It takes a village
It takes a village...
It’s something we hear said all of the time. "It takes a village to raise a child", "it takes a village to raise a mother".
It takes a village to be a human!
But what does it mean? How does your ‘village’ help your child, or you as a parent?
Years ago your relied on your neighbours, or your community members, or your church for support. A shoulder to cry on, a direction when you're lost, a cup of sugar...
We live in a time where many of us are strangers to our neighbours. Our houses are closer than ever, yet we are further removed. We walk by people on the street and actively AVOID eye contact. We are rushed, hurrying all. of. the. time.
We don't take the time to connect with our village. To find our people.
The secret is. WE NEED EACH OTHER.
What does a 'village' look like to me??
To me it means having a list of people I know I can count on who love my kids almost as much as I do. People who have similar values, positive attitudes and are great influences on my kids and myself.
To me it’s being able to reach out when you’re having a shitty day and knowing you have a person, or people, who without judgement will share a glass of wine with you on your porch and say
‘Ya that fucking sucks’
But then will 5 min later help you find the humour in the situation.
It’s moving, getting a flat tire, or needing help with something heavy and having a village who you know would be there to do whatever they can because you would do the same.
It’s coming home with a newborn and your people respecting you enough to let you rest, bring you food, and support you when you’re running on 2 hours sleep in two days. You may smell like baby spit up, and have yesterdays slept in sweat pants on, but they love you unconditionally.
It’s feeling completely at ‘home’. That may mean different things to different people. Its warm, fuzzy, and feels like that first sip of coffee in the morning.
When I do my prenatal interviews I often ask people 'can you make a list of 5 people you can call, or text that you know they will come and hold a baby, or hold you if you are having a rough day.
Its sometimes difficult for people to come up with 5. Even if it is just 2 though, thats GREAT! The next step is to tell those people 'I am putting you on my emergency list that if I am having a rough day parenting, or getting through life, I am going to reach out to you. Is that ok?'
You will find that most of the time, people love to be needed. They love to help when asked. They may not have the time to offer it but when asked it is amazing what your friends and family are capable of.
Be clear about your needs and have the balls to ask.