Four Peoples You Need to Have in Your Life

We women have a queer sort of “job”: it’s essential and central, yet unnoticed and hidden all at the same time.

 

We’re strong, us women, but, at the same time, need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, need to recognize that, many times, we are vulnerable.

 

Westrern culture, and American culture specifically, puts bootstrap-pulling on a pedestal, and turns everything (but everything!) into a competition of sorts.

 

But… we’re women. We’re excellent at building connections, we thrive in communities. We’re so good at supporting each other — and do best when we have other, like-minded people supporting us as well.

 

So here are the four peoples you need in your life:

(and yes, I wrote “peoples” on purpose 😉 )

 

Your Physical Community

 

Whether for good reasons or not- so-good reasons, we all hit rough spots in life: times when, physically, we can’t do everything.

 

Times when we can’t do meals, can’t do carpools, can’t take care of our kids.

 

Your physical community are the friends and neighbors, siblings and parents who are available to step in and physically help out when you need an extra hand.

 

Sometimes, this community is the hardest to take from, the hardest to ask for – and perhaps even the hardest to be. We don’t know what someone else has on her plate, and may shy away from even asking.

 

But that’s what makes this community all the more valuable. Having someone who you know you can count on to help when they can – and to say no when they can’t! – is invaluable.

 

So who’s in your physical community? Did you move somewhere new and not get a chance to build those connections yet? Have you just gotten so used to pulling yourself up that you forgot you even could ask?

 

Reach out to someone and offer to do something for them at a time that you can. If someone offers something or some way to help, don’t demur — practice accepting help with the small things; say thank you and accept it.

 

Your Emotional Community

 

This community is a small one. Perhaps your sisters, or a select friend or two. Maybe it’s your mother, or your husband or your kallah teacher.

 

Or maybe it’s a mix.

 

Your Emotional Community is that person (or those people) you can turn to when you just need emotional support. 

 

A hug, a shoulder to cry on, someone to kvetch to.

 

If you don’t have one of these, make the time in your life to cultivate these friendships. An emotional community can be harder to build (especially if you’re the type of person who takes a while to really build a deep relationship), but, like all of your communities, is worth the investment.

 

Your Spiritual community

 

When you’re living in the realm of doing, and all that doing feels like an endless cycle, that spiritual boost is ESSENTIAL. (Did I write that big enough?)

 

That might be as simple and organic as a weekly Shabbos table conversation, it might mean going out for a shiur, or it might mean listening to a Torah Anytime class as you’re cleaning the house.

 

Or maybe, your Spiritual Community is just you and Hashem: davening once (or twice or three times!) a day, talking to Hashem throughout the day, or saying (really saying!) tehillim.

 

We may not have the chiyuv of learning every day, but that doesn’t make our need to connect any less crucial.

 

How do you create a Spiritual Community for yourself?

 

Your Intellectual community

 

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds discuss ideas.”

 

Having someone who shares similar hashkafa or ideologies and is facing a challenge similar to yours or is going through the same life stage as you is invaluable.

 

It’ll give you someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to brain dump and then organize with, help you make sense of something that may be confusing you or that you’re unsure of.

 

This past winter and spring, I was working with two mothers of newborns (and then not-anymore-newborns) who were friends with each other. Despite the age gap between their babies, and the fact that we were doing very different work due to their families’ different needs, my clients shared how powerful it was for them to have another like-minded mother to discuss the ideas and structure that we were working on.

 

Your Homework

 

Which community do you feel is the weakest for you? What’s one thing you can do this week to strengthen that community?

 

Share in the comments below!

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Comments (5)
  1. Shaindy

    Your Intellectual community.
    my friends all have 1 baby and i have 2 already kyh. working almost 7 hours a day out of the house. running a house with suppers cleaning laundry putting kids to sleep every night… all it takes to be a mom of 2 precious kids kyh! And i do wigs at night as a side job when i get some customers… (from 5 a week to non..and im not looking for more customers at the moment:))
    basically you get my hoo haaa busy busy schedule. which i totally skipped ur your most important thing as u say, the waking up 3 times for baby and once for the “big baby” and endless lack of sleep……
    My friends are totally not on the same page as me. some do have a baby and work full time but not 2!
    cant wait for my friends to have another baby or just find someone on my stage and page in life to be able to talk to and understand each other !!( only comment ppl give is ur crazy for working so many hours… thanks all for that chizuk!)
    yes yes so ur right Intellectual community is an important one!

  2. Sophia

    Thanks so much for your article! My spiritual community is needing some improvement. I miss going out to shiurim. I don’t get to go to shul. I wonder if I could work out getting a ride to a shout, because being there is how I focus best. At home I feel like something or someone needs my attention. I have Rosh chodesh shiurim I can call in to and that’s nice. I also miss socializing and just need to get out more in general. Maybe you have some tips on getting my daughter on a schedule? I want to take her to programs soon. She is 10 months now. Thanks!

    • Hi Sophia,

      Love that you’re thinking about what steps you can take to nourish your spiritual community!

      Regarding your daughter — a schedule is usually the result of a combination of a number of factors (specifically the Five Habits I discuss in my free guide – you can down that here if you haven’t got it yet.)

      If all the pieces are in place, and you aren’t seeing a schedule evolve on its own, sometimes we push babies this age into an age-appropriate schedule. With a 7-7 night, that’ll usually be a nap from around 9:45-11:30 and about 2:30-4.

      What does your baby’s day typically look like now?

      Chaya Shifra

  3. Rose

    Beautiful article! As a young mother of little ones myself you hit the nail on the head! Thank g-d I’m surrounded with wonderful people who fill most of my needs. When my new born baby was colic I was lacking some physical help and I was beyond exhausted but all’s great at this point bH!!! We just need to remember to take every day as it comes. Thank you!!

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Rose!

      Having a new baby is taxing and exhausting — and so much more so when your baby is crying so much.

      Glad to hear things have evened out.

      Chaya Shifra