You Have To Be the Village You Want to Join

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about the “village.” Women looking for a village.

Mothers thinking it would be easier to have a tribe of people to support them.

Or those lucky few who already have their group.  Thinking how they stumbled into this life; believing they’ve succeeded and are done.

Today, I’m here to tell you that whether you have your village or not, you’re not alone and you aren’t finished.

Behind our closed doors, we all have our issues.  Problems with families, insecurities, needs, roadblocks.  Difficulties on the path of motherhood.  On the path of life.  Tons of questions.  Moments where it would be so nice to have just one person to help you get through your day.

So even if you have your tribe, open your door. Get out of your car at drop off. Participate in your school’s fundraisers.  Join stroller strides or a mommy-n-me.  Smile at the woman next to you.

When you see someone struggling, help her, even if you need help yourself.

If you hear someone lost a parent, drop of a dinner.  You don’t have to know them that well to leave a casserole on her doorstep. A simple note and a simple dinner. A reminder that she’s not alone.

Let’s make this journey a little warmer, a little kinder. Let the woman next door or across the street know she’s part of a community. That YOU are the community.

Join the food train.  Offer to drive the car pool.  Host the playdate.  Watch her kids in a pinch.

When you see the neighborhood kids doing something wrong, don’t look the other way, intervene. When you see them struggling, help them.  Be present.

And if you have your friends already, include the new mom.  Look for the lost mom.

You lose nothing by sprinkling kindness around. By being inclusive.

Friendship isn’t exclusive. You gain nothing by leaving someone else. But you might make all the difference by including her.

Remember that everyone is on their own motherhood journey and it’s not easy for anyone, even the ones who make it look Pinterest-worthy.

Never before have we been more connected and more isolated. 

We sit in the quiet of our homes, connected to the entire world with our phones, yet have no one to talk to.

It’s true for our children, it’s true for us.

I can say, without my village, I would have fallen this year.  Just when I thought I was maxed out on what I could handle, life gave me more.

And having wonderful women and men to help take care of me and my family while I had to go to take care of other members of my family made an unbearable situation survivable.  Fathers to help my husband drive my kids to their activities.  People dropping off food, calling to check in, to remind me that we’re not alone.

Finding your people when you are a mother is hard. But, it's so hard to find your tribe and make friends as an adult. But, here's why you need to be the village you want to join.

If you don’t have your village, start to build one. 

It doesn’t appear overnight.  It doesn’t come out of nowhere. You need to consciously go and make it.

So get involved. Join your community, help your neighbors. Talk to people. Put down your phones and your work and get out there.

Answer the pleading for volunteers. Even when it’s the last thing you want to do.  Because chances are the people who are asking for help, it’s not first on their lists either.

It’s not easy, and it’s not always convenient. But sometimes you just have to be the village you want to join. 

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