I was recently listening to a podcast by Big Birth Junkie where her guest, Genevieve Slonim (aka. Birth of a Mama) happened to put a name to a practice that we've been advocating for for many years.
It's called Community Care. And it was music to my ears to hear that women across the globe were doing this AND it was normal.
So what does it mean? It's about supporting new mums, parents and families to practice self care. Because when you're baby arrives it is a HUGE effort to really do anything by yourself. It requires help!
As Genevieve mentions, you can barely take a shower on your own when you have a baby.
And this is where the idea of Community Care is so very important.
In order for mums and dads to be the best they can be they need our help. Help to allow them the time to 'check out' and focus on THEM. Their bodies and minds. How on earth can we expect them to be the best versions of themselves otherwise??
I have had the privilege of working with many mums (and dads!) who simply don't know when it's acceptable to ask for help. They are often ashamed to say that they need a time out, for fear of sounding like they can't do it, that the 'independent woman' they were trying to be is actually out of reach.
We need to step up.
As family, as friends, sisters, brothers, colleagues.
Drop over some food. Take older kids to the park. Nurse baby so mum can shower. Just be a supportive ear when they need to talk.
We can do so much better to empower parents to look after themselves and let them know that it is okay to do so. I would LOVE to know what the rates of postnatal depression, anxiety and depletion would look like if we did.
Spread the word. Don't shy away from new parents.
Let's make Community Care STANDARD practice for everyone.