Module 7 Bringing Support Around You and Your Family

Support Circles

Thinking about the circles of support in your life

We all have circles of people around us—some are close and some are only remotely associated with us and our families. The people in your inner circles are our main sources of support. We have many people around us, but you may not consider those people to be within your own circles of supports. Sometimes people who are around us frequently are relationships that can be very challenging to manage.

Hmhf v3 48

Circles of support:

Circles of support are the people in our lives who are close and supportive to us. People who we consider more important and supportive (i.e. partner, close friend) are in our inner circle of support. Other people may not be as supportive and may be in an outer circle.

Everyone’s circles of support are different. What is important is maintaining closeness and sharing time with those who are supportive, and who value the relationship as much as you do. Likewise, we also need to recognise and maintain distance from less positive influences. The relatives or friends within our circles of support are also sometimes called our informal supports. Within our circles of support, mothers of children with a disability may also have formal or paid supports or professionals that might come from services that their child receives, their child’s school or another related service. Both types of support are important for most families.

Bring support around you, whether it is formal or informal support. Communicate and share time with people who are in your inner circles of support. We were never meant to be alone. You can only benefit from bringing supportive people closer to you in your life.

Sometimes mothers also talk about keeping ‘difficult’ people in their outer circles of support. This is important because unsupportive or difficult people can actually drain our energy and leave us feeling depleted rather than energised and supportive. Do you know people like this? Can you minimise the influence that they have on you when you see them?

Entry last updated 24 February, 2020