It Takes a Village

Today has been a harder than usual parenting day. The culmination of a lot of various factors all came to a head this morning and we were knocked sideways by one of our kids’ emotional explosion. The morning rush and tearful children are really not a great combo. With my husband and other two kids successfully out the door for school and work, I was left to deal with my still crying, irrational child. I did what most parents who’s day has started like a train wreck do…I hid in my room and frantically flipped through parenting books. They really need to make them with tabs for quicker reference. After a tearful phone call to my parents (because even grown ups need their mommy and daddy!) and a semi desperate text to some soul sisters asking for prayer, I was at least in a more positive frame of mind and ready to make a game plan. And then came a knock at the door. There stood one of the soul sisters with gladiolus and a cinnamon dolce latte, offering a hug and sympathy. My face crumpled as I threw my arms around her and held on for dear life.

“You’re not alone. This is hard, and it’s heavy, but you don’t have to carry it alone.” Her words were sweet to my ears, but almost redundant in light of the fact that she had shown up when she knew I needed her, even when I didn’t know it myself. “I just don’t know what to do,” I croaked. I only cry one way- ugly. She had no words of wisdom, no advice, just a simple “I don’t either.” Which was oddly more comforting than if she had come up with a solution. I’m not the only one who is winging it.

As the day wore on nothing really got easier. The other two came home from school with attitudes, and fits and whining were had in abundance. Three day weekends and school schedules don’t mix I’ve decided. The weariness didn’t diminish, but the feeling of isolation was easy to dispel just looking at the bright blooms sitting on my counter.

I have always loved the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” It implies the wonderful idea that you aren’t actually alone in this whole parenting thing. Like when you’re out with your people, and you know that there are at least three other mamas who will keep your kid from peeing in public, or won’t tolerate their sassiness. Today though, for the first time I thought about it in a different context. To be truthful, the idea of the village has always conjured up something out of a movie for me. A quaint village with smoke rising up into the sky, mothers with frilled caps and aprons, chickens running free and kids playing in the street.  I’ve always seen the villagers as standing behind the kid in question, kind of like their own personal army. But today, instead of a kid in front, I saw the mom. Maybe it takes a village because the mama needs all those people to pick her back up and tell she can do it when she feels like she’s failed so hard. Maybe it really takes a village to raise a mama…❤️

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