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Finding and Securing Help When You Need It

When you’re a parent, you have many roles that go beyond caretaking for your child. You’re an event planner, organizer, and executor. You’re a meal planner, a creative organizer, and a quick fixer when things break. You show up every day for your child in many different ways. Here are some ways to ask for help from friends, family, and community when you need it, so that you and your child can build the resilience you need to thrive.


Reflect and clarify how you can connect yourself with the support and resources you need.

When you’re trying your best to be a good parent, there are many reasons why you may not want to admit you need help. You might think asking for help is a burden to friends and family, or that you’re supposed to have it all together. You might experience feelings of failure, judgment, or overwhelm with other responsibilities. Remember you are not alone, and there are many different kinds of resources and support available to help you. And it doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult, or time-consuming.

Remember you are not alone, and there are many different kinds of resources and support available to help you.

Try journaling to get a better idea of your thoughts and feelings and to clarify your needs. Consider what kind of support would be most helpful specifically for you, and from whom. Is it parenting advice from friends and family, counseling from a mental health professional, or access to a consistent babysitter? Write it all down.


Identify concrete supports, and make a plan to reach out.

So you’ve identified your needs and the people in your community that will help you get there. A next step is to think about concrete and doable tasks for people you will reach out to. This is especially important if they’re not family members. Make it easy for others to lend a helping hand.

For instance, you might ask a friend for child-care one night a week or set up a meal schedule for friends and family to bring you meals. It might be helpful to talk to your partner about help with house chores. Or, you can ask friends and family about their experiences with the challenges you’re facing. Schedule an appointment with a psychologist or mental health counselor if that feels helpful for you.

You might choose someone to delegate tasks, responsibilities, and communication to. Or, you might set up a shared calendar where people can sign up to help with childcare or pitch in around the house.


Connect with confidence to your chosen community and other resources that can support you.

Now you’ve done the hard work of thinking and prioritizing. Trust yourself to reach out, and trust someone else in your network to lend a hand. Look at the list you made before to decide who to reach out to first and when. Think about how it’s most comfortable for you to communicate your needs — is it a text message, a phone call, or an in-person meeting?

Following up with people you reached out to already might be necessary. You might feel shy about it, but life gets busy sometimes. Be persistent when someone needs to follow up on something they promised. If they’re a trusted source of support, they’ll be glad you did.

Having the courage to connect with your community will make it easier to focus on being the incredible parent you want to be. When your child sees you ask for help, they’ll learn how to ask for it when they need it, too. It will also help you create deeper connections with your family, friends, acquaintances, and broader community. Like a house that needs solid bedrock to support its members, you also need that solid foundation to support your family. These simple tips will help you do just that, so that you can enhance the well-being of your children, the quality of your family life, and your full potential as a parent.

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