“It takes a village,” “Find your tribe,” “Life is better in community,”
You hear these things, and they sound amazing, right? Like there is hope and help for our weary mama souls on those days when we’re in full-on survival mode.
But how does one go about finding this community of tribal village people who love us enough to care?!
For me, it’s been a process.
Not necessarily because those people weren’t already present, but because I wasn’t always in a place where I felt like I could (or wanted to) see them for who they were in my life – people sent by God to walk alongside me and HELP me to be the best version of myself.
I don’t like to need help.
I think I actually kinda hate it, but this is a crazy busy season of life for us and God is using it to humble this mama to my core.
I like to do things on my own, in my own way, and on my own time, but in the last nine months we found out we were expecting our fourth baby (and my pregnancy was a doozy!), we started building a new house (which we moved into just TWO weeks before said baby is due), and my husband got a new position at work (go, Babe, go!!!) that is kinda time consuming and currently has him traveling a lot more than we’re all used to. All good, GOOD things that we are beyond thankful and excited about, but wow.
It all makes my head spin a bit.
People see me traipsing around town, running errands and doing life with my three little dudes plus a BIG ole’ belly, and they say things to me like,
“I don’t know how you do it!” and I just smile because I’m finally at a place in my life where I’ll respond with “well, I’ve got a lot of help!”. Because, I do. (YAY!)
I’ve had seasons of loneliness where I would pray for God to send me even just one good friend.
Someone that I could easily do life with. But, I haven’t had to ask for that for a long time now. I’m surrounded by people who are constantly offering help or encouragement and…
I’m finally learning that it doesn’t make me any less of a mama or wife or woman if I accept their help.
In fact, I think it only deepens those relationships and we all feel more comfortable when we let ourselves be vulnerable with each other.
So, when your husband offers to take the kids out, even after a long day at work – let him.
When your in-laws offer to take the kids so you can have a date night – let them.
When your neighbor offers to pick up your groceries for you while she’s out – let her!
When you need some encouragement from a fellow mama, offer to provide the coffee and invite her over! Chances are, she could use some encouragement too.
I think my biggest fear in the past was that reaching out or accepting favors would make people feel like I’m taking advantage of them, but when I put myself in their shoes, I realize – I love doing things for people and I won’t offer if I don’t really want to help.
So, I have to assume the same is true for them. Also. Side note. It’s WAY more fun to do things for thankful people (amiright?!), so I always, always, always express my gratitude! Sometimes that’s a coffee in exchange for a favor, sometimes it’s a date night in exchange for a date night, and sometimes it’s just a teary-eyed hug in exchange for some encouragement. I’ve been given some amazing people in my life, and in exchange for how well they love on me, I make sure they don’t feel taken for granted. And I love them back the best way that I can. That’s all I can do.
Who is trying to walk alongside of YOU right now? Are you letting them? Who is trying to call out the good and the beautiful parts of your life? Are you listening to them? Who could benefit from having YOU in THEIR life? Are you willing to help fill that gap?
Mamas, go find your people. We weren’t made to live this life alone.