Having a village or support system is important for every family. The village just isn’t about being able to call someone to babysit for a date night with your significant other, but having people there to help support you through motherhood. Your village doesn’t need to be family either. Sometimes a strong network of friends is just as good (if not better).
Not having a village can make parenting very isolating. You don’t want to invite just anyone into your life or that of your child’s, so making sure you have people around who meet your standards, can be difficult; as it may come off that you’re stuck up or picky, when that is not the case. It can mean not having date nights or weekend getaways with your husband/wife. Or not being able to enjoy something as simple as going to a movie.
Even though your village may be lacking, as mothers (and fathers), we often find an inner strength that we didn’t know we had. We understand that sometimes we just have to deal. And that in itself can make us stronger.
However, I do want to caution, a lot of times we can turn ourselves into a martyr as well. We have people who want to be a part of our village, but we turn them away. This isn’t to say you have to welcome any and everyone into your circle, but what I am saying is that it’s okay to ask and even receive help sometimes. While I have a wonderful family, my network of mom friends is just about non existent. Sure I have a few, but its the bond that I would like to have and that is what is currently lacking. There are no play dates or birthday parties, or anything like that. There are times where I feel like that point in my life has passed, and I should give up trying to fill that void(but I will save that for another time).
If you aren’t able to find a village where you are, there a lots of online groups that can offer that same comfort, even if they can’t physically be there with you. However, if you have people who want to help, don’t be afraid (if you’re comfortable) to accept. Its okay to say “yes I need help” or to reach out because you are overwhelmed.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.