Sometimes, you need to create your own village.
In my last post, I talked about a beautiful story about God showing up in church last Sunday. I had asked him to show up and be present to me beyond the scripture and songs. That’s where I witnessed mom to mom assistance in all it’s glory. It moved me to tears and really got me thinking about how it takes a village to raise kids.
But sometimes, we have to create our own village.
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received from a good friend and mentor was this: if you can’t get what you need from the group you are in, BE IT yourself. Create what you need. I’ve been able to apply this in more places in my life than business. The most recent change I’ve made is in my idea of child care and available help for my kids. Because I don’t know about you, but I simply cannot do it alone. I’m a better mom when I can run errands without my children with me every time. I’m a better wife when we get away from them and I can actually think a full thought and darn it, I’m a better ME when I have some time to be alone and recharge.
When help feels non-exsistent…
I wanted to share with you some mindset shifts and changes that I needed to make to get the village help I craved.
- Communicate your needs. I know I am a better person when I have time away from my kids. But guess what? No one around me can read my mind! So even though I was at my limit on the inside, no one around me knew I needed help because I kept a grin and bear it face on. I had to start communicating with my husband, with the kids’ grandparents, and with neighbors/friends/babysitters. I had to start asking for help and not being too proud when I was at my limit. This is also still a work in progress for me!
- Help exists beyond grandparents. Our kids have the best grandparents. They are willing to help, take them overnight, a week at a time if needed – the list goes on. But grandparents have a life too! Some think they need to leave the arctic of North Dakota for months at a time for the Sunshine State or the place where “it’s a dry heat”. The first winter we had two kids and perceived no extra help during those months was a huge wake up call that I needed to branch out. It’s typically not the kids that need to branch out but our willingness to ask others for help. See point in #1 about stop being too proud to ask the question!
- Ask around and get creative! Maybe you live in a larger city and you don’t know any baby sitters (or smaller city in my case!). Do you have trusted friends with kids who have baby sitters they love? Would your friends do a “childcare swap” with you so they can have a break too? Is there a drop off child care center you could use? The list goes on.
Think bigger and abundantly.
If you have a need, create the solution. When you catch yourself saying, “I don’t have anyone to…” pause and ask yourself if that is really true. For me, it wasn’t true. My communication, mindset, and creativity had to change. Help was abundant and every where if I truly looked for it and I’m grateful to all who help us out and have become our village.