Our guest post this week comes to us from the Carolinas, with special thanks to our cousin Keri. Here she shares some words of wisdom from a young mom about the need we all have–even those of us, or perhaps especially those of us, who try to do it all ourselves–for community. Enjoy!
“It takes a village to raise a child.”
We’ve all heard that. I personally hate that quote. I don’t want to believe I can’t do it on my own; I mean, I’m Mom, right? Moms can kiss boo-boos while simultaneously popping a souffle in the oven and vacuuming the living room, our capes blowing behind us in an ever-present breeze. Moms have super-human powers, like acute hearing, eyes in the back of their heads, and, on occasion, have been known to see through walls.
So, I’ve decided to alter that quote to one a little more true for myself: “It takes a village to raise a mom.”
I’ve come to realize that without key people in my life, I wouldn’t be the mom I am today. I’d be overly stressed, strung out, feeling helpless and hopeless and probably even more of a yeller than I am now. It’s not that I need a support system surrounding my child. I need it surrounding me.
I am fortunate to have found an amazing person to “raise” me as a mom. I know she’s always a text message or phone call away. I have texted her over the stupidest stuff, from the latest silly thing Maddie said to the sale at the children’s store in the mall. Our daughters are very close in age, so we consult each other on everything from potty training to birthday parties. We have cried with each other over doctor’s visits and enrolling in day school.
But there’s the serious stuff, too. I have found myself on more than one occasion calling her and begging her to talk me down before I completely blew it with my daughter. She has been with me through the most frightening night of my life as I sat with Maddie in the children’s ER. She has prayed for me, prayed over me, prayed with me. She understands who I am, and loves me anyway. And she reminds me that I’m more than a mom. I’m a woman and a wife, I have a career. She reminds me I have my own name, that I am more than “Maddie’s Mommy.” She doesn’t sugarcoat my failures or brush them aside. She makes me face them and pushes me to work through them, and then walks alongside me as I do.
Our frequent mom dates are the times for us to vent about our kids, our shortcomings, our daily lives. And somehow, when I come home from an evening with her, I feel stronger and more prepared to tackle the latest attitude problem or the growing pile of laundry. My batteries are recharged, my tired, wrinkled Super Mom cape has been ironed and I am ready for another day.
I cannot stress enough, whether you are a new mom, a “seasoned” mom, a soon-to-be mom… find someone to iron your cape. Because it’s going to get wrinkled. You’ll have to have holes patched and spit up scrubbed off of it. You’re going to need to be reminded that there is life outside of that screaming, wailing, pooping bundle of joy. You’ll need to be reminded who you are, even if it feels more like who you were.
Go find yourself a village.
Do you or someone you know have a story, memory, meditation, or complaint to share about community as you've experienced it? If you do, check out our Guest Posts page. Each week, Texas Schmexas features a different voice, and next week it could be yours!