To the moms without a village:

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We all know that familiar and almost cliche saying it takes a village to raise a child. As I tackled yet another day in an empty home filled with nothing but anxiety, frustration, and a few mattresses, my mind races quickly to us moms without a village.

I especially considered the military mom. Today, as we remember our fallen, I ache as I ponder how extremely difficult it must be to have buried a child or a husband....someone you thought you'd always have around. I ache for those mamas with small children parenting solo, who had no intention of taking on that monumental task, with a husband that will never walk thru the front door to tiny hugs and squeals of glee and slobbery kisses.

You, dear mother, are my personal hero. I sometimes feel extreme self-pity as some days I honestly struggle my way thru as a mother without a village...without help, without companionship, without purpose (aside from all things motherhood)...and then my mind flashes to you, the mother who won't see her husband for months or years or possibly ever again.

I feel a sting in my heart as I know, that most nights, albeit very late sometimes, my husband will God-willing, walk thru that front door. They say it takes a special person to endure that kind of uncertainty and loneliness that comes with being a military wife, and I'd like to believe that's so. I always said I couldn't do it....but I suppose you reluctantly deal with whatever cards your dealt and learn to cope and exist and live accordingly.

Seems as if the moms who raise their kids without a village are a rare breed today. Just a century ago, it wasn't uncommon to have many generations living, working, and existing within shouting distance of each other. All women stayed home to tend the household and help raise the children. Now, most of the moms utilize the schools, daycares, and special programs offered as their village as most women work outside of the home today.

My heart is soft for the moms who balance homemaking almost 100% of the load, at almost 100% of the time. It's not easy. There is no village anymore for a lot of us. And I hope that I can encourage you to reach out to a fellow mother; someone really going at it alone, and encourage them. Think of one or two moms today that you can send a quick message, text, note, or even a special tangible token of love to and do that before tomorrow ends. Consider a woman, who's lost her husband and is struggling to find her footing again, and lift her up. A new mom, who recently gave birth and is struggling, far from any family....she deserves your encouragement. Or even a grandmother, living alone, having raised her children and is now widowed, remember her today.

Motherhood can be a lonely road, and is especially lonely for those missing a village, but it doesn't have to stay lonely. Let's reach out and encourage and remain ever mindful of those heroic moms who mother without a village.

Love, Alicia