We’ve all heard the phrase, “it takes a village” when it comes to raising kids. I would like to take it one step further and say it take a GD village. Just to emphasize how important and fundamental good people around you are when raising your kids. For someone like me who finds it EXTREMELY hard to admit I need help, let alone ASK for help, my village is my lifesaver. I’ve been given a great network because I am sober and able to give back to that network. Simple as that. You have to give to get. I used to be an emotional vampire and suck the life out of everyone around me. I know how to support people today and I get support back in return. I’ve been able to learn and grow so much as a woman due to letting people help and be part of my village. That’s huge growth for me. The, I CAN DO IT ALL ON MY OWN approach doesn’t work when you have baby twins. Or any kids for that matter.
I’ve thought about our village with our babies and all it’s comprised of:
My husband and I are number one of course. We are the King and Queen of our village. While that may seem self-important to name ourselves King and Queen, I’m pretty sure we’ve earned that title. It wasn’t just handed down from generation to generation or because somebody died or something. We did the crime and we’re doing the time. We are a balance of power. I am the emotional to his logical. We check and cross check each other. In short, we make a great team and rule with an iron fist. Seriously though, nobody elected us, but we are doing our best to rule a steady and loving village. Some day our villagers may revolt, but today is not that day.
Our Nanny. I will ALWAYS remember Jenn for teaching me and helping me to let go a little bit. She was my first. She is far from my last I imagine, but she has taught me much about myself and about my babies. She helped me so much and she doesn’t even know it. When I went back to work after being with my babies non-stop for over 5 months – I mean, the longest I was away from them was 3 hours – she guided and comforted me with her loving care for the babies but with respect and deference to me, the Queen. She didn’t sign on to help the mama, but she has and I am so grateful. She also LOVES my babies. It’s clear that she loves them. It’s not just her job. She enjoys and understands them and that’s all a working mom can ask for in her caretaker.
This is a picture Jenn sent me. She also happens to be great at photography, bonus for me! She sends a ton of pictures and texts during the day while I’m at work. Active Villaging right there!
Hopefully she would agree with me when I say I’ve lightened up a ton – which is to say my death grip has loosened a tiny bit and I do not have such a strangle hold on every move she makes. I have never been anybody’s boss, but I’m learning and she’s helping me. We are figuring it out. Plus, she’s incredible. Did I mention that? Also, she’s moving at the end of August, which I can’t even talk about yet, but we’ve found a replacement who is awesome too. We are a very lucky King and Queen. Which leads me to another part of our village –
Other Moms – more specifically – Other Twin Moms that I’ve met in real life, happen to know already in real life and then the whole MOMS (Moms of Multiples) board I belong to online and other sites/blogs/facebook pages, etc. that help me on a daily basis. I’ve had so many questions answered by patient moms who have been there before me and I pay attention to what they say about a lot of things because they’ve been there. They’ve also led us to our caregivers and for that, I am so grateful for word of mouth.
Our families. Now, they should really come first, but the order here isn’t important in the village. My family is in Arizona and California and my husband’s family is here close by. My In-Laws drive into the city every Thursday to watch the babies. It’s a win-win, as they get to spend the day with the babies once a week, and we get to not pay for childcare one day a week. One of the cutest things is when I walk in the door at 5pm on Thursdays, my Father-in-Law has his glass all ready to go for his beer. He waits until I tag him out and he and my husband then enjoy a beer before they leave after a HARD day with babies. I am gifted with the greatest In-Laws. There are about 800 of them and they are loud and funny and obnoxious and full to the brim with love and excitement for these babies. I am so very lucky to have all of them.
My family is smaller and far away. I wish my family was closer, no lie. But when they are here it’s glorious and we skype and send text and pictures constantly. They are a fundamental part of our village even though we don’t see them as often, they are just as important. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR TECHNOLOGY.
Friends. oof. This is loaded as I am surrounded by goodness. In real life and online. I have a handful of GOOD fill-up-your-tank people in my life that are there no matter what. One group of those women I met online. We have been through everything together. They knew the day I knew I was pregnant at two weeks as they all went through every sucky moment of IVF with me. They keep my secrets and they cry and laugh along with me about everything. I am amazed constantly at how much these ladies all love us. I mean, I love my babies, of course, but that they do with such fiery passion is astounding to me on a daily basis. I love their kids like I love my own. Their kin are my kin. My real life friends and my online friends that have become real life friends are key players in my village and it’s profound. What else is profound is that I get to be part of so many different people’s villages too! It’s not one sided. That I am able to be a giving, thoughtful part of their village is a gift of sobriety and worthiness today.
My breasts. Ahem. Because let’s face it, they are their own character. I choose to breastfeed and pump so they are vitally important to my village. They enter a room 5 seconds before the rest of me does because they are huge. I’ve never paid so much attention to my breasts in my life, but now I will always be grateful for them and the enormous (!) job they have done in feeding two babies.
Readers. Yes you! You are part of my village. Accept it. Every kind comment and each slice of encouragement we throw each other in invaluable in making us better women. I am so appreciative of the community we’ve built here as it makes me a better stronger mama and I hope it does the same for you.
The village is about taking care of each other and nurturing each other so that we are our best. My village people (ha!) may not ever even meet the babies, but they are part of the village no less. They help build me up and therefore I am a better mama and woman because of them. Every part of the puzzle is important. I could not be the mama I am without all the different pieces around me. It’s so beautiful to think that all the love and support and laughter that comes from so many different places goes directly into me and therefore into my babies. It’s profound.
So yeah, it takes a gotdamn village. And what a colorful, lovely, beautiful, healthy village it is!
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