Mrs. Dykowski... thinks you need a village

Hey! You there. Yes, you, skimming through this page. 

You need a village. 

Lately, I’ve been perusing some mommy blogs and forums, a common pastime when pregnancy fatigue catches up with me. 

I see these women asking questions, looking for advice or just venting to strangers on the internet. 

They get about a thousand conflicting responses and somehow they are supposed to move forward with that and carry on. Um ... no thanks. 

They need a village. 

They need people they trust who care and will listen and respond with advice that has a friendly face and a real name attached. BabyMomma3341 and HuggiesGal22 are not a village. They might not even be real women. 

As a society, we stink at making real, lasting connections that we can call on when we need help. 

We’ve got to get better at this, people. 

You need someone to call when your kid won’t quit crying and you need to step away. 

You need someone to say, “I’m bringing you dinner tonight,” when your husband is out of town and you and your kids are sick. 

You need someone to calm you down when you’re worried about nothing. 

You need a village. 

That’s easy to say, I realize. It’s a lot harder to actually grow that village. 

Outside of school making connections and friends can be tough. With schedules dominated by kids’ activities, work and family obligations, it’s hard to form real bonds. Guess what, honey, you’ve got to make it a priority. 

My village, in every community I’ve been a part of, starts with the church. 

Don’t make excuses and limit your village to people your age. 

A fellow mom is not going to be available to babysit in the evenings when you and the hubs need a date. You need a grandma, a college kid, a sweet single lady for that. Scoop them all up!

Now that you’ve met them, cultivate those relationships. It’s hard with mommy brain, but keep track of their lives. Ask about the grandkids, the tests coming up, their work, and remember what they say. 

Follow up with a text later that says, “Hey good luck with that!” or “Thinking about you today!”

You have to be a village to grow one. Also, be open. 

No one can help you if you pretend to have it all under control. 

Be honest when you’re at wit’s end. 

Next, branch out. Beyond the church, seek your village in the community. 

Ask about joining a civic group like the Garden Club, it’s full of sweet women who love babies — some are grandmas. 

Go to story time at the library to meet parents and grandparents from the community. 

Just talk to someone at the grocery store for goodness sake. 

Villages are not just for moms, either. We all need them. Already have one? Get a bigger one. 

So get off the internet and start growing one. 

Sarah Dykowski is the wife of Publisher Scott Dykowski. She can be reached at composing@dublincitizen.com

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