When I think about celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend, I cringe at thinking it’ll be all about me. I know that I really couldn’t survive as a mother without the village that has surrounded me, and the new people that are gently supporting me in a new environment.
About 5 months ago, my husband, son, and I packed up and moved away from our hometown. We said goodbye to all things familiar and convenient, and we stepped out of the desert and into this green, plush, yet urban VA/DC landscape. We’re slowly sinking our roots in over here, and the transition has been smooth thus far. Despite the surprisingly calm change of environment, there have been moments where we questioned our decision, and we must remind ourselves of why. One of the things that causes me to question is the overwhelming role of motherhood. Since I had my son, motherhood has been extremely challenging for me in so many ways. Back in Phoenix, I had lots of help, not only from family but many friends. When you lived somewhere your entire life and you find beautiful community, you don’t realize how many people you have to rely on. We’re here, we’ve sunk our heels in, and we knew it was going to be hard. You don’t know the extremity of change until you’ve waded out in the water and started to experience the waves. We’re riding these waves. When my husband travels for work, I get whiplash from how hard being a mom is without a village. Yes, I’ve slowly been finding my people here. If I were desperate for help, these people would be kind to me. Life-long friendships don’t just happen in an instant. It takes experiences and time invested to make a sustainable tribe. It’s taken diving into a new church, committing to a small group, a neighborhood group, having many introductory conversations, and braving new interactions to find stable and authentic relationships. We’re so thankful for those we can count on here. When I think of Mother’s Day and how important it is to celebrate who moms are and all they do, I can’t help but want to thank the village that continually comes along side me. Motherhood is not an island, and a woman’s no better at it than her ability to call onto others for help. It truly takes a village to raise little ones, and if you don’t have a tribe to reach out to, you’re only creating more chaos and pressure for yourself. No mother was meant to be a one-woman-show. When we rely on other people, it not only benefits us for rest, time to accomplish a task, job, or hobby, but it gives someone else the gift of seeing the world through a child eye’s. I’ve learned that when we withhold our child’s time from people around us, we’re ignoring the opportunity to do ministry. When I walk the streets, linger back for conversation in grocery store, or call on a babysitter or child-less friend for help, those people walk away with more joy and energy than without the encounter with my little one.
Thank you to all of you who have been there for me in my journey through motherhood and for loving on my son. We are all the better because of the amazing people in our lives. I can’t take all the credit as a mommy for the little bundle of joy who’s quickly growing into a small boy. Thank you for helping me be a better mama.