When I had my son I remember feeling overwhelmed and well-meaning friends and family would say, “you know it takes a village “.
But I didn’t know what they meant and I couldn’t find that elusive village. My parents were retired and out of the country for 2 months, my mil worked full-time, most of my friends with kids worked or had spouses who were around often, rather than the 6 day work week that my husband had. There was no village. There was me alone with a colicky infant day-in, day-out. And I would day-dream of a time when parents walked out the door and instantly had a village of friends and family right at their door step. I lamented my sadness and loneliness. I started this blog because there had to be someone, somewhere like me. There had to be a village, even if it wasn’t in my own back yard.
Last week a friend texted me asking if I could watch her kids for a few hours. At the same time I was on Facebook planning events for my MOMS club and texting another Mom about a play date. Something about that text, knowing that it wasn’t the first of its kind, knowing that she had done the same for me and knowing that a few years ago I never imagined the village of Moms that I would have in my life.
But I didn’t just stumble upon this village. It didn’t find me. I didn’t wake up one morning to a large group of wonderful supportive mothers, ready to help. No, I built my village mom-by- mom. From the first Mom friend I met at a play group to a Mom of twins from Jack’s Music Together class to Moms who I knew on Facebook that became an incredible resource to me, to the Moms who read my blog and commented, “I’ve been there too”.
And now my village is full. And much like Taylor Swift’s squad it has a wonderful cast of characters that come from different background and places. Moms who have experiences that are similar to my own and those whose situations couldn’t be more different. I’m grateful for them all.
That’s the thing about a village, we all need one, whether it’s one that is there from the start or one we build from the ground up. We need these moms to lean on when times are tough. We need them to swap childcare with and to text when life just isn’t going right. We need them even if we only see them in the flash of a Facebook message.
Having a village changed everything for me. It made motherhood into the place I had always hoped it would be: a place filled with friends for Jackson and I, a place where we belonged, and the feeling that I’m not alone on this journey.