My firstborn recently turned seven … which means I’ve been waking up every day for the past seven years and attempting to mom as hard as my mental capacity will allow. Some days I kill it and throw fist pumps in the air when no one is looking. Other days, okay, most days, I’m just out here barely getting by. Pretty sure whoever came up with the phrase, “Fake it ’til you make it” was a wise woman pontificating to her fellow mothers after a trying day.
I think we’re all very aware of this idea that “it takes a village” to raise kids–especially in this day and age, where everything you do is posted, liked, judged, and tracked on the regular. What I never really considered is exactly what my village would look like, and who it would include.
Sure, my handful of mom friends that accept me at my worst are the most prominent residents in my village-hood. My family has a deep-rooted interest in my village, so, of course they frequent their timeshares whenever possible. But it’s the tourists, the passer-byers, and occasional renters that I hadn’t really considered part of my village that surprised me the most.
It’s the mom at Target that gives you the knowing nod when your child is throwing an epic tantrum, and her quick comment, “Girl, I’ve totally been there,” as she passes, which actually comforts you and lets you know you’re not alone. It’s the mom on the playground who hands you a spare band-aid as your child is “bleeding out” and screaming, and you’re frantically searching your mom bag and coming up empty. It’s the mom who keeps track of your child on their field trip that day while you’re busy at work, wishing you could be there instead. We don’t even know these moms (or dads!) but there they are, helping us in moments of need, whether we realize it or not.
They are the ones who bring extra snacks to the play group, that text you a reminder of an important sign-up day at school, that offer to bring you a coffee to work when they know your husband is traveling and you’re flying solo this week. If you think about it, our villages are as agile as our parenting techniques — constantly evolving, growing, and adapting to the challenges we encounter. They are the other moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, sisters, brothers, dogs, and even strangers we’ll never see again. All of these people make up our village. They are our “other moms.”
In this season of gratitude, I want to say thank you to all the other moms right here in KC. We’ve passed by each other at Union Station, smiled hello on the steps of the WWI memorial, said “hey” at the local brewery with our littles in tow, cheered on the Royals a few rows apart, and passed off our sought-after kid cart in the Target parking lot. We’ve never officially met, but I see you, and I thank you. From the bottom of my “I seriously couldn’t do this without you” mothering heart.