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…