When my oldest daughter was still in utero.
Or really since I peed on that stick. I knew that I could not do this one my own. Part of it was being a very young mom and the other was realizing how fortunate I was growing up. So when my oldest was about nine maybe ten I gave her a list of phone numbers of women in her life that I trusted enough to give her Godly counsel. She carries that list everywhere. There are things that she just doesn’t want to talk to me about, and that’s ok. But I wanted her to have safe place to go to when mom or dad aren’t there or she needs another perspective. I completely support and agree with the line “it takes a village”. And I wanted to make sure that my kids had strong, amazing, confident, Godly women to call on. The list has surely grown over the past couple of years seeing we have been over abundantly blessed by a church we call family. Even so, now two of my daughters carry a list.
I was fortunate enough to be brought up “in a village” environment and was determined that my daughter now my five children would do the same. I am perplexed by those women and mothers that feel like they can and want to do it all on their own. They make no attempt to make friends and reach out to those around them. I just feel like it is so much easier to be a part of a village.
I was raised with aunts and grandmothers who were always intertwined in our lives. They were second mothers to me. Teaching me things that my mom gave full room for me to learn from someone else. She too was busy raising five children. That is where the village of aunts stepped in. My aunts taught me important things like all the words to the Footloose soundtrack and how to play volleyball like the guys on Top Gun. They taught me how to shop for a bargain. They taught me that you could look beautiful and better with secondhand garments. They taught me to appreciate the piano and let the music engulf every part of my being. My aunts brought me to my first concerts. Don’t be jealous of my early exposure to REO Speedwagon and Richard Marx my cool aunts were completely responsible for that. They taught me how to get the best tans with baby oil and peroxide. They let me stay summers with them staying up late into the evening having “girl talk”. My aunts taught me how to be a good mom. How to be a servant of Christ. How to care for the fatherless. How to be respectful and kind. They taught me to seek Christ and hold Him in the highest honor.
And now that I have five little ones. And some are not so little anymore, I need help. And women around me have taught me that we each have something to offer and teach to each other. I cannot teach my children how to sew. That is my mom’s job. I cannot bring them to Taylor Swift concert. That is my sister’s job. I cannot teach them what it is like to work full time and have an amazing career. That is my other sister’s job. I have friends who will teach them better by example how to be patient, generous, amazing educated women. They will be taught what it is like to fight for your spouse and how to date with a Christian perspective. They will know what it is like to be the church and take care of each other. I will not teach them to drive. I could, but I think I will leave that to their dad and uncles. I cannot teach them to make the perfect bread. That is nana’s job. I cannot teach them how to pick out the perfect outfit. That’s my friend’s job. I may not teach them everything they need to know but I do know that I have an amazing group of sisters, friends, aunts, and especially nana’s that will teach them countless things they need to grow to be strong, God passionate people.
Don’t discount those strong women in your life. Whether related or not we all have a responsibility to be the village to the children around us. Let others help you. Invite in the wisdom. Welcome the different perspective. God knows we all need it.
No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1John 4:12 NLT