“Those who receive support feel valued, those who lend their support experience increased self-esteem and self-confidence” - The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
The CMHA also states that, “One of the greatest benefits of social support is that it helps people deal with stress. Having someone to talk things out with reduces stress and protects you from the physical damage stress causes.”
Now that I have experienced pregnancy, childbirth and raising a child (so far), I love lending my support and sharing my experiences with others. I have a few close friends who are pregnant or have children younger than mine that will send me emails asking different questions on various topics and I truly look forward to replying to them. Facebook is also a great place to connect and bounce ideas off each other. And now with blogging I have found a whole new level of lending and receiving support.
When I was pregnant and preparing for baby, I emailed friends asking for their advice on baby products and gear. I really appreciated their thoughtful advice and hearing their experiences. There is so much information out there and it’s hard for a new mother to know which product to go with or which expert to listen to. And in experts I don’t mean “expert moms". I’ve met a few moms that have that “know-it-all” and “do it this way" attitude, but all you can do is shrug it off, laugh and not take it to heart.
I’ve learned that the best approach is to “do what’s best for you and your family”. Go with your gut. When I offer my support, I like to start off by saying “this is what worked for me” because we all know that every baby is different and not one method or product will work for everyone. In mentioning what worked for me, hopefully it will help them find their way too.
I have a new found confidence since having my child and part of that is from lending support to others. I have found my feet in supporting and assisting others with similar experiences or in similar situations. It makes me feel great to know that something I mentioned in our friendly chats helped a friend get through a sleepless night with a newborn or ease a screaming baby from tummy cramps.
Lending support makes me feel valued and confident and has opened my eyes to all kinds of exciting opportunities.