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Creating Your “In Real Life” Village

We have all heard that it “takes a village” to raise our children.

Daily I’m scrolling through my social media feeds, which mainly consists of other mamas these days—hello motherhood. I’ve surrounded myself with other people who get it.  I’ve created a virtual village to help me raise my children. But here’s the problem: They are only watching the events of my family’s life unfold. I see some mothers who are leaning on each other well outside of the social media world. And then some who are trying to go through this mama thing alone.

This is for the mamas who are lonely, despite the digital village they interact with daily.

I love that in today’s mama-culture when one of us brings a new baby into this world, we as a community seem to rally around them. We create meal trains, we clean their homes, we watch their older children, but somewhere along the line we lose that sense of needing each other.

After those first initial days or weeks we begin to back off, letting that family learn their new “norm” with the new bundle of joy. And while that is very important, it seems to die off when we may need it most, those first couple of years when we are learning a whole new game—the game of raising kids.

We try to navigate this parenting thing alone.

You know those days when your kid was awake every three hours the night before. Or the terrible twos, when everyday is a struggle. Or the days when our kids are sick and life still needs to go on, and you’re just struggling. Even worse when you as the mama, are sick.

When our children give us a run for our money and we just can’t even think of our next move. Whatever it may be, we begin to feel like we have no one we can call up and surround ourselves with. 

I’m here to tell you that there are people everyday who are there for you that you may not be picking up on. It’s the other mama who offers to help you when you have a sick kiddo—with medicine and supplies to get you through. It is the mama who offers to watch your kiddos. So you can run those errands or attend that appointment, without bringing your children. It is the mama who offers you the essentials when you forgot to restock the diaper bag. It is the mama who wants to just come over and let all the kids drive you both insane, together. The mamas who you can converse with about anything with and feel comfortable.

We cling to our coffee with our phone in hand to relay our struggles, and we can miss the opportunities to gather around other women who understand the frustrations over that cup of coffee, in the same room, and leave our phones in the diaper bag.

Find your Village.

Mamas, I encourage you to find your village. Those few mamas who you can do those hard days and fill the joy-filled ones with. Put yourself out there. Take your digital village and transform it into an everyday-living one. Lean on one another for strength. Relate with other mamas about how hard these days can be and let them help. Everyday won’t be awful and on those days, you’ll be the mama offering help to another. Serving each other and rallying around each other, even after it seems like they can “handle” it on their own.

Be vulnerable. It is not weakness, but rather a starting point to really connect with other women. Thrive with that community you have created.

I’m thankful everyday for the few women with whom I can share with in real life the experiences of being someone’s mother. 

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