village

Because the Sh*t Will (Eventually) Hit the Fan

I'm so worn out by the way we do motherhood. 

And I'm realizing that there should've been a tenth chapter in my book (I already published). 

If I could go back, I would call it "Embracing One Another".

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You see, there's this huge burden on my heart lately. An old elementary school friend of mine has been in the hospital for the entirety of 2017. With her son. Who has only ever known hospital walls. 

And this son of hers, precious, beautiful, perfect child, has an extremely rare form of epilepsy that could, honestly, be terminal for this little guy. 

And yet, all around me, I see mothers go about bashing and critiquing and correcting and chastising and beating one another down. 

Oh, not so much in person, but "cowardly-style", behind our thumbs and screens. 

(There's probably some of you that are still hung up over my almost use of the "s" word in my title. Some "hypocrite Christian she is".)

We're cruel. We're brutal. We're about making sure that everyone knows that this motherhood thing can't be done any better than the way we're doing it. 

(I should know. I used to be one of them. But with experience, comes wisdom.)

And then this world has women, mothers that are literally going through hell on earth, and they'd do just about anything to get out of it. 

We seem to be so consumed about one-upping those Pinterest Darlings, that we forget that we are all human beings, with real trials, and challenges, and, yes, even feelings. 

There aren't any "safe spaces" for motherhood. (Although, a lot of you may say that Target counts).

Because aren't we all trying here? 

Isn't this gig hard enough? 

I mean, maybe we aren't trying our best all of the time. Maybe, in fact, we are barely ever trying our best. I know I don't.

Maybe our best is just in the trying. And maybe that mother that feels completely guilty for not being as blog-worthy as the next mom, just needs you to say to her that it's just right. She's doing motherhood just right. 

The sh*t always will hit the fan. It just will. There's an endless supply, if you haven't noticed yet. (Story of your life, eh?)

And maybe the walls are covered in the room you're standing in. Maybe you feel like you're the only one that can clean this mess up, but in reality, it's too much for one person. 

We need to be cleaning one another's walls. Lifting each other up. Embracing one another. Showing up and doing. Encouraging. Loving. Being. Looking. 

Looking for opportunities to pray for, come alongside, give breaks, love on, and listen to other mothers. 

Just think of one thing. 

Just one. 

And do it. Words. Deeds. Living and Breathing together. 

Because it's all hard. It's so hard by itself. Life adds the extra. 

So, be the extra-takers. 

Love, ae.

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