It takes a village to raise a child, says the old African proverb. From the first days of becoming a parent, professionals insist that you use the support structures around you; generally, family and close friends, as it can be a tough adjustment, especially while coping with sleep deprivation. What if your support structure isn‘t around if you don‘t live near family or don‘t have friends who understand what it’s like? This has become increasingly common in modern Ireland, as people move away from family for work or college, friends have emigrated or moved on for work or relationships, and you are left home alone with your newborn, wondering where that village has disappeared to.
I’ve written before about how fantastic I’ve found online parenting groups in helping me to muddle my way through the early days of raising my little boy. I’ve found them to be incredible sources of wisdom about the little things and places where I can gripe about how many times he was up last night and not get “Well, you knew what you were signing up for”. There have been many days where I’ve read blogs written by fellow Irish Parenting Bloggers when they’ve expressed their frustration or written about their days of everything going wrong and I’ve laughed hysterically or cried along with them, thanking every god out there that it isn’t just me, it isn’t my child and I’m not a bad Mammy because it is happening to other people.