While he was gone my wonderful neighbors decided I needed a night out to the theatre. One had the ticket, the other the babysitting skills. When they offered me a night out, I turned them down. I didn’t see how I could do it. There was homework to do, dinner to make, one kid who was grounded to their room, and Jackson needed a bath. I just thought those things had to be taken care of by me, the mom. When I told Kevin about it on the phone he said “You need to let people help you Stacey.” I know this is true, I really do. But I just can’t seem to. I’m used to doing things on my own. It’s hard for me to admit when I need a break or when I need help. I decided to become a parent, I don’t think others should have to take care of my kids just because I need a break. My neighbor who is always offering to babysit the kids agreed with Kevin and she said “We are your village!” which got me thinking about Hilary Clinton’s book. For centuries women raised their children and others children as a group, not individually. Mom’s had each other’s backs. Wouldn’t that be nice, if each of us had a village and raising our children was a group effort.
I think for my part I have a great village. It may not be in the traditional sense but for me a village is just having others who support and love us. Having a kiddo like Jackson who takes a lot more effort to raise and to care for on a daily basis is challenging. Sometimes all it takes to get through those tough days is to think about all of our family and friends who love Jackson and have supported him and us on this journey. Jackson has touched a lot of lives. Those lives are the ones who don’t look at him like something is wrong with him, that he is different. They just look at Jackson with love and see a little boy. Those are the people I treasure as my village. They have Jackson’s back. And mine.
Having said that, I know I need to let people help. I need to try and stop being Supermom and just accept that I am a mom of 3 kids who needs help sometimes. I think all of us mama’s need to do that. None of us are perfect. Parenting is HARD! We need to rally around each other and support one another. Next time I get an offer for a break, I’m taking it! Helen Fisher said “Mothers really were not built to raise babies not only by themselves, but with only a partner. For millions of years, a woman had much more than just her husband to help rear her young…This whole idea of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is exactly how we’re supposed to live.” I think she is right. Even though that is hard to admit!