The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” originates from an African proverb and conveys the message that it takes many people (“the village”) to provide a safe, healthy environment for children, where children are given the security they need to develop and flourish and can realize their hopes and dreams. But what about your village? Do you, the parent, have the support system you need to go through every day? What about when a major life event happens and cripples you? Yes, you have your family, children, and extended family, but that is not always enough.
I have found my village. It came to me at one of the worst times of my life, but my village stepped up and held me together and still continues to do so today. Why is it important to have this village? For your mental health. A few have gone through what you might be going through at this stage and know exactly what to do. How to help you navigate through the feelings, and when to let you be alone. Your mental health should be at the top of your priority list.
During all of the chaos in my life, I have watched my children and their emotions. They have a village, but do not know how big that village is. I’ve watched them struggle, act out, and just not know how to talk about their emotions. I have finally realized that, just because I am their mom, I do not have all the answers. All I can do is be there, answer questions to the best of my abilities, and wait for them to open up. When I try to pry information out of them, they just shut down more. So, I do little things to let them know I am here for them. Holding hands with my boys as we watch our nightly show, or just popping into my daughter’s room for no reason at all.
So I guess what I am getting at is, just like your children need a village, so do you. Parents today are under so much pressure trying to keep up with the Joneses, making sure you have the best Valentine’s gifts for the class, or trying to figure out how you’re going to afford all the things your children want or need. Your village can help you navigate all those tough decisions that come with being a parent.