Since becoming a mother roughly 6 years, 6 months and 19 days ago I have heard the phrase “it takes a village ” more than a few times. And honestly, I’ve always thought the phrase to be kind of strange.
For a girl who has moved roughly fifteen times in her life, lacking deeply planted roots or a village that signifies a safe space to call “home,” the notion that it takes a village to raise a family seems foreign to me – it’s not what I know.
My own journey through marriage and motherhood has been rich with change and transition. Over the past seven years there have been five moves, five pregnancies, four babies, six vehicles, eleven jobs, countless businesses and both sets of parents splitting up.
Throughout all of it we have had some amazing people in our lives to do life with. But as we’ve moved in and out of certain seasons, there has lacked a level of consistency and depth – a solid foundation on which to plant our feet.
My journey through marriage and motherhood has brought me to the end of myself over and over and over again and walking through each chapter of transition has taught me many lessons. For years I’ve tried to do it all on my own, because that’s all I’ve ever known.
Inconsistency and instability have been the constants in my life for as long as I can remember, and when paired with a deeply-rooted struggle with perfectionism, the result has been a long-fought battle to handle #allthethings on my own – the girl without a village.
Have you been walking through life without a village?
I want you to know, that although you might feel alone – you are not alone.
Strange as it may have always seemed to me given the sum total of my life experience, I now deeply understand the phrase “it takes a village.” It’s not that anything, practically speaking, is so difficult about life as a wife and mom that it literally requires more than just you to make it through.
On the contrary, I know that we can do it all without one bit of help. It is possible to wake up every three hours around the clock to feed the baby, get diapers changed, clothes on, shoes tied, breakfast made, the house cleaned, all the kids loaded into the car to run errands, the baby loaded into the carrier, the toddler loaded into a shopping cart, and the other two kids hand-in-hand next to you to pick up groceries, before heading home for an assembly line of baths, dinner, bed time and some quality time with the husband before falling asleep only to be woken up every three hours around the clock to do it all over again, day-in and day-out.
It is possible, and I know this because I’ve lived it.
But here is the truth, dear friends: doing life without a village is brutal.
Trying to do #allthethings entirely on your own without support, encouragement and access to help and resources will suck the life right out of you if you’re not careful.
Life for a wife and mom in the absence of a village is often filled with more pressure, responsibility and chronic stress than one person has been created to bear on their own. We weren’t designed to do everything on our own. We were designed to flourish in community, working together to build up, encourage and support each other as we walk in our strengths and create a beautiful web of symbiotic harmony.
In the absence of a village, our self-perception often becomes distorted, as we lead ourselves to believe our inadequacies are to blame for the struggles we endure.
As we try to do #allthethings on our own, our self-worth is slowly eaten away as we fail in our own eyes time and time again.
The very life and blessings we once longed for can begin to feel like heavy burdens. We begin to forget what normal actually looks and feels like because the only reality we know is the one we’re living, all on our own, and it stands in stark contrast to the realities we see displayed all across social media every day.