It takes a village. . Too many times to count. Growing up I remember running around with my “village” but I don’t recall my parents relying on the “village” as much as I rely on mine.
I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood with neighbors who socialize, kids play in the front yards and where most children go to the local, public school. My family moved to our current house 9 years ago when my daughter was 1 and what we did not realize is that we needed a “village” to live life with kids. Our village began to grow without us realizing it.
As most of us know, as you get older, friends become more difficult to make. Friends begin being made by conditions. For instance, you live on the same street, you fall off at daycare the same time every day or you work in adjoining cubes. By the time our eldest daughter ended Kindergarten, we had a web of friends whom I could call when I had to. I was a working mom and sometimes I felt like I was constantly asking people for favors. I tried to help when I could – on weekends or after work. What I learned from people who had older children and weren’t new to the village was that “it all evens out.” I am a firm believer that it will and now that I have a 7 and 10 year old and not working full time, I tend to be someone that my village leans on. It all evens out.
Parents need to remember they can not do everything. You need to surround yourself with those who help you. This is hard for many of us but you can’t be the soccer coach, class parent, Boy Scout leader, softball team parent, and social coordinator. And all that on top of your career and being a parent! This is when your circle comes in and takes on some of these roles. Depending on what is happening in your life, you might rely on your village otherwise throughout the year.
Recently I had one of those days – we all have them and we aren’t proud. I alternated between wanting to shout and shout. I didn’t understand what I needed but what I got was a hug, a college pick-up, a grocery run and a Pinkberry, all from different people in my village. The actions themselves might not look like much but it was what I needed – support. Support is what I rely on my village for, some days more than others. I may not need my village now but who knows what tomorrow holds.
How can you rely on your own village?