Being a parent can be the most joyful time of your life.

You are responsible for protecting, educating, nutritiously feeding, disciplining and most of all loving your child. All of these tasks and more make your job as a parent the most important job of your life but noone says you have to do it alone.

Building your village, a network of friends and professionals that can help you with this mighty task of yours, is a way of stacking the deck in your favor. Your village will be built with people who share your own values, have the same interests, and can offer you the most support when you need it.

Your village will have many roles:


Within your village, you will host people who hold the same general values and philosophies as you. These will be the people you will bounce ideas with, discuss your questions about your kids and get guidance when you need it.


Within your village, you will include resources which may include trusted sitters, childcare centers,and other parents with children of the same age. If you are a single parent or both parents work out of the home, this will be a very important pillar in your village.


Part of parenting, part of being human, is the need to brag and sometimes to whine. Hopefully you conciously spend more time bragging than you do whining, but the point is that you will need a trusted place to bring these rantings.

When your child has a great achievement like taking their first steps, or making all A's on their report card, it is important to have a place to bring this joy. When you haven't slept in 3 days because your children got the stomach flu one after another, you need a place to whine.

Within your village, you will include some trusted people to share both your triumphs and your frustrations. Without a way to celebrate with people or to vent your struggles, a deep kind of depression can lurk right around the corner.

Spending Time on the Holidays

Finding a place to spend your holidays is a very important part of building your village. Don't discount the importance of surrounding yourself with people. Even better, you should be able to be yourslef during the holidays, relax with others and interact socially.

What your village is not

Your village is a support system. It is where you can bounce off your ideas but it does not take the place of your own conviction and common sence. You will not always agree with the advice or suggestions of others and it is up to you to accept that.

Your village is not a replacement for your own family. Although many parts of your village will be geographiclly closer than your nuclear family, new people in your life will not have the same roots, history, or commitment to you. No one can replace your core family but a custom built village can make life a bit easier.

Author's Bio: 

Brenda Trott, M.Ed, author of Build Your Own Village, enables parents and teachers with the tools they need to feel organized and in control. Former teacher and mother of four children, she understands first hand the challenges facing parents and started to support them with free resources such as the #1 Secret to Positive Parenting.