It takes a village to raise a child – but now that we’ve all moved to the suburbs and are living our separate lives, we’ve lost our tribes. The village has scattered and parenting has gotten lonely. There’s no shared meals, no shared help and no one to lean on when we just need a break. Well, that’s what they say.
The village is still there. You just need to find it. You need to find your people. You need to find your tribe. You need to find a clan that’s going to care for your kids when you’re sick, drop off everything bagels, popsicles and ginger ale at your door when you’ve all come down with the stomach flu. You need to find your village that’s going to text you from the grocery store and ask you if you need anything, that’s going to know when you need a break and scoop up your child to bring over to their house and scream and run, destroying all the things with their own children. You need to find the people you can drop your child off to in a moment’s notice when you’ve pulled something, and can panic-cry on their doorstep because you’re obviously dying you’re in so much pain, and this is the last time you’re going to see your child. You need to find the people that laugh about it later, when you’ve had some medication to ease the pain.
You need to find the village that’s going to enjoy cozy movie nights, staying up late drinking too much wine nights and people that are going to make zero judgement when you have another parenting fail. You need to find the people that are going to disregard the time on the clock when you’ve been terrorized by kids, and sit with you in the backyard, the kitchen island or the living room floor and rant about how terrible those little people are – but know you love them just the same.
You need to find the people who know to knock on your door, or ring the doorbell and announce themselves before barging because they know that someone’s not going to be wearing pants. You need to find the people who you ding dong ditch with random things you might think they’ll use.
Try to find the people that you feel so comfortable with that you come inside, offer them a ‘couch blanket’ and cozy up to watch television. Find the people that you don’t feel uncomfortable falling asleep on the couch with as you watch a movie, and the people that are going to introduce you to fantastic things. Find a person that always brings delicious new pinterest inspired dishes to barbeques, and find someone that’s going to be the voice of reason. Find someone that is willing to do shots like it’s 2004.
Find the people that bring you impromptu Starbucks, help to wrangle your kids and do potluck dinners a few times a month. You need to find the people you offer to bring snacks to, share pie in the afternoon, poke fun at, get sarcastic with and with kids whose noses you’re going to wipe, scrapes you’re going to make better and babies you’re going to hold. Find the people you’re going to bring dinner to when they’ve had a rough week and make sure that a member of village makes delicious cookies. Find a village who you can make laugh with your hairy legs.
You need to find the people that are going to laugh with you when one of the kids mispronounces things and speaks of ‘dominating the cat’ or comes downstairs ranting about ‘the costumes in Moms room’. You need to find your people that you can text pictures of late-night selfies to, waxing strips and all. You need to find your people where the barriers come down, there are no holds barred, where the words come easy and the silences aren’t rushed. You need to find the people who understand your garbled texts, and bring you laundry detergent so you can clean your peed on sheets when you’ve run out a week ago and forgot to grab it the four times you were at the store. You need to find the people that aren’t going to ask why you are still sleeping on sheets that have dried pee on them.
Look in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors. Allow your husband to go on his quest to make you ‘real friends’ when he feels like your ‘twitter friends’ aren’t enough. Introduce yourself, say hello, bring Starbucks, or wine. Find a common interest, build on it, become friends with people who have kids around the same age and bring new people into your group. There, you’ll find you’re village.