our “village”

You know the saying, “It’s takes a village to raise a child…”? In our household, this is certainly true. Without our “village,” I’d be a wreck.

I feel blessed that our children are growing up in a two-parent household. But, due to our jobs and schedules, we are mostly a one-at-a-time parent household. I work daytime business hours, and my husband second-shift on a rotating basis. While these are the choices that we’ve made for our family, we make it work as best we can.

Sometimes I cannot always pick our kids up after school. In these times, I rely on our “village” to help. Occasionally both Jake and I need to be somewhere at the same time.  Usually instead of a sitter, we have our “village” to lend a hand.

Our “village” includes our family and close friends who have shown us they are here for us, when we need it (and even when we don’t THINK we need it!).  Asking for help is a very difficult thing to do for many of us, but so very necessary at times when you feel overwhelmed, helpless, or uncertain.

Being the wife of a police officer and National Guard soldier, I have had to learn to ask for help. I could not make it through over a year of deployment without relying on our “village” to help care for us. There were meals, cards, kind words, encouragement. There were hugs, babysitting offers, snow removal, lawn mowing, and laughter. I needed those morale boosters from our “village” to keep going, just as the care packages, emails, letters, and Skype dates helped pass the time for my husband in Afghanistan.

One weekend, I was overwhelmed with the creative ambush I received from my two best friends who sneakily arranged to raise my spirits.   Although I was a bit embarrassed by their help at first, I understood their gesture to be one of something that they knew they could do, and wanted to do freely. So often we block people’s way of showing they care by being too prideful or feeling as if we can “do it all on our own.” Sometimes we just need to accept that these offers are forms of love, care and concern.

When the world seems to be crashing down around me (which occasionally does happen, I must admit!), I don’t have to look far. Whether they are in front of me, behind me, or encircling me, I know our “village” is just a phone call away, and they are almost always ready & willing to help.  I am so grateful for our “village!”

Who is your “village?”

4 Responses to our “village”

  1. Sara Meehan October 31, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    LOVE this. we, too, are blessed with a village. a BIG one! both my parents and matt’s parents live here in davenport, as well as my entire extended family (basically). we ALWAYS have a babysitter (or two, or three, or ten!!) at the ready, and that is something that we will never take for granted…we know how many people do not have that luxury, and we appreciate it very much.

    i love how open and honest you were about asking for help, even when we don’t want to. when i gave birth to my daughter this summer, my mom and my aunts cleaned my entire house. some people would have been too proud or too embarassed to let that happen. not me! i was so, so grateful to come home with my baby to a sparkling clean house! i don’t know what i would do without my village, i’m glad to hear you have one, too! 🙂

  2. emily October 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Thanks, Sara!

  3. Lynn October 31, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Love the post Emily. Sometimes I wish we had a village, at least near us. Many times I feel so overwhelmed because it is only Nate and I to do everything with no one else to rely on since family lives 6 1/2 hours away. I have learned to ask some almost complete strangers to help in a time of need and that takes alot from me (a girl who never asks for help). So our village consists of babysitters, neighbors, friends, and many family members who are here for moral support by ways of skype and phone calls. That’s our “village”.

  4. Amanda St.Clair November 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    I have no clue what I would do without the help and support from my family, who is our “village.” Everyday I am thankful for them. My dad stops by in the morning after working 3rd shift and helps me load the little ones (1-3yr old and 2-2yr olds) in the car so I can drop them off at daycare and then he takes Bradley, my oldest to school. My mom is always a phone call away, who I often call to help me find my sanity when I am overwhelmed. Brad’s dad is always around on the weekend to give us a little break or to just help out with anything we need, like fixing the sink. It’s amazing how these people help us and I am so thankful…because honestly, I don’t know what I would do without them.

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