There’s no “I” in mother, but there is in village…

I’ve always been a strong, independent woman, or so I wanted to believe, and I’ve never been good at asking for help or even accepting help whenever others offer.

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I wanted to be the PERFECT mother, so I researched everything from diapers to bottles to pacifiers, cleaning products, strollers to car seats, toys, even combed through nearly every book under the sun about proper sleep habits, schedules and how to communicate with baby.  I’m going to be the one at home raising our family, so I wanted to be able to handle things on my own.  I should be able to handle things on my own.

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Too proud?  Maybe.

Stubborn?  Yes.

Unrealistic?  Absolutely.

I needed help, but I was too ashamed to ask.  I threw my hands in the air, my support system leapt to action and I quickly realized that it truly does take a village to raise a baby.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first time mom, a stay at home mom, a working mom or even a mom for the second, third, fourth time, you’ll always need a few people in your “village” to call upon for support and I’ve compiled my TOP FIVE list of lifesavers.

1. GOD

I have never prayed more in my life.  I’m not even a super religious person, but I’m extremely spiritual and I found peace in my one-on-one conversations with a higher power.  It doesn’t matter your religion, but belief in something has a way of calming any storm and bringing sunshine to your darker days.

2. MOM

She raised me, she knows me better than anyone else, so my oh-so-fabulous mother has been my go-to for allllllllll my baby questions.  It’s been funny to learn how much she doesn’t remember about my baby days (nearly thirty years ago), but her unconditional love, motherly advice and friendship is priceless. It doesn’t matter your family dynamics, but those who raised you and supported you through the many “seasons” of life can be great resources.

Three Generations Christmas 2013

Three Generations
Christmas 2013

3. PARTNER

If the chips are down, your partner will be the one there to help pick up the pieces.  I’m so very blessed to have married a man with whom I can be everything from happy to sad to angry to silly and he only loves me more.  It’s not necessarily an unconditional love, as our partners choose to love us, but it’s definitely a love like no other and it’s more fun tackling life’s crazy curve balls together.

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4. DOCTOR

I don’t know about you, but I’m a very private person and there’s nothing private about labor & delivery.  I felt like my vagina was a revolving door for nearly 14 hours, but it definitely made me feel more comfortable with my obstetrician.  I shared things with her that I didn’t feel like I could express to anyone else and she’s always had my back.  It’s a dependable relationship and dependability is something that all mothers need occasionally.

5. FRIENDS

It can be a support group, a playgroup or just good friends raising children together, but every mother needs that cliché group of “mom friends” to share in the joy, the tears, the sleepless nights, the stressful days, etc.  I must say that the ladies I’ve met in playgroup have been incredibly supportive (special THANK YOU to MOMS Club of Valrico) and the adult interaction gives me something to look forward to every week.

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I’ve learned that it’s not a sign of weakness to accept help and that the ability to ask for help in your weaker moments is a truer sign of strength and independence.  I learned that lesson the hard way, but I am blessed to be surrounded by some truly amazing people.

There’s no “I” in mother, but there is in village and that’s exactly where I belong! 🙂

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5 Responses to There’s no “I” in mother, but there is in village…

  1. Anne Morgan June 6, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Loved this candid & colorful read 🙂

    • Amanda June 6, 2014 at 9:01 am #

      Thank you for reading!

  2. Lynda June 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    Ah, this is such an important part of parenting and family-making – to have that support system. I was fortunate to have extended family and good friends close at hand during those crucial years when my kids were birth to school age – and beyond. Can’t imagine how I would have done it without that help.

    And I’m really liking the topics you are inspired to write about and the engaging writing style you are developing! If you were in one of my writing courses when I taught college, you’d be getting all As/4.0s! 🙂

    • Amanda June 22, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

      Thank you, Lynda!!! 🙂