To the mom parenting without a village, I see you.
I want you to know, I long for that close circle of support too.
My husband and I are raising our kids without a village, and it is one of the hardest things I have ever done. My husband is very dedicated to supporting our family, but outside of that, I feel isolated. I have finally learned that this idea of a village is elusive.
If you happen to glance through our kitchen window at 6:45am on a Monday, you will see me frazzled as we get ready for school. Maybe you are the Starbucks barista, and you always see me ordering the same coffee with my tired eyes and my screaming kids. Thank you for not judging, and instead giving me a smile of encouragement.
You see, I am always alone with my kids. No close circle of friends and family. No village showing up unannounced. Just me in the trenches with my husband, making things work, one day at a time.
Hardest Parts of Adulting
Before I crossed into adulthood, I thought the hardest parts of adulting would be raising good humans, the never-ending appointments, and the errands.
The truth is the hardest part is just how lonely and secluded I feel. Rushing from one thing to the next. Most days I do not even exchange hellos with a friend. Sometimes I have friends that casually wave as they are walking by. Friends that text for playdates, but never actually schedule them. We have a group of friends that randomly get together, but I am not sure anyone is truly present between scrolling their phones and checking on their kids. Of course, I have mom friends (how awkward would that be if I admitted that I didn’t actually have friends—instead I have acquaintances), but I most recently realized I don’t have a bestie to do life with.
Where is Our Village?
I never thought anything was strange about our situation. I just assumed this was parenting. Then I started to recognize just how strange this situation was. Where is our village? Our inner circle? Where is our family? I was never insecure or concerned about it until just recently, when I realized how hard this shit really is.
Social media portrays perfection. It shows villages made of up family who jump in, no questions asked when help is needed. Mimi’s and Papa’s taking kids for the weekend to not only give the parents some much needed quiet time, but to also foster those multi-generational relationships. It shows friends who show up in their pajamas with coffee and a meal when life is hard. Playdates and wine time with the bestie to help recover from a hard day. Early morning runs to celebrate birthdays.
Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed beyond measure, but what I wouldn’t do for a weekend away with my husband while kids stay with Mimi and Papa or morning coffee dates with a friend because the kids didn’t sleep well last night.
You Will Survive
While I don’t have answers or advice for anybody, I am here to say to those other village-less moms, that this whole “It takes a village,” is bullshit. Yes, it would be nice, but you will survive the trenches one day at a time despite how endless they may feel. I have learned to appreciate my independence and I am learning to thrive.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of The We Spot, it’s employees, sponsors, or affiliates.