It is said that it takes a village to raise a child...but the village needs you.
Yet, we live in a time where family life can reflect quite the opposite to a village.
We lock ourselves in our homes and don't know our neighbours names.
For good reason, our children can not always play outside in the same way we did twenty years ago.
We pay bills online and don't need to go to the bank. We can order groceries online and don't need to go to the supermarket.
Due to the internet, there is an influx of information at our fingertips which is wonderful and detrimental at the same time.
There is a rise in fear and the burden of responsibility to know every facet of every decision we must make for our children seems to sit firmly on our shoulders and our shoulders alone.
The choice to breastfeed or bottle feed, immunise or not, enrol in public, private or home school.
There are so many opinions - but they are coming from people on the internet. People we don't know and who don't know us.
Many of our families come in every shape and form and more and more there are broken relationships between extended family.
Parenthood can be hard sometimes, but when we are cut off from the rest of the world, all of a sudden it gets a lot harder.
I am not saying letting people gather around you will be without bumps in the road. I am not saying you let anyone and everyone be a part of your village. I urge you to use wisdom and practice kindness and tolerance with the people you build a village with. But build a village. Let people in.
We were created for community - we were created for a village! It brings life to our soul, it eases our burdens and it will benefit your children to have a group of trusted grown ups around them to turn to.
I interviewed some mums, asking them what their most valuable resource or support was since entering motherhood. Maybe what they shared will give you ideas of ways you could build your own village?
It can be easy as the mum sometimes to run around and do everything and our husbands can sit on the sidelines not knowing where they are to fit in.
My husband is a brilliant father. I notice his brilliant fathering the most when I stand back and don't take over.
Sometimes it can be a good idea to sit down and have a chat and discuss in what ways you can both help each other in the parenting roles.
Every relationship is different. The way you share parenting does not have to be the same as the next couple but parenting together and discussing parenting can enhance your relationship and help it grow stronger.
Mother's Group or other mums
Meeting with other mums can create such special friendships and bonds, not just between the mums but also between the children.
These are often their first set of friends and the children learn to feel safe and secure with the other mums as they grow up over the years.
Your parents and family
Not everyone's family is ideal. (What is ideal anyway?)
I am not suggesting you include your family in your village if they are dangerous or a threat in any way.
I am asking you not to dismiss relationships with family members because you don't see eye to eye on some things.
At times, it is healthy to ensure there are clear boundaries set with some relationships, but if you can find a way to do that and still have your family within your village I urge you to give it a go.
Mother-in-laws can typically take a bad rap. Building a relationship with your mother-in-law is not always easy and often takes a lot of time. But the relationship with your mother-in-law can often be one rich with blessing.
Sometimes it means letting go and not making sure everything fits in with our rules.
It often means a lot of communication spoken in love - but it is so worth it.
When you enter motherhood, life can change a lot.
One of those changes can be your friendships.
It can be harder to keep in touch with some friends, especially if they do not have children yet. It is important to maintain your friendships (or create new ones!). Make sure you have friends in your village.
These days it seems to go against society but we were made for a village community - mumma, build your village.
It will mean taking a step out of your comfort zone - mumma, build your village.
It will mean bumps in the road - mumma, build your village.
It will take time and patience - mumma, build your village.
Let's tear down the walls we build to protect ourselves and let's start building bridges between other people.