I Don’t Know You, But I Will Be Your Village

The old saying goes: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Growing up, I heard this phrase recited to my mom, and now I hear it as a mom myself. Inherently, there is nothing wrong with this saying. In fact, it rings true: Parents and kids need outside support.

Some parents are fortunate to have a built-in support system comprised of grandparents, aunt, uncles, godparents, and best friends

Other parents’ situations are vastly different. Some are estranged from their family, or their own parents are not physically able to help out. Some live an hour away from family, others live thousands of miles away. Some moms have not yet found their mom friends to lean on.

So where exactly do we get a village?

I don’t know you, and I don’t know your situation. It doesn’t matter to me if you have help readily accessible or not. If I see a fellow parent struggling, I will be your village.

I will hold doors open for you so you can push your stroller through without matrix maneuvers.

I will hand you the pacifier, sock, toy, or keys that your baby just threw on the floor.

I will smile at you when your toddler is screaming in public and tell you I’ve been there, too.

I will talk to your child while you are trying to hold a conversation with a salesperson.

I will offer to hold your baby on a long flight to give you a touch-free minute to yourself.

I will cheer for your kid when they finally score that goal.

I will remind you that you’re doing a great job

I will answer calls for Meal Trains in my community, because I don’t have to know you to bring you a hot meal when you need it most.

I will strike up a conversation with you so you feel a little less alone that day.

I will donate my kids’ gently used clothing and toys so they can bring your kids new joy.

I will watch your kids at the playground while you run to the restroom.

I will share snacks, bottled water, diapers, wipes, bandaids, disposable masks, or whatever you forgot at home that I happen to have extra of.

I may be an unconventional village, but I’m here. Yes, I’m a stranger, but I’m also a fellow mom. If we don’t have each other’s backs, who will? 

Look for opportunities to show up for another parent. Parenting is hard, and we ALL can use a helping hand from time to time. If you see a need that you’re able to fill, don’t hold back. Be someone’s village.

Shannon is a native Texan who first visited Boston in 2012 with her now-husband, Ben. Shannon and Ben immediately fell in love with New England, and it was during that trip that they knew they eventually wanted to raise their family in the Northeast. Fast forward to 2018, and Ben accepted a job as a Photographer/Director at a Boston ad agency. They said goodbye to Texas and moved to Woburn with their pup and daughter (2016). Oh, and Shannon was 6 months pregnant with their son (2018). Shannon holds her License and Masters degree in Social Work, and in the past has been a Case Manager to the homeless population, as well as a School Social Worker. She currently stays home with her two littles, and teaches online ESL courses through VIPKid. Most weekends, you will find The Gibson family traveling and exploring all that New England has to offer. Yes, Please: kindness, coffee, dessert, the beach, phone calls to her mom, antique stores, Target runs. No, thank you: passive-aggressiveness, sweet tea, clutter, sleep deprivation, shoes my toddler can’t put on herself, squeaky playground swings.

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