It Takes a Village: Building a Good Support System for You and Your Kids

We all know this saying: It takes a village to raise a child.

That’s a great idea, but upon deeper reflection, it opens up a lot of questions, especially for those moms without an overflow of support from close loved ones. These questions might look something like this:

Who should be in my village? How do I find a village? Do I make a village myself? What if I’m more introverted and don’t love the idea of a village of people surrounding me? Will my children miss out if they don’t have a village supporting them?

Let’s remind ourselves that everyone’s situation is different. Some of us have large families, big groups of lifelong friends, and plenty of mothering role models. Others do not have that, and that’s ok. 

Still, having support as a mom and a child is important. Your village does not have to be extensive to be helpful. The principle of “quality over quantity” applies here.

Your village should include people who genuinely love you and your children, have your best interests at heart, and bring positivity to your lives. These are the people you may want to share holidays with, notify when your child reaches a major milestone, or call when you have a question. They will celebrate with you, help you, and support you through the ups and downs of life.

If you’re creating a village, or simply looking at your various relationships from a new parenting lens, consider the roles these people play in your life and the lives of your kiddos.


It Takes A Village: Building A Good Support System For You And Your Kids

Ideally, you will have a partner who will parent your children with you. This could be a spouse, life partner, or even an ex who has committed to civil co-parenting. Some women – and men – are on their own, though. If that is your situation, know that you are not alone.

Whether you have a partner or are looking for a partner, remember that this relationship should be all about respect. Both people should be working together equally for the safety, health, and development of the children involved. Children will look up to you and your partner for their entire lives; make sure this relationship is full of love and positivity so that the kids have a good example to turn to when it is time for them to choose partners in the future. It is vital that this relationship is a model of what a healthy relationship can look like.

READ MORE: The Online Village: Why Moms Are Always on Their Phones

Family and Friends

It Takes A Village: Building A Good Support System For You And Your Kids

Family is often a key part of the village. It’s great when kids can be surrounded by grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, and others who will spend time with them, build relationships with them, and be there for them at every turn. They are often excited to babysit, help out during times of sickness or financial distress, and celebrate every achievement in big ways.

Now, not everyone has many (or any) relatives to turn to. Luckily, when they say “it takes a village,” they aren’t just referring to blood relatives. Your friends – especially those friends who are more like family – are also important. Your friends can cheer you on as a parent and offer help and support just as much as a blood relative.

Some of your friends may have kids of their own and can offer parenting advice, give hand-me-down clothes and playgroup recommendations, and truly empathize with your feelings as a mom. Some of your friends may not have kids, and they may be unsure how they can be supportive. Still, if they have a desire to be supportive of you and your child, find ways to connect and maintain your friendship. All support is helpful, even if it looks a little different between different friends.

If you do not have friends and family who are offering support, you can build these relationships with new people. It will take some effort and going outside of your comfort zone. Look for playgroups in your area, possibly at your local library. Join mom groups on Facebook and sign up for the Peanut app. Consider joining a family-friendly church or gym. As you build friendships, your child will also have opportunities to make friends.

Medical Professionals

It Takes A Village: Building A Good Support System For You And Your Kids

Qualified medical professionals should definitely be part of your village. Doctors, nurses, dentists, and others will be vital to you as questions arise about your child’s health. When it comes to health and safety, never rely on simple internet searches or old wives’ tales. You will always get more accurate, well-researched, and up-to-date information from an educated person in the medical field.

You might wonder how you can find a professional you can trust. Try asking family and friends for recommendations with details about why certain providers are recommended or not recommended. Search for recommendations in Facebook mom groups. Call doctors’ offices and ask questions. Make notes about what you like and don’t like with each interaction. 

Here are a few questions you might ask a medical professional:

  1. What is your professional and educational background?
  2. My child has a history of ___________. Do you have experience with that?
  3. How do you stay current on research and best practices?
  4. How can I get a hold of your office after hours if I have a question?
  5. How can I communicate with your office in an emergency?

If you’d like additional discussion points, check out

It is important to feel comfortable with this person. This is the individual who will offer you guidance about vaccinations, possible surgeries, medications, and more. If you do not trust the doctor you chose, always know that you have every right to find a new one. 

READ MORE: 5+ Tips On How To Be A Strong Support System For A Friend During A Tragedy

Faith Leaders

It Takes A Village: Building A Good Support System For You And Your Kids

When the phrase “it takes a village” is mentioned, do you think of faith leaders? If not, that’s okay. You may or may not have a spiritual or religious background. If you choose to not participate in a church or religious group, that’s completely up to you. Just know, as your child gets older, he or she may want to explore religion, and it will be important for you to be involved in that process.

Whether or not you practice a religion yourself, make sure your child is safe if he or she attends worship services with you or with family and friends. Meet with the children and youth leaders. Ask about background checks and professional qualifications. Ask your child what he or she may be learning and how they feel about it. Find out what activities and resources are available for your child and your family as a whole.

Churches and religious organizations can be incredibly helpful to all of us individually. Faith can bring a sense of purpose to one’s life. Make sure that the leaders in your kids’ lives are uplifting them and motivating them to do good in the world and be their best selves. The best leaders will be able to offer guidance to your child without pushiness or judgment.

Mentors and Teachers

It Takes A Village: Building A Good Support System For You And Your Kids

It wouldn’t be a proper village without mentors and teachers. You as a parent are primarily responsible for your child’s development. Still, you are only one person with only so much knowledge and experience. Teachers and mentors can help fill in gaps in areas that are not your expertise.

If your child is struggling in a school subject, lean on his or her teacher and ask for additional resources to help your kiddo. Maybe you hire a reputable tutor to get one-on-one help. If your child needs more of a challenge or seems bored in school, reach out to the teacher for books your child might enjoy or extracurricular clubs your child could join. If your child wants to learn more about a topic that you know nothing about, sign him or her up for a class at a community center or library. 

Coaches, scout leaders, instructors, and other adults can become amazing role models for your children. They can help them identify their strengths, improve their weaknesses, find their passions, and lead productive lives.

READ MORE: Pros and Cons of Joining an Online Support Group

Cherish Your Village 

It Takes A Village: Building A Good Support System For You And Your Kids

“It takes a village to raise a child.” Luckily, the most important member of that village is you. The people you invite into your village are there to support you through love and help. As you grow your village, you create a world of positive influence for you and your little one, a group of people who will help you all thrive. These are the people who will keep your child safe and help them be well-rounded. Cherish your village and look forward to helping others with their little ones, now and in the future.

Check out Mom Friends: The Constant Struggle To Find Adult Friendship As A Mom for more advice, tips, and tricks.


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It Takes A Village: Building A Good Support System For You And Your Kids
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