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Community is Crucial for Surviving Parenthood

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Community is Crucial for Surviving Parenthood

Update: This was written in 2017. We are currently navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage readers to read this with an open mind in regards to how it can apply to your parenting today, given the challenges and struggles we are facing. Think outside the box. How can you find community to help you through in these times? What kind of help do you need? Will you have the courage to ask for it?

My children have grown and have flown but today I’m pausing to reminisce a little. Okay, truthfully, I reminisce a lot these days, but today I’m choosing to share my reflections with you.

I look back through the combined 68 years of being a mom to our three kids and think of all of the people who have helped and loved on us along the way. There are many!

As we raised our three, there were times when I needed help. There were times of crisis due to illness, surgeries, deaths, global catastrophes (9/11), parenting alone, and international moves, just to name a few.

I’m not good at asking for help. Truthfully, I haven’t come across anyone who really enjoys being needy. Some in my close community knew me well enough to come to my rescue or to the rescue of my children without me having to ask but mostly, I needed to make my needs known. It was uncomfortable, but the benefits were two-fold: 1) I got the help I needed. 2) It paved the way for me to return the favor thus building community.

Making our needs known is not a sign of weakness, but a statement of courage. (click to tweet)


Motherhood Community

In the younger years, I remember when a couple of girlfriends would come over with their young children while our husbands worked long and non-family friendly hours. We would shove the piles of laundry over and ignore the dirty dishes piled high in the sink – and on the countertops, if I’m being honest. Dance parties, frozen fish stick dinners, and Barney (the purple dinosaur) marathons often became impromptu sleepovers. Together, we turned would-be lonely nights into nights filled with fun, laughter, and togetherness.

In the middle years, I recall a fellow mom/friend who trained me to help our daughter overcome a cognitive learning issue she had been struggling with for a few years. My heart hurt for my daughter and as much as I wanted to fix it, I realized I was not equipped to do so. I needed to ask for help. My friend generously answered the call and helped us turn a negative circumstance into a positive memory.

In the older years, family members moved our daughter into her first year of college while we lived overseas. I cried crocodile tears because I couldn’t be there. But what a blessing to get to see others love on her. Even now, my family members still appreciate that we let them help her. They received a blessing as well.

What was captured in this video is poignantly congruent in the story we should be experiencing in the community of motherhood. Motherhood should be a beautiful community that bands together to help each other out of the mud and happily trot away together.

Parents, I know you might feel alone right now. So many of us do. The years are treacherous and often lonely. If you don’t have a village, ask yourself where you might find one and go after it. We need each other. You do not have to nor should you do motherhood alone.

Parents who ask for help can receive a blessing while offering one.

Is it time for you to call for reinforcements? Don’t wait until you’re drowning. Don’t wait until your kids are stuck.

Is someone in your village stuck in the mud? Go to their rescue.

Let’s do this together and watch the blessings unfold.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133 NIV


This article was originally published by The Courage.

Photo/video credit: Wild Wings Safaris Touching video of elephants.

About Andrea

A stumbling pilgrim and gatherer and sharer of stories. Let's walk intentionally to hope.

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