Your support network
Having a strong support network in place to share your family monsters with can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing. Knowing that you have people to rely on and that you don’t need to carry all the strain on your own is really important.
It’s important that you let friends and family know when you need support and when they can step away. Most people will assume that you are coping and doing okay unless you ask for help and support directly. So start a conversation with others who can help, as well as your family. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness – it shows that you understand when you need a bit of support.
Whist talking to your friends and family about your family monsters is the best place to start you may be entitled to additional support. If your child’s needs and family situation is more complex, your local authority might be able to offer support with respite services. They may be able to provide short breaks over weekends, sleepovers during the week or offer childminding for a couple of hours after school or during the school holidays.
If people offer you respite support then don’t be too proud to accept it. Caring for children can be hard however experienced you are in parenting and however much you love your child. Local authorities may offer nursery placements, holiday clubs or youth groups for babies, children and teens; meaning they get to enjoy some fun times and make new friends, and you get your rest.
- If you feel like you are lacking support but are unsure what kind of support you are missing or where to find it, sit down with a pen and paper and write a list. It might help you to realise for example that you have sufficient emotional support but may be lacking practical help.
- Think about what your support network looks like – think beyond your close friends and family. You might find support from work colleagues, people in similar circumstances to you, at your church, community group or online.
- Some people in your support network might not be able to physically help you out with your child but they might be able to help you in other really useful ways – e.g. by scheduling in a regular call with you so you can chat to them and let off steam.
Need more support?
Our free FamilyLine helpline is here to provide a listening ear, answer those particular parenting questions you have or help with guidance around more complex issues. All via telephone, text message or email for free.
Monday to Friday 9am-3pm and 6pm-9pm
Telephone: 0808 802 6666
Text message: 07537 404 282
Contacting us out of hours
Do you need FamilyLine but it’s out of our operation hours? You can either call back in our opening hours or if you’re in need now then you can contact our crisis line to get in touch with a trained professional.
Text FAMILYACTION to 85258
Our crisis messenger text service provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. We know that getting the correct support at the correct time is so beneficial which is why we’ve introduced our crisis line. This service is delivered in partnership with Shout.
Join the conversation
Join the conversation on social media and share your family monsters using
#MyFamilyMonsters. Let’s face our monsters together.