It Takes a Village…

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It takes a village to raise a child. We’ve all heard it. We’ve maybe even said it.

But why?

Maybe it’s so the child can have more eyes watching to keep him safe. Maybe it’s so the child can learn things his parents haven’t taught him. Or reinforce the things they have. Maybe it’s so the child can have someone trusted to turn to when he doesn’t feel comfortable talking to his parents. Maybe it’s just because the more people who love the child, the better. All good reasons for the village, right? But maybe it’s none of them.

Over the past few months, I’ve come to a realization that maybe the village isn’t for the child at all. Maybe, just maybe, the village is for the mother. Because you know what, being a mom is hard! And somewhere along the way of the I-can-do-everything-myself-and-do-it-well woman’s revolution, it became some kind of social faux pax to talk about it being hard. Because you should be able to do anything. Everything, actually. By yourself. And do it well. You are a WOMAN.

And how hard can it be to hang out with a three year old, really? Well let me tell you, it’s HARD. And you know what, it’s okay to talk about it being hard. So many women are out there perusing Pinterest boards and mommy blogs and looking at the wonderfully healthy cooked meals and perfectly styled homes and magazine-worthy outfits and fun-filled activities for kids and 18 hour a day workouts that are sure to give you fantastic abs and wondering “Why can’t I do it all?! Why is this so hard for me? I’m supposed to love every minute and I don’t! In fact, right now, after cleaning up the entire huge container of bubbles that my three year old dumped in the carpet while I was changing the baby’s mega-blowout diaper, and then feeding them a lunch of corndogs and fruit snacks and then yelling at them 5 times to take a nap so I could have this 5 minutes to just breath, I HATE being a mom! And I’m still in my pajamas! And I haven’t showered yet this year! What’s wrong with me?! I’m not supposed to hate this! No one else hates it!”

But the truth is, unless you count my sister with 8 kids who measures the same height* as Mary Poppins on that measuring tape she’s got, there aren’t any perfect moms out there. Some women take to mothering more naturally, but nobody’s dream job is to wash dishes and clothes and bathrooms and yell at their kids all day, believe me. And nobody is out there doing it all or even half of “it”, because there just isn’t time! What they’re good at, you might suck at, but you know what, it goes the other way, too. Most of all, you’re not alone.

That’s why we need to bring back the village.

Just knowing you’re not alone somehow makes it better. Having someone to talk to on those hard days makes it not so hard. Having a friend to carpool with so you don’t have to go to the school 8.4 million times in one day makes it not so hard. Having somewhere you can drop your kids off while you get a little “me time” in, even if that me time is going to the dentist to get a cavity filled, makes it not so hard. {Actually, that kinda just sucks no matter what.} Having a buddy to encourage you and exercise right alongside you makes it not so hard. Having another mom to laugh with while your 6 year old spends the entire class performance making big exaggerated winks at you instead of singing along makes it not so hard. And being able to do all of those things in return, somehow makes it not so hard.

As moms, whether we work or stay at home, we need to be there for each other. We need to build a village of encouragement, strength, and most of all, honesty. Honesty that it’s okay to be grateful for your kids and freakin’ frustrated with their hardheadness at the same time. {Because that hardheadnesses surely came from their father, and you picked him, right?} Honesty that it’s okay to find joy in the little things like a successful potty trip with your toddler and still be upset about other things like the 5 year old who colored on the newly painted walls with a Sharpie. Just honesty that it’s okay to be REAL about motherhood and its ups and downs. No mother should feel alone. She needs a village. We all do.

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It takes a village to raise a mother…

…from loneliness

…from feeling lost

…from the idea that she’s a failure

It takes a village.

What can you do to build up your village? Let’s start a village revolution.

*Practically Perfect in Every Way
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2 responses »

  1. Sarah-
    That was so beautifully said and I needed to hear that!!!! I so appreciate everything you had to say and agree. You are a very talented writer!

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