All too often when people see me with my three children the one question they ask is, “Do you have any help?” I say no and many tend to delve deeper. They ask about my parents – deceased, my siblings – none, my husband’s parents – deceased, and his siblings – a brother also deceased. I kindly accept their condolences and try to change the morbid subject.
At times my situation is sad. I always wonder what our lives could (or would) have been like if any or all family members were living. As the old saying goes, “It takes a village,” to raise our children and despite the lack of traditional family, I have never felt alone in motherhood. I am lucky to have found my unconventional village.
I am thankful for my village every day, but as the holiday season approaches and I count my blessings my thankfulness for them grows stronger.
I am thankful for:
- My aunt and uncle whom as a child I admired, now they are idols to the next generation.
- The multitude of “aunties” who have been my friends since kindergarten. They are always there to pick me up when I am down, start text chains that leave me laughing out loud, and remind me of who I am and how far we’ve come together.
- The moms and dads of those “aunties” who alongside my own mom and dad raised me. They have provided endless inspiration on how I choose to parent my own children.
- The post-college roommate I found on Craigslist who now shares holidays and many traditions with us. She is the one my kids pretend to call on the phone and visit in New York City.
- The sister in-law who finally made this only child someone’s sister.
- My husband’s former boss who despite her age fills a grandma-like role to my children. She spoils them with surprises and always offers to help watch them.
- My former co-workers that helped me through two pregnancies in two years. Their kind words, support, guidance of how to be a working parent, and chats at my desk made all the difference in my first years of motherhood.
- The moms I’ve met at the library, gym, park, or local museum who are great for commiserating on mom topics and chatting while our children are playing. I look forward to seeing these women; they make me feel part of a special community.
- The moms I can call my local mom friends – they’ve seen past this socially awkward woman and her three not always so well behaved children and still invite us to events.
- The twins moms that I’ve met who GET IT. Some are women I have gotten to know, others just pass by at the park or mall and give me words of encouragement like “it gets easier.” I’m happy to have support from women going through the madness of multiples alongside me.
- The babysitters I trust with my children, dogs, and home. They are crucial to giving my husband and me the time we love to spend together.
- All of the people in our community who in some way help with my children – the staff in the most amazing local preschool we attend, the librarians who always help one twin with a craft project because I’m busy with another one, the staff of our local gym who know all my children by name, and the employees in just about every store or business I visit with my brood who are always caring and understanding no matter what occurs on any given trip.
- Our neighbors who have become friends and whose houses my children are instructed to run to in case of emergencies.
- My fellow Fairfield County Moms Blog mamas – they are who I can relate to, sympathize with, and feel empowered by. Their honesty and strength in writing about motherhood and this county’s community is what drew me to reading their stories and I’m happy tp be sharing my own.
I’m happy and grateful to have the multitude of people that I do in my life. It’s an unconventional village and I’m thankful for all those who know and love my family as I do.
Who makes up your village?