They often say “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Raising a child is a communal effort. It takes a lot of different people interacting, teaching, and supporting a child for them to grow into a good, productive, happy adult. Parents, grandparents, friends, and teachers all play a role in shaping and raising a child. It truly takes a village.
I’d also like to suggest that it takes a village to raise a mother.
We may add the job title of “mother” to our résumés when our first child joins our family, but all of the special skills and talents it takes to be a mother take years to develop.
Motherhood is a constant learning process, and in the same way a village raises a child, we need the influences of other mothers around us to help us grow and become successful moms. We truly raise each other.
There’s absolutely no way that we could become the moms our kids need on our own. Independently we all have different wisdom and strategies and ideas. We are all experts in different areas. Without sharing with each other, that knowledge doesn’t get used to its fullest.
We need each other. We need to learn from each other. We need to share with each other. And we need to support each other.
We need our friends, we need our family, we need our neighbors, we need strangers in the grocery store, we need healthcare professionals, we need fellow mamas in the trenches on internet message boards and Instagram, and we need moms who have been there to give us wanted and unwanted advice, to love us, and even just to nod their heads and say “I’ve been there, sister.”
And just like we need other moms, we need to be there for other moms, too. Any time we watch another mom’s kids so she can go somewhere by herself, any time we bring another mom a meal because she’s just had a baby, any time we smile at another mom in Target because her toddler is throwing a tantrum on the floor, any time we reach out to help, uplift, comfort, advise, or befriend, we are teaching each other to be mothers.
We pass on knowledge we learned when our children were babies to new moms and then we desperately seek tips from more seasoned moms when our children start elementary school, middle school, and high school. We share tips on what the best baby soap is and what high chair we liked the most. We ask for advice about what to do when your child calls you by your first name or says “I hate you” for the first time. We need every single point of view, even if we disagree, to be able to become the mothers we need to be for our children.
We may not ever achieve “perfect mother” status, but just by being our children’s mothers, we are the perfect mothers for our children.
It takes a village to raise a mother, and I’m so grateful for the village of fellow mothers still raising me.