They say it takes a village to raise a child, but that’s not true. It’s not just the child who needs a village, but all of us. It takes a village to raise a family.
No one is meant to be isolated. Generations ago, communities worked together for the good of the community, each member using their own strengths to help benefit the good of their community as a whole. Somewhere along the way to the present, we’ve lost that sense of community, and helping others has taken a back seat to helping only ourselves. We’ve grown isolated in our homes, living our lives separate from others.
I never knew I needed a village to raise my family. I moved far away from my hometown (and, thus, my family and all of my friends) when I got married. It was really hard to not have a physical support system, and grew even harder after having my first baby. Thanks to this wonderful think called the internet, I met a lot of other new moms, and soon began forming my own community. It didn’t take long for me to find my tribe, both online and locally, and blissfully, my village.
My village is beautiful. My village is love. My village is mothers and babies leaning on one another for support. My village doesn’t judge messy houses, or store bought treats. My village is a variety of neurologies and personalities. My village is women with different skills and abilities helping one another. We are scientists, artists, teachers, mothers, sisters, friends. We are organized and chaotic, we are religious, and spiritual, and atheist and agnostic. We are each individual strands of one rope, stronger together than apart. This is my village; strong together.
I have found, for myself and my nuclear family, that this tribe of women have held me and lifted me up when I was down. And that is what your village does. They meet you where you are, and help you get to where you need to be, no strings attached. With love, first and foremost, they reach out and give you a hand to hold on to when you feel like you are drowning. I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for these women. I wouldn’t be here at all without them. It takes a village to raise a mother.
How lucky we are, too, to have communities of love and support at our fingertips. Among my village are my “internet friends”. I dislike the term “internet friends”, though, as it seems to diminish the value of an online friendship. In truth, the friends I’ve met, and who I continue to commune with online, are some of the best friends I have. It’s hard to be there for someone when you live far apart, but my friends manage to do it beautifully for me.
We all need a village. Even if you’re not raising kids. Even if your kids are grown and gone. We do better when we don’t have to go it alone. It takes a village to support a successful and happy individual. If you have found your village, hold on to them. Love them, support them. If you’re still looking, or thinking you can do it on your own, don’t be afraid to reach out. Your village is out there. You’ll find it’s a lot easier to weather storms when you have other people helping to hold you down and keep you from getting knocked over.