I’ve always heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” and automatically assumed that translated into directly helping to raise the children. I wasn’t wrong, but I missed part of the value of a village as well. You see, I’ve been struggling lately. Work is amazing, my Husband is doing much better, and the kids are all healthy, but Mommy is on the struggle bus. I’ve felt very burned out. I’ve had to call in The Village not because there is something wrong with my kids, but because I need the help for me.
For God knows what dumb reason, I thought that once I got past the infant stage it wasn’t okay to ask for help anymore. (Not that I was great at doing it then either.) So I’ve gone past survival mode and fallen into burnout mode. I started comparing myself to other Moms. Started comparing my kids to other kids. Let myself believe the lies and in doing so failed to see the beautiful truths. The truth is, my kids are doing great, but Mommy needs a leg up. Three is a rough age and these girls are pushing every button that I’ve got and even some I didn’t know that I had.
Over the past month my Village has stepped in to help in big giant amazing ways. My parents helped watch the kids so we could celebrate our five year wedding anniversary early. Three days without kids!!! We saw KISS in concert, toured Port Hudson, did a night tour at The Myrtles (haunted plantation), visited The World War II Museum, and ate so much food. It was incredible. And it gave me just enough of a reset to realize that I was doing a crap job of taking care of myself.
The other night each of our four kids had their own adult helping with homework (seriously why is there so much homework?!). Everyone needs their own homework squad. It was the least stressful homework experience with all four kids that I’ve ever had. I would have been pulling my hair out otherwise because everyone had their own set of issues and everyone needed help at the same time. Our Village stepped in without me even having to ask and got it done.
But beyond taking care of my kids and therefore taking care of me, my Village has been there for me directly. They’ve listened to my tears, read my pissed off texts, and offered advice and help. The Ya-ya’s, my best friends, The Hubs, and my family have been the Village that this grown up child has very much needed. Thanks to them I’ve finally made the Doctor’s appointment to talk about my anxiety that I’ve been putting off. Thanks to them I’ve made the conscious effort to be more kind to myself and less rude. They have helped to take care of me so that I can be a better Mom for my children.
My heart breaks for the Moma and Dads out there who don’t have their Village and I pray that they find the support that they need. And if you’re struggling like me, please swallow your pride or fear or whatever is holding you back and ask for help. You and your kids deserve it.
Oh, and PS. When your friends invite you to do cool things like drink wine with sloths, DO IT! Don’t let anxiety fake you out or let feelings of obligation to your kids stop you from having a night with your friends. You’re worth it!