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We were three weeks into life with a newborn and a 4-year-old boy when I got this text from a girlfriend. Another friend had organized a meal train from across the countryfriends and family signed up to bring us meals in the wake of the birth of our daughter. 

Friends from afar opted for DoorDash gift cards—we welcomed the it’s-so-easy-you-don’t-have-to-think dinners as we got our bearings about us. Some brought homemade dinners. One girlfriend brought me coffee. A true blessing after a string of sleepless nights. 

As a mom, I want nothing more than to take care of my familyno matter the circumstances. We’ve all been there. Our kid brings home a cold from school and you know full well it’s a matter of days before you get it, too. But you pour your heart into nurturing your baby back to health. It’s second nature. 

RELATED: Don’t Wait For the Tired Mom To Ask For Help

Before both of our babies were born, I spent a full day meal-prepping crockpot freezer mealseasy, frozen meals that quite literally just need to be thrown into a crockpot and eight hours later turned into an average-tasting, but healthy meal. It was important to me to know I could still take care of my family despite being knee-deep into navigating our new life. 

If taking care of my family is instinctual, asking for help is completely unnatural. I truly didn’t understand the concept of the village after our firstbornin hindsight, because I wouldn’t allow myself to need it. 

Enter the meal train. A friend offered to email family and friends, asking them to provide a meal for us in the weeks after our daughter was born. She gave drop-off instructions and dietary restrictions and offered my husband’s phone number as point person for drop-offs so I would not be overwhelmed. It wasn’t an invitation to come and see the baby; rather, an invitation to support me and my family as I took care of our new baby. 

One of the hardest parts about welcoming our second child was feeling like I didn’t have time for our first. Our son was the center of our universe for four and a half years before his sister joined us, and he was very accustomed to our undivided attention. Not being able to give that to him was a big adjustment for all of us, and with that, came incredible guilt for me. 

RELATED: The Village Really Does Still Exist

So, when my girlfriend texted and asked what my son’s favorite fruit was, I was really touched. She told me she was bringing homemade gluten-free pasta, salad, snacks, dessert, and fruit, and didn’t plan to stop or intrude. 

Later that week, she dropped these goodies on our porch, and there on top of the bag were strawberries that she had washed and cut for my son. This extra gesture brought me to tears. She got it. 

We are tired. Our bones ache. Our hormones are all over the place, and in some cases, we are healing from C-sections or physically challenging labor. We are strangers in our new bodies and we can’t wait to fast forward to the nights when everyone sleeps, while simultaneously wanting to stop time and savor all the newborn cuddles. 

We are mamas, and in the simple gesture of washed and cut fruit, I learned that the village is all around usit’s in the form of other mamas who are willing and able to take care of each other’s babies . . . if we simply allow it.  

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson has a professional background in communications but has only recently started to write about her own experiences. Her journey as a mother of two has opened her heart in ways she never knew possible, and writing has helped her express the highs and lows of being a working mom.

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