I am a strong believer that it takes a village to raise a child. That village might look different for each of us. That village could be your blood relatives, your closest friends and your in-laws. Or maybe you don’t have siblings or in-laws, so your village includes your friends, the teachers and staff at your child's daycare or those in your church community. Though the village might look different for each of us, their roles and the impacts they make on our lives are extremely important to us.
When I say it took a village to help me raise my oldest daughter, I literally mean it. I was a young single mom and extremely fortunate to have the support that I did of those who helped care and mold my daughter into the person she is today. To be honest, this same village helped mold and care for me just as much. I am not sure where we would be today if it were not for that village.
My village today raising my two littles and a teenage, that village looks really different. That village consists of my family, yes, but also it includes my children’s daycare center, my team at work and some really amazing friends that love my children as if they were their own.
And then there is the village that raised me. Probably the most important village in my life, as they modeled and taught me all of the characteristics of what defines me as the person I am today. I was raised by a single mother growing up. She is the one who taught me to be the fighter I am today. But she could not have done it alone. I was so fortunate growing up to have what I now call “my family of creation”. This family consisted of not only my blood relatives, but those that were also not “technically related to me by blood”. They were my step parents, my step-step parents (yes, that is correct), friends, my friends’ parents, teachers at my school, those I met through different jobs throughout my life and later in life my in-laws. Each and every person that stepped foot in my life taught me something that I took with me on my journey. Some are still by my side and some are not. It often makes me think of the saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I believe this with my whole heart.
I have the most beautiful picture from my wedding. It was the picture you would typically take with both sets of parents and siblings traditionally. I on the other hand, am not someone you would categorize in the “traditional” column, so I decided I wanted my family of creation in this picture. It is my favorite picture from my wedding. Every person in that picture helped me along my journey and deserved to be standing by us as a couple as we took the next step in our journey together.
I want you to know that it is okay to acknowledge that you need help and can’t do it all. I want you to lean into your village, whomever that may be, and show gratitude for their support. Some of you may say that you do not have a village, but please don’t assume that your village looks like someone else's. Your village might look totally different and that’s okay, there is no perfect definition of what a village is supposed to look like. And if you truly do not have a village YET, you can create one starting today! You can connect with people in different groups around you, book clubs, mom groups, people at work, the list goes on and on. Please do not feel like you have to do it alone. At the end of the day, you need to surround yourself with people that love you, support you and are good for your soul. I truly believe that people are in fact in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. You just need to let them in.
Tell me, what does your village look like?
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