‘It takes a village to raise a child’ so they say. And in my 2 years as a mom and stepmon I have found this to be incredibly true. And it goes beyond the raising of children. Your village is essential to your whole family – you, your partner, your children, your pets even! In your village you will find the kindred spirits who keep you sane, keep you nourished (literally and metaphorically) and have a spare set of your keys for the times when the hide-a-key isn’t in its usual spot (my bad).
My Village People have been essential to my well-being and happiness and I would be lost without them. The following are the cast of amazing and essential characters that make up my village.
The Shaman – These are your soul sistas/brothas/whatevas – the peeps who help you find new perspectives when you’re stuck in a rut, see possibilities when you want to go to despair, and who love you for who you are, mess-ups and all. They are the ones you go to for wisdom and advice, and whose incredible knack for deeply listening helps you through even the toughest of times. These are the people that after you talk to them, you feel like you can breathe again.
The Yelp Parent – These are the moms and dads who are resources for anything and everything. Need a recommendation of a music class? They have 3 to suggested and have reviews on each. Not sure which paint to use for the nursery that is the most environmentally and baby friendly? They have samples in their garage for you to try. You can count on these go-to parents to be your filter for the endless options related to kids and family. And their speed, thoroughness and perspective kicks Google’s ass in any search you might try to do.
The Escape Pal – This is your friend that is always down for a quick coffee, or an impromptu glass of wine (or three) after the kids are in bed because you need to get out of the house. It’s your friend that is always down to hang out and can usually make it happen. The get that an hour of adult conversation provides a much needed recharge to our parental batteries. As such, they embrace the spur of the moment activities and take advantage of the quick breaks from mommy duties – or juggle it with a baby strapped to them.
The Park Posse
These are the collection of parents, with kids your kids age, that you truly enjoy spending time with. They might share similar interests and/or parenting philosophies, but it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that that you can connect with them while child chaos ensues around you. And because they have kids, they totally get it when you can only have disjointed, fractured conversations because you’re trying to prevent your toddler from impaling himself with a massive stick he’s found.
These are the people who always comes through in a pinch and save you. It can be answering the late night ‘we’re in labor, can you grab the dog?!’ call, or simply coming by to hold your newborn so you can take a shower for the first time in a week. It can also be the person who feeds you bread and cheese while you try to figure out breastfeeding and cry about how you didn’t know it could be this hard, or that you could be this tired. They are a gentle, and calming source of comfort. They can be your parents (thank God for Grandmas and Grandpas, right?), relatives, neighbors, or friends. Whomever they are, they refuel you, and support you. And when they assure you that everything will be ok, you believe them.
To my amazing Village People, you know who you are, thank you. A million times over, with so much gratitude, thank you.