For Those Without a Village

A while back, I ran to the grocery store just to pick up a few odds and ends and commented on this sweet little girl’s hair and how cute she was. Next thing you know, the mom and I have a 20 minute conversation about our kids with acid reflux and how hard it is to make other mom friends. We exchanged numbers, had a playdate (yes, our husbands thought we were nuts) and are now TOTAL BFFs! We hang out regularly and our kids were instant best friends as well!

Flash forward a few weeks, I was at our library today with the boys. They have an outstanding kids program and room that my boys are excited to visit. After checking in with the librarian for our summer reading program, the boys chose their prizes and off they went to the tablets and toys and puzzles. My youngest was strolling around looking around at all the people as he always does and started making eyes at another mom who was there with her 2 boys.

We started talking about our kids and really hit it off. (The more I write this, the more it sounds like a date!!) She had questions since my boys were older than hers and I was happy to give her some possible insight into her future. The path with boys, and kids in general, is so uncertain and crazy, us parents have to help each other out.

But what if you don’t have a big circle of friends? What if you don’t have a family that can help you anytime you need it? The saying “it takes a village” only works when there IS a village! Where do people turn when their village is very small or even non-existent? I have spoken to people who have joined mom’s groups and meet-ups but many have said there are so many different personalities, its difficult to connect and feel at ease.

Between the judgements, the different parenting techniques and overall personalities that are out there, finding a friend who is on the same page as you can be really hard! Come to find out, the lovely mom I met at the library was visiting from New York! It looks like we will not be scheduling any playdates any time soon as I live in Michigan!

In the early years, you feel like extreme isolation sets in and you don’t go anywhere and you don’t see anyone. Your phone goes for days without a phone call or text and you honestly wonder if it even works. I see you.

This is the time that you learn your own strength. Believe me, you are stronger than you could ever imagine. The things I have done by myself or the things we have endured without a village still shocks me. I am proud of us and what we have accomplished.

That being said, not having that village, is so lonely. You have to step out of your comfort zone in order to find like minded people. The village doesn’t always come to you. Sometimes, you have to search for it.

To the mom who has spit up on your shirt and your hair hasn’t been washed in a week because you don’t have anyone to sit with your colicky baby while you shower, I see you. To the mom with 2 little toddlers and an infant and you haven’t slept through the night in 4 years, I see you. I know you are sad and lonely and you feel like you have to do everything yourself. Know it won’t always be this way.

Talk to other moms at the grocery store, the library, the park. Talk about things you know you have in common like kids. Also, if you are looking for friends, be ready to put yourself out there and say you could use a friend!

Sure! You can do this alone. You can be a strong, capable mother with bravery in her soul and you can do everything by yourself. OR you can build your own village. I am building mine and I am so grateful for the beautiful women I have met! My strength and confidence comes from within but it is helpful to have support of those who are by your side in the thick of it just like you.

Have a wonderful week and thanks for reading!! XOXO

-Meghan

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