January 14, 2013

Motherlode Monday, social media

There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t chat with someone, either virtually or in real life, about life as a mom. Everyday presents a new set of triumphs and challenges and its nice to have someone else to share it with. No one can understand you like another mom can.  It’s just that simple.

There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t chat with someone, either virtually or in real life, about life as a mom. Everyday presents a new set of triumphs and challenges and its nice to have someone else to share it with. No one can understand you like another mom can.

It’s just that simple.

I reflect on the proverb “It takes a village” and realize it is not just a saying, it was and still is for some, a fact of life. Grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, even neighbors often times chipped in to help one another in the rearing of their offspring. It was just the thing to do. Mothers were never expected to balance it all alone, married or otherwise, it was a community effort.

For those like myself where this reality does not exist, I’m truly thankful for my social media community who provide encouragement on my journey as well as advice and perspective on life in general. Many of these people I have met in person and integrated them into my group of life long buddies. Others I solely communicate with via instagram, facebook groups, or twitter.

In the age of social media, those wary often times criticize the amount sharing that happens on these platforms. While we do have to exercise caution, it is this attitude of non-sharing that has led to feelings of isolation and desperation felt by moms.

It was just last night June (a single woman and one of my best friends) told me of a time when she mentioned to a group of other women that she often babysits for my children (then three) and a our dog. Scowls fell across their faces and another, a mom herself, expressed that she would “avoid such a situation at all cost.” While it was hurtful to hear about their reactions it made me grateful for their transparency.

I’d never guilt trip anyone into assist me in creating a village for my children. It’s a heart thing. They have to want to do it. June loves my children and wants a relationship with them. What she may or may not realize is that my children have such an affection for her, more than some of their blood relatives. They mention her every night in their prayer time and ask me how she’s going if they haven’t seen her in a while.

Aunt June is important to them because they are important to her.

If you have an Aunt June in your life, you’ve got a treasure for sure. For those of you who don’t, reach out to other moms in your online community for support. Be sure to reciprocate. A friendly comment, email message, or tweet can do wonders for someone who feels alone. Send a kind virtual message to three moms today especially if this is an area in your life where you would like some encouragement. Just watch what happens.

I firmly believe that those that give love, gather love.

How has the online community enriched your motherhood experience? Do tell…

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About Erika Ward

Multi-passionate entrepreneur, spokesperson, speaker, and philanthropist, Erika Hollinshead Ward worked in the design-build industry as an accountant before turning her passion for interior design into a successful business. Named by Atlanta Tribune as having one of the top design firms for two consecutive years, Erika is a highly sought after expert whose work has appeared in several media outlets such as House Beautiful Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Fox 5 (Atlanta Affiliate), Huffington Post, and many others. Her influential voice in the home improvement sector has lead to marketing collaborations with leading home and lifestyle brands including Home Depot, S.C. Johnson, and Home Decorators Collection. Erika holds an undergraduate degree from The University of Georgia and resides in Atlanta with her husband and five children. With her sharp business acumen and design prowess, you can rest assured that she is one to watch as a voice for working mothers, women entrepreneurs, and interior design enthusiasts.

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  1. Lori @ Lori May Interiors Says:

    So very true! Reaching out is key!


  2. Laila @OnlyLaila Says:

    I LOVE my village. I know that having a village makes me a better woman and a better mother. It’s so important everyone have a community around them. I also love my digital village, I do want to meet more folks from my digital village in person this year. I need to give some hugs.


  3. Bernetta Says:

    This post is so true. I don’t have a big family (near me) so for the most part, I have to depend on my mom (but she has a YOUNG spirit) so she has her party dates too! LOL! But my husband and I have good friends that REALLY love our kids and if we need them the are their. It’s not alot, it might be 3-4 go to people but we not try to not to abuse their kindness.


  4. Amber Says:

    This was a great read! My husband and I only have each other and I’m a stay at home mom so many days I feel so lonely. I’m going to start building a network of moms that I can develop friendships with to give me some balance. I love reading post like these:) thank you!


  5. James Says:

    I will be back after you stop blogging about motherlodes and more design related stuff.


  6. nikki Says:

    happy Tuesday lady! So on point as always. My husband and I don’t have any family in Miami so definitely rely heavily on a village full of friends. Like you, we have an Aunt June aka Aunty Khadene, a good friend who loves Xavier just as much as we do and one of the people I can leave him with and have zero worries. Lean on and appreciate those friends because even with one kid, I have no idea who folks raise a child without any support.


  7. Raye Cage Says:

    Although I’m not a mom – I do have one! :0) I don’t know how you ladies do it – juggling career, relationships, kids, etc. – you rock! There’s a book out called “Desperate: Hope for the Mom who needs to Breathe”. It talks about building a community around you. Older moms helping the younger ones passing down wisdom & encouragement. Here is the link for the website I think the books’ message marries well with this blog post.


  8. Kiran Says:

    I have been greatly encouraged by the transparency from other Mothers in the blog world. I fell into a little depression for a bit (two years). I now realize I was being too hard on myself, and life is not perfect. My Dad helps me with my daughters (along with other family members), and what a blessing he is. I have always said the same “It takes a Village”… and I am grateful for mine.


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