Finding My Mom Village

Finding My Mom Village | Duluth Moms Blog

Before having kids, I thought the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” was a nice idea and sounded cute, but I didn’t think it would really apply to me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the idea. My thoughts sounded more like “But I’m independent!  I won’t need help — I don’t want help.” Oh, I had so much to learn! I thought the “villages” had hard boundaries: the co-sleeping village, the cry-it-out village, the make your own baby food village, the cloth diaper village, etc. And I didn’t see myself fitting into any of the hard boundaries that I was drawing, so I just figured I wouldn’t need a village.

Fast forward to my twin-pregnancy: I needed a little help.  

Finding My Mom Village | Duluth Moms Blog

During the first trimester, we only ate thanks to my husband. I was SO tired that the thought of going to the grocery store made me want to cry, and some days I think I did (thank you hormones). So he made sure we had food in the house — and food that didn’t make me nauseous (hello bread and cheese!). Second trimester rolled around and my belly was getting big; cleaning the house felt like running a marathon and also required recovery time afterwards. So we found Michelle, a sweet woman who came every 2 weeks to clean — and she didn’t judge me for my lack of home-keeping skills. She kept coming every week or two until I quit my job; and now as a stay-at-home mom, I miss her every day! During the third trimester I was happy to accept help left and right. If I dropped a pen, I was happy to let my co-worker pick it up for me. Side note: how come when you want to bend over the least you become super clumsy and drop everything? I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was starting to build my mom village.  

Once the babies arrived, fellow twin mamas were a lifeline! They understood my crazy questions and had quick answers; and their babies were young enough that they were usually awake at the crazy hours that I was and responded to my texts! Sometimes just knowing someone else was nursing or hooked up to the breast pump in the middle of the night like I was made me feel a little bit better about whatever I was worrying about.

I craved the connection to other moms — I could talk about my babies all day! On maternity leave, I joined an ECFE group for newborns and loved it! Now getting out of the house with newborn twins is a feat, but I looked forward to going to this class every week to see the other babies and more importantly to see the other moms and just talk about our babies. When I went back to work, my fellow mama co-workers became my village. We could relate to the stress of being a working mom, or a pumping mom, or a sleep deprived mom; and when it was too hard to be away from our babies, we could cry to each other without being the lunatic who cries at work.  

When I became a stay-at-home mom I realized just how much I need a village! Yes, it takes a village to raise a child, but for me it takes a village to support a mom. My built-in mom network of co-workers was gone; we keep in touch, but there’s something about proximity that keeps a group strong. I signed up for another ECFE class that we attend each week. And while getting two newborns out the door was a feat, some days getting two toddlers out of the house, in the winter, wearing all of the appropriate gear feels even harder! I look forward to these classes because the girls are so stimulated during the 1.5 hour class that they usually take an epic nap afterwards; but even more importantly for the moms that I get to talk to. Sometimes just saying out loud whatever the worry or struggle of the day is makes it seem more manageable. They’re in the trenches with me dealing with the same crazy situations. They get it. 

One of my mom groups is giving me more support than I thought it would. I go to Stroller Strides classes with the girls once or twice a week. It’s a workout class that I do with the girls in the stroller. Because while breast feeding helped me lose a little bit of baby weight, I still have quite a bit to lose. No more excuses about not being able to exercise for me. It’s so inspiring to workout among other moms; they have the same excuses I do but they are showing up, working hard, and getting results. I joined this group for the workouts — and they are killer! — but I am getting so much more than just a workout; it feels more like a community.

My newest addition to my village is this blog! While getting all of the writers together isn’t easy, whenever I am among these women I feel inspired and excited about whatever we’re doing. We stay connected on Facebook, and obviously by reading each others blog entries. When I joined the blog I was excited to share my story and connect with other local moms, and I am so happy that it’s happening!

Finding My Mom Village | Duluth Moms Blog{ Photo credit: JaneCane Photography }

My village is constantly growing and evolving. It does not have hard boundaries. It gives me so much strength. And while yes it does take a village to raise a child, for me it takes my village to raise a mom — and a happy and healthy one at that!

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