Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It Takes a Village to Raise a Mom

They say it takes a village to raise a child.  That is most definitely true.  It also takes a village to raise a mom, because this whole motherhood thing is hard work.  Really hard work.  In fact the all knowing Ms. Oprah Winfrey called it "the toughest job in the world." 

And so I have always found some of the best secret sauce to motherhood is surrounding myself with a whole bunch of other awesome women.  They help me learn tricks to save time, money, and most importantly my sanity.  Of course, you need fellow moms with kids of similar ages to your own.  This is the group that reminds me about Little League sign ups and helps me keep me calm when a parenting crisis-du-jour is about to overwhelm. 

Just as important are women at every other stage.  It is crucial I know moms with kids a little older than my own. Why should I try and figure all this mothering stuff out myself, when they have already been there, done that, and lived to tell about it.  These moms have helped me with everything from lunch packing advice (do all the sandwiches on Sunday night they'll keep) to diaper changing (cover up those baby boys before you get sprayed in the face).

Then, I need to know a few moms with kids younger than mine.  I would love to say it is because I can pass along all my knowledge to the next generation of moms, but truth is I am just hoping they will let me snuggle their babies.  What I wouldn't give for a little snuggle with newborn?   

Of course, I like to know a few empty nesters, too.  It is like those moms are cheering from the finish line, "You can do it!  We made mistakes, but look how good our kids turned out. You will be just as lucky, too."

Finally, and possibly most important, I need girl friends whose path has not yet and may not take them into the world of motherhood.  If I spend all my time in a parent-only world, I would forget the other wonderful paths life's journey can take, ones that may not include a minivan.  As much as I love it, it is nice to climb down from the hill called motherhood and view the world from another peak for a little while.

And so this week, I have had the joy of spending time with every one of these groups of women, though I didn't get that baby snuggle for which I have been wishing.  It was the wisdom of a great friend, Sheila, whose kids are a bit older, that really rang true this week.

Sheila has warned me the day would come when I would be running around crazy for the kids.  No matter how hard I tried to keep the activities contained it will sneak up on me one day.  Just like that I would be THE MOM.  All caps, as in it consumes up all your time.  

Well, as usual, Sheila's advice was right.  Last week, I did everything from the banal science camp carpool to the creepy live crickets transport to feed the class frog to the food run for 20 hungry Girl Scouts and so much more.  Every day was booked day and evenings.  How did that happen?  And Sheila, how do I keep up this pace until they are all old enough to drive themselves? 

That is life in the stroller lane.  

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