There’s a funny meme out on social media of a new mom, exhausted asking where the village is that is supposed to help, from the old saying, “it takes a village.” It’s true, new motherhood whether you are a first-time mom or a mom of many, it can feel like an overwhelming solo mission at times. So, about that village? “Is there somewhere I call, or do they just show up?”
|I always felt the first 3 months, is really only about mom, especially if you are breastfeeding. Your baby is pretty much glued to you 24/7 Sure others can offer the odd bottle, change a few diapers, attempt to put the fresh out of the belly baby to sleep, but really mom is the number one. The odd bottle feeding when they eat 8-10 times a day gets lost amongst the others, one diaper change out of 10 a day and 1 nap out of 7? well you get where I’m going with this, unless you have the entire village helping it probably will still feel like a you’re the only one.||
Once your little one starts to become more routine and the quantity of feeding, changing and napping is less, it will feel like there is more help.
When I really felt the village concept starting to take significant form was when I started to work; I am constantly impressed planning and creativity in scheduling with carpooling groups and emergency calls to moms asking for them to make sure my kids get home. My kids would be stranded so many times had it not been for the mom connection in the town we live in. So, while the village may not always come over to clean your house and make you dinner there is a support system of busy moms and parents around to lend you a hand when you really need it.
We had a new family move into the neighborhood and last night my daughter decided to go over and introduce herself. She stood outside until the oldest let her in and she started playing. My husband ran over and apologized; the mom is a teacher so had been around kids all day, we weren’t sure if she wanted another kid around her in her home, but she said it was awesome, her little one had been crying and after my daughter, he stopped crying. My mom tells me when she was a young mom, her and another family would take turns looking after each other’s children on specific days, so the other one could have a break or go do errands. Village.
It reminds me when I heard a podcast a few years ago talking about being a “lollipop mom.” The idea was this mom always kept lollipops in her purse so when her child was upset, or she saw someone else’s child upset she would offer them a lollipop which usually calmed them down. Now I’m not one for offering strangers kids candy, but the concept is awesome. As parents we’ve all been there. We’ve all had our kids losing it in public or being irritable or a mom being overwhelmed. So, help a mom out if you can. Ask if you can help, push her grocery cart to her car for her, help her load her groceries (I say groceries because 9/10 worst melt downs are happening at the grocery store) or perhaps just a give her smile, letting her know you understand, because we’ve all been there.
It takes a village; it’s just the village isn’t exactly what you would think.
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