience all issues, or experience them in the same way, the wisdom of having been there and the benefit of another mother’s answers can provide terrific solutions and provide reassurance. Moms of younger kids can benefit from the experience of more veteran mothers, and can gain confidence by helping out the more junior moms.
Getting Out There: Sometimes mothers can become so immersed in caretaking that they forget to do the things they enjoy. Other moms can help a mother get out there and enjoy what they enjoy doing!
Here are some tips for using mother friends and social support to relieve stress and stay at the top of your game as a mom:
Get Together for Play Dates: Meeting for play dates with other mothers and their children can provide positive social interaction for the kids and a nice dose of female bonding for the moms.
Have a Moms Night Out: While it’s fun to get together with the kids, getting together with mother friends one night a month or so can provide a whole different experience. Over dinner, the most interesting topics of conversation can arise: how husbands were met, what other moms were like pre-kid, etc. It offers a whole new level of fun and bonding, and gives moms a break.
Maintain Variety: Another great benefit of motherhood is that it connects women who would otherwise have little in common, or not even cross paths. Women can really benefit by connecting with other moms who are years younger or older, from a different background, or otherwise different from the friends she would usually seek out.
Help One Another: Moms can even give one another some needed nights out by forming a babysitting co-op. They can help make difficult times easier by bringing dinners to new moms or offering aid in times of crisis. These activities build a sense of community and set a good example for kids, and everyone benefits.
Go Online: Today’s moms have an amazing resource in the internet. Not only is it now easy to research any problem a mom may be experiencing, but the ability to forge a support system that conveniently fits into spare pockets of time is invaluable.
Keep In Touch With Old Friends: Motherhood changes a woman in many ways. Old friendships often change, but shouldn’t be forgotten. Keeping close with old friends helps a mom stay connected to who she is as a person, and both parties can benefit by growing into a new phase of relationship