Even as the single mom of a 13-year-old daughter, I still remember the days of stressing over finding someone to watch my toddler in a pinch. It was the first time my dad ever changed a diaper. And for some reason, I still worried about her care with my 19-year-old brother, an EMT at the time. So how do we do it? How do we ensure all of our kid logistics are covered?
For me, the adage of it takes a village is the solution. It’s so important to find your village. It may take time, but don’t give up. If you can’t seem to find one, take action and make your village. Don’t hesitate to call on others and rally together to be a network of support. Lastly, be the village for others. Be there to offer a hand, ask what you can do, or simply take action.
My sister spent her early 20s putting my baby to sleep while I worked the night shift. While she’s always had my back, we weren’t besties for the longest until her motherhood journey started in 2016. Now, I find myself wanting to be her village. So how can I support this mom of two toddlers (The girls just turned four and one). Simple. Anything I can – Wash a dish, scrub a tub, load the dishwasher, bath a child, invite them over for a homemade meal (with separate toddler plates prepared of course).
I’ve leaned on so many people over the years, both (trusted) men and women: my momma, my sister’s in-laws, coworkers (even their older teens), college students/sorority sisters, calling on old college friends, and my daughter’s friend’s parents. I’m full of gratitude. Here’s what I learned. In the beginning of mom-dom, I felt kind of guilty at times because I’d think to myself how can this other mom with so much on her plate help me out? ME! A mom to 1; she has her own responsibilities, work, multiple kids, etc. Moms, just take the blessings as they come. And I promise, one day it will come full circle, where you are able to be that blessing in the village. No one is keeping score.
My village looks a little different now with a child in middle school, but nonetheless it’s definitely a Godsend. Thank you friends for letting me program your number into my daughters cell phone for emergencies, for picking up an extra Whataburger with cheese and dropping it off on game day, and for giving her a ride after school. More than the tangibles though, thanks for sticking with me through the years, being the shoulder, the ear, lifting up my spirits, and pushing me towards growth. Growth as a momma, a woman, a sister, a daughter, a friend.
Here are my final thoughts on creating your village.
Seek out the wisdom of others. Wisdom seems to come with age and I’d be remissed if I didn’t give this hint. Seek out some moms that are maybe a few steps ahead of you ages/stages wise. For me, that 5 year difference has provided me the big sister vibes that have helped me to survive.
Mix up hobbies/personal goals to create that village. In the past, I set up play-dates, found stroller walk partners with other SAHM neighbors, tried out some mom events, park visits, library visits. Now books and wine do it for me. Hence, my book club is on our second book. The club has no snazzy name, and my daughter sent me a TikTok poking fun at moms who do book-club. Yet these mommas fill my heart and my soul.
Don’t let fear stop you. Just ask. As much as you may be the one in “need,” trust me when I say, the village will be equally blessed by being able to help.