You’ve probably heard the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And whilst I have always read it as meaning the child needs a village, today it struck me – “It takes a village…”
I need a village. I actually need a village around me. For me! I need my friends who are at the same point in their parenting who can nod in understanding when I share how my teenager pushed my buttons today. I need that friend who will hold my baby that won’t stop crying so I can take a shower. I need that friend whose children are a bit older than mine to say, “I’ve been there, it’ll be ok.” That listening ear, the support, the cheering on of wins, big and small, are invaluable as we parent.
The Book of Ecclesiastes talks about the value of a friend:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
While our children were young, I had always prioritised things like church, playgroup, homeschool get togethers and play dates, for me as much as for the children. Then three years ago I returned to paid employment after being a stay at home mum since having our first child. I started with a part time job, working evenings at a supermarket while my husband was home. In 2019 we moved states, I transferred my job, and added another job while still homeschooling two of our four children (thankfully our older two had finished ‘school’). It would have been so easy to lose my village, but I know how important it is for me to have support in my life.
Sometimes, staying connected is as simple as facetiming a friend while I cook dinner. Messaging my neighbour to coordinate our lunch breaks so that we eat lunch in our own front yards and have a chat for half an hour. Calling my parents while I drive to work or collect children from their activities. Being intentional about making time to spend with my husband.
If you find yourself without a village, for whatever reason, it’s never too late to connect into a new one. Join a church, a club, an online group, and put out feelers. Could they be your village?
I encourage you as you travel this road of parenting to find your village and stay connected. It can be so easy to get lost in the busyness of life. But I promise you, it is worth hanging on to your village.
Yvonne is Generations Connection Coordinator for Crossway Baptist Church. Yvonne and her husband Justin have four children ranging from primary to young adults.