It Takes a Village

Motherhood for me has required a village. People always say it takes a village to raise a child but I’ll be honest, it takes a village to support a mama. For those wanting to be moms, expecting moms, experienced moms, IVF moms, single moms, working moms, any mom that you are I think it’s imperative to find your village. No great battle was fought and won on a solo mission. The most important battle I will face is raising my children to be considerate, kind, compassionate, empathetic, open-minded individuals. And I need my best people to help me.

The most significant people in village are my other halves: my fiancé, my oldest sons father, his step mother and my step daughters mother. We are a very blended family. I’m going to start by saying that the most important thing you can do is to realize that your feelings about your ex do not and should not overshadow the fact that your child needs BOTH OF YOU. Period. If your ex is lucky enough to have a significant other that loves your child then you’ve just double up. That’s more love for your child. This is not easy. I’m not even going to lie and say it is. It takes years of work and partnership. It’s not always perfect but it is worth it.

Because our family is blended my son has more love than I would have ever imagined. His father is remarried to an amazing woman whom he refers to as his “Mississippi Mama”. And I love it. He has an extra mom. Extra love. Another set of grandparents and more and aunts. He has his dads parents, those aunts and uncles, cousins and close family. He is loved. He now refers to my fiancé (I use husband and fiancé interchangeably because this his last relationship or my first murder, I’m not doing this again) as his “Paw”. They do everything from fishing to planning to street race and build cars. From this relationship he has yet another set of grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends. It’s all about your perspective. He doesn’t have another family, his father and I have created a village for him to grow in. We have an immense amount of supportive people that can positively impact his future. He doesn’t have to grow up thinking that divorce ruined his life. But that although we did not choose forever we chose to always love him first.

The second set of people are my mom friends. Women who understand what I go through. Moms are essential to my village. We can share ideas and experiences. We can also vent. We understand this hood. Judgement free. Cause we all ain’t got our shit together and there’s not a thing wrong with that. Having moms to talk to means a lot to me. I think we all look for understanding when it comes to issues we all go through. Someone that can stand with us, hold our hand, and really see where we’re coming from. And finding a mama that’s curses and drinks wine too is a mama that I’m always ready to meet. We need each other.

Can we talk about our siblings for a minute? I don’t even know how to start this paragraph. I’m laughing just thinking about them. I have two sisters and two brothers and I’m the oldest. Each of them in their own right calls their nephews THEIR son. At five years old they thought my son needed a cellphone so that he could make his own phone calls. My youngest brother drives literally hours and hours to only spend a day with them. My sister cries when she has to leave them. She’s the main one that thinks they belong to her. If anything ever happened they’d be there no questions to take care of the kids. They buy ridiculous gifts and they call themselves parents. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They hold special places in my heart. They drive me nuts but to their nephews they can do no wrong. Aunts and Uncles are irreplaceable and certainly deserve so much credit.

Lastly, and most certainly could have been mentioned first is my best friend. Lexi. We met in college in the same technical program. We’ve taken care of each other for years. We’ve been wild, we’ve played it safe, from taking naps to taking shots we’ve done it all together. She knows all my secrets and I know hers. Now we’re both moms. Where has the time gone?? On the tough days she the one I run to. We live hundreds of miles ways now but the distance doesn’t matter. The bond has been solidified. My babies and her babies and he baby is my baby. It never even had to be said. In the history of best friends out names are going to be written side by side. When my boys are feeling like I’m losing my shit she’s the one they will call. Her house will be home. And when her son can’t call mama, he’s going to know he can call Millie. The kids know they have a village supporting them. There’s nothing they’re going to face alone. Suga Mama and Millie. We got their back. Having a best friend is a big part of mental health. When I don’t have all the answers, she does. We figure it out. If you can’t bitch about it to your best friend is it really even your best friend??

Find your village. They’re already around you. They’re the ones building you up, encouraging you to Jeep going, telling you how amazing you are. And if there are people in your village doing the opposite; KICK THEM OUT. You get to decide who stays on this island.

“When I forgot who I was she reminded me. When I didn’t know where to turn she showed me. When I became a mom, a part of her did too. She is my best friend.”

-Millie

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