Starting a support system can help you feel more balance in your life, especially when a crisis hits. If you have never defined what being supported means to you, you might be surprised where you are lacking it or where you are blessed in receiving it. Below is a sample list of support areas – some may seem obvious while others you may find surprising.
- to feel a part of a family
- to feel loved
- to have fun
- to feel a part of a community
- to affirm or explore your spirituality
- to accomplish tasks like lawn care, plumbing, accounting
In order to develop your support system you first need to find your own definition of support. Do you need to have someone to call at a moments notice for childcare issues? Or do you need to have a regularly scheduled babysitter?
Your second set is to make a list of support areas and indicate where you are not getting the support you need. Prioritize the most important areas of support for you.
Now how do you get it?
Some support areas seem easy to solve – need all the suppliers to help with managing your home and life? – then make a list from accountant and lawyer to plumber and fix-it person. Fill out the list with names of people you can call at a moments notice so no time and stress is lost when you need one. Ask friends and associates and relatives for referrals during the normal course of your work or social time and within a couple weeks you will have a complete list.
A seemingly more difficult support system to build is community. The expression “it takes a village to raise a child” can be understood as you find yourself overwhelmed with the responsibilities of car pooling, doctor visits, social and psychological development, homework help, vacation planning and other events surrounding your child’s life and your own life. Because we often no longer have the support of a small town or extended family community building must be a conscious choice. Build your community person by person. Think about the people you need in your life: friends and confidants, co-carpoolers, neighbors, a grandparent figure. After you’ve determined what people you need in your life you need to reach out and make the first step.