A Village Experiment

I’ve recently discovered that being a mom is not only a full-time job, it’s a full-time job for three people!

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I’ve read so many wonderful blog posts about creating your “tribe” or “village”, like these posts here and here, and I’ve often wondered what it would be like. I also wondered if having more people around to care for things that generally fall to me as a stay-at-home-mom would make me sit back  and lounge around eating bonbons whilst watching them work. And I finally got a chance to test it out!

My sister came to stay with us for the month of July, and we had a wonderful time together. It was so much fun to have a constant grown-up companion, not to mention incredible to have daily help with caring for the lil peeps and our home.

And here is my epiphany: Even with L here helping with pretty much every aspect of our daily lives–cooking, cleaning, caring for kids, playing with kids, teaching impressionable kids cool stuff, the list goes on–even with BOTH of us doing all that (PLUS Daddy was doing it all too on the weekends), I never found myself with too much time on my hands or finished with everything that “should” have happened in a day.

*Lightbulb*

To my shock I discovered that we could have used the hands of even ANOTHER person to make everything flow and finish the way I thought it should when I’m here mommying  all by my lonesome every day of the week. Huh. So the deep-seated concern that the reason I don’t get everything done in a day (or, let’s be realistic here, a week!) because I’m just lazy or not organized enough is totally bunk.

I’m going to sit a moment and let that sink in. I may be the only mama concerned about this, but somehow I have a hard time differentiating between me needing help or being tired and me being lazy and not working hard or smart enough. I can tend to think that in some way, what I’m doing is not as big of a deal as it really is. But I’ll bet I’m not completely alone in this.

So, friends, my month-long “experiment” has convinced me that yes, I DO need a “village”. I DO need help taking on the best and biggest task in the universe: raising up children and caring for my household. No laziness involved here. It really IS a big deal!

Thank you, Auntie L, for coming and inadvertently helping me work through this little quirk of mine. 🙂 I’m already coming up with a list of reasons why you should live with us permanently.

What about you? Do you have a “village”? Or what kind of helpers do you have? Do you ever struggle with the “am I just lazy?” question? Leave me a comment below!

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4 thoughts on “A Village Experiment

  1. I totally agree! I was just talking about this with my husband the other day, and how I miss the idea of communal living. So many wonderful people, adults and kids, it just makes life fuller!

    It is worth noting however that there is just as much work to be done. Kind of a sigh of relief actually. I’m so glad you wrote about this! I feel so much better knowing that it’s not just us!

    • Oh, yes, it’s definitely not just you! I’ve struggled with this ever since I got married, really, and particularly since having babies. It’s good to know we are all in the same boat, and to remind each other to be kind to ourselves. 🙂

  2. So true! There always seems to be a little more than I can get done in a day. And I beat myself up when I don’t make it through my (unrealistic) list each day or week. Why do we put ourselves under this pressure?

    I miss my mom. She was my “village”. She took care of me in so many ways, even when I lived 2,000 miles away. (She was so creative about it when we lived far away… care packages, notes, almost daily phone chats.) It would have been so fun to see her as a grandma.

    • I feel you, Holly! It is a challenge with family far away. And of course the hole left by your mom’s passing is great! I’m going to be exploring how to really build a community even when family is unavailable or far away. Maybe I’ll write some more posts about it as I go!

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