Did you see Bunmi Laditan’s article I Miss the Village floating around your newsfeed this week? If you haven’t had a chance yet, please read it. I did and I loved every word of it. Do you have a village of moms who you love and trust?
This article struck a chord with me. I consider myself blessed to have such a village. You hear horror stories of the mommy wars. I know that I am lucky, and I am thankful for this village every. single. day.
When Leo was born, our hospital sponsored two mothers’ groups. One was for mothers of babies 0-6 months and one for mothers of babies 6-12 months. The groups were run by a wonderful nurse, with whom we are still in contact with all these years later. I attended my first group when Leo was just five weeks old. I entered the room bleary-eyed and hormonal. Little did I know that those bleary-eyed and hormonal strangers staring back at me would soon become something akin to family. Here we are, six-plus years later, still supporting each other as our “babies” prepare for first grade.
We’ve been through it all together and they’ve always had my back.
These moms had my back when Leo was young and colicky. They dried my tears during his FTT days of weigh-ins and calorie counting.
They never judged when Leo would freak out over random things like lawn mowers, crickets, or swimming pool filters.
They still don’t judge when he freaks out at the age of six.
They’ve been there when I was sick. They’ve been there when my kids were sick. They’ve delivered supplies for countless stomach viruses, and even delivered supplies during the week that we had the stomach virus and head lice at the same time (that’s when you find out who your true friends are, people!), they’ve delivered clothes and supplies when Seuss was hospitalized with RSV and they even held his goopy, hacking little body, so that I could have my first shower in days.
They let my whole family live with them during a home renovation. And also during a couple of those lovely New England extended winter power outages.
When Seuss was a baby, he projectile-vomited all. day. long. These moms didn’t care. They held him to give me a break.
Even though they know I hate the small talk of phone conversations, if they haven’t seen me in a while, they call to check in.
I thank them when they discipline my kids. My kids listen to them.
They love my children. And I love their children.
Just as in Laditan’s article, they know me and I know them. I know their children and they know mine. They have the real, true level of knowledge of my children that Laditan wrote about. I trust my children with these amazing mothers. My children love and respect them.
I have even more respect for this village after this past year, during which we identified Leo’s giftedness and made the decision to homeschool. I’ve managed to find some gifted circles and it is in these circles that I have heard more mommy war-type horror stories. There are oodles of moms out there with kids like Leo who are unsupported and judged for doing what they think is best for their children. These mothers cannot use the g-word around other moms. They are unable to even talk about what their g-word child is doing, for fear of alienation. They are judged. They lose friends.
Once again, I feel grateful for this amazing village of mine.I feel so blessed. When I first started dropping the dreaded g-word, which I’ll admit still feels incredibly awkward, no one flinched. Not one person was surprised. They weren’t surprised because they know Leo. They get him. They understand him on a very deep level and they love him, g-word and all. When I mentioned that we had decided to homeschool, I was flooded with words of support:
You’ve got this. You are already homeschooling, you just don’t call it that.
I can’t think of a better person for the job.
I’m so proud of you for taking this on, those are the luckiest kiddos to have you as their Mumma!
I admire your courage.
Be proud, mama!
You’re doing a huge job. I’m so proud of you.
You’re amazing to do this. Leo is lucky to be in your hands.
I am so proud of you for doing this. You’re going to do great!
I have so much respect and admiration for you. Leo landed in the right place.
Those are actual sentences copied from my inbox. I have even had several friends offer to help me teach him. They said they would love to help.
How incredibly lucky am I? I wish that all moms, g-word or not, could have the same. Because the saying is true, it takes a village. And I don’t know where I’d be without mine.
What about you guys? Have you found a village of supportive moms? I sure hope so! Share here!
Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ~C.S. Lewis
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram