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"It takes a Village to Raise a Child"

December 14, 2015

 

We have all heard the saying" It takes a village", and probably never thought much about it, until we bacame mothers. When I had my first child I was 25 years old, and had only a few friends who were pregnant, or had already had a baby. They either lived in a different city, or had gone back to work. My village pretty much just consisted of my mother. She taught me " how to do life" with my new baby. She taught me how to breastfeed, how to give my baby a bath, how to manage doing the everyday things. She would go on walks or hikes with me and listen to all my anxieties, reassure me, and encourage me. She was my postpartum doula.

 

That time with mom was great, but as Mack got older and I became pregnant again, I wanted to find some friends for us both. I joined the Green Hill's mom club and a play group with other babies his age. He was a little over a year at that time. I made incredible friendships and so did he. Some have moved away, but we keep in touch and I love seeing pictures of their children who are now all in middle school. Some of them are even in school with Mack and Madie. The Green Hill's mom club made life as a new mother so much better. I have so many wonderful memories of cooking club, play group, mom's night out, and even some great mother/kid beach trips. Those ladies were my comrades in the trenches of motherhood, and I would have done early motherhood without them, but I would'nt have had near as much fun or been near as happy. 

 

Over the years my village has grown. My high school and college friends started having children and our friendships were rekindled. One of my dearest friends and I, both divorced decided to live together for a year with our kids. Her son is two years older than Mack. He and Mack shared a room and she moved into my guest room. We were a family. It was a wonderful year filled with lots of laughs, wine, and wonderful memories. I am so grateful we decided to do that, as unconventional as it seemed it worked perfectly.  My college friends are all mostly in Birmingham, but we keep in touch and text eachother often for support and ideas. Just the other day one of them shared a brillant idea for getting Luella potty trained.

 

My village has shifted as the children have grown, we don't see our playgroup friends as often, everyone has their own schedule and different schools. Fellow soccer moms have become my village now. We spend most every weekend together, this year we even spentThanksgiving at a tournament in Orlando. The players all get along and there is a group of sisters around Madie's age who play on the sidelines together, and everyone pitches in with Luella. Though the boys go to a variety of different schools they are a team and our families are all apart of that. 

 

The doula community is a large part of my village these days. We get advice on working with clients from eachother and support eachother when we are worn down. We are group that promotes self care and self love and remind eachother of that often. My Bosom Buddy and I I have constant contact, yes we discuss lots of business, but as mothers of three each, we talk about our kids and support eachother in our motherhood highs and lows. Our friendship has grown out of our partnership and I am grateful the stars allined to bring us together. 

 

Even my pospartum doula clients have become part of my village. Working with families so intimately creates friendships, and I love that I keep in touch with these beautiful women and can continue to watch their precious children grow. I am grateful they have allowed me into their village and for the time  I spend with each of them. 

 

If you are expecting or a new mother look for women to add to your village. Mommy and baby yoga classes are great way to find women with children around the same age as your baby. Look for mom's groups. I facilitate a new mother's circle at Blooma on Fridays. Join us. Grow your village, it makes motherhood even sweeter. 

 

"Mothers really were not built to raise babies not only by themselves, but with only a partner. For millions of years, a woman had much more than just her husband to help rear her young... This whole idea of 'it takes a village to raise a child' is exactly how we're supposed to live." - Helen Fisher