You Need a Village

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I paced around with the phone in my hand. Should I text them? Both of them? One of them? Do I really need to go to this event? Will it reflect poorly on me…on my marriage…if I don’t attend? Is it that important? Gosh, I hate making decisions sometimes. I hate asking for help even more so.

I had dropped the ball. As in, I was told months in advance about a work event my husband wanted me to attend with him and forgot to get a babysitter. It was only two nights before said event, and I was freaking out a little bit. I beat myself up because I had forgotten. I then beat myself up some more because I was considering contacting my best friends to see if they could watch my kids while I went to the event.

For me, that was the lowest of lows.

I actually had to lay down my pride.

I needed help.

We don’t live near family…never have. The closest family members are 4.5 hours away in Ohio. I’m living a life so foreign to the one I grew up in as a child. My entire family lived in the same small town or in the small town down the street. My parent’s “village” was their family…their parents, their sister, their brother. They used babysitters, but their parents were the sitters most of the time. Heck, my maternal grandparents raised me part-time during my earlier years while my parents were working. I learned to ride my bicycle in their driveway.

So today I’m raising my children without family help.

I’ve learned to do so, and since I stay at home, it’s been fine. There are moments, however, when situations creep up where I need a village. The one thing that keeps me from doing so is my pride. I can do it. I will make it work. They are my children, so I shouldn’t burden anybody else.

But you see, I have a village. I just hesitate to ask for help because I CAN DO IT ON MY OWN…until I can’t.

We have got to admit that we cannot do it all. We have got to lay down our pride.

I’m preaching to myself…and maybe some others.

Life was not meant to be lived in isolation. Surround yourself with good people who can be a village in your time of need.

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A village isn’t just a physical group of other women who might volunteer to watch your kids or fix your family a meal. It’s an emotional and mental bond. I didn’t fully understand this until I joined a mom’s group at my church called Moms ‘N’ More back in 2007 when my oldest was 6-months-old.  I had resigned from a full-time job that I loved to stay at home with our child. If I hadn’t found Moms ‘N’ More, I would have fallen apart that year. Those women were the glue that held me together as a new mother. Though many of us have gone our separate ways and entered different seasons, we still keep in touch, even if only through social media. We talked about our fears of messing up as a mom and our lack of faith when times got tough. We shared in each other’s joys and cried with each other when there was pain. Years after one of the women moved to another state, we got word that she had been murdered. Although time had passed, we joined together to hold a memorial service in her honor. That woman was the first mom blogger I had ever met.

Life is hard. We need a village that will hold us up in the good and the bad. Family members are most definitely part of your village, but don’t forget to include those women who are in the trenches of motherhood right along with you across town or down the street.

Check out our list of mom groups on the Knoxville Moms Blog here.

Oh yeah, and one of my friends I talked about in the beginning ended up watching our children that night…and it was a win-win for both of us, like a fun play date for both families.

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