Not matter your political leanings, nothing can be truer than the words that Hillary Rodham Clinton became famous for some fifteen years ago. It truly takes a village to raise a child. No matter what Bob Dole said about it.
My interpretation of her famous phrase is slightly different though. To me, I look at it as a way to make it ok to need help. To ask for help.
And that is truly one of the hardest lessons to swallow sometimes. Asking for help.
When I was younger, married, and Nick was just a few years old, I always wanted to be that parent (which is slightly different than this that parent). The one that seemingly had it all together. Balancing work, family, home with the ease of a walk in the park. I can be Super Woman. I can do it all. No doubt.
But at what price? Extra stress? Less sleep? Reduced levels of patience?
No, thank you.
It truly wasn’t until I separated from my (then) husband that I realized I couldn’t. I mean, well, in theory I could. But I wasn’t willing to do it at the cost it came with.
And so little by little, if people offered help, I took it. It started with baby steps. If someone was coming over for dinner and asked what they could bring, I suggested something. Instead of saying “nothing.” Easy enough. Dipping my toes in the water. Seeing how it felt.
And you know what? It felt fine.
Whether you’re a parent or not. Whether you’re the mom of a German Shepherd or a two-year-old or a succulent plant on your kitchen window sill. No matter your lot in life.
It’s ok to ask for help.
We are all in this together.
We schedule car pools to lessen the burden. Pick up extra items at a grocery store that we know someone needs. Watch each other’s kids to save a few bucks on babysitting. Drop off dinner just because.
We have each others’ backs.
Sometimes there is nothing greater than the people you can lean on in your friends and family network. Who can you call at 1 am when you need help? Those are your villagers. Your people.