Where is the mama village?

You know the one . . . the friends, the neighbors, the teachers, the extended family that our mothers and grandmothers had when we were kids. 

Where are these magical women who are supposed to help us raise our babies? I’ve heard the stories of them but have yet to meet them for myself. 

I look at a picture of my grandma with one baby on her lap and another in her belly, she’s at the beach with her husband’s sisters who are there with their own babies. They are laughing, sharing sandwiches and smiles on the hot summer day, side-by-side in their motherhood.

There’s another picture of my own mother, so many years after that trip to the beach. She’s now a mother of three herself, sitting at our kitchen table giggling with joy as I blow out my birthday candles. In the background, are my grandmothers (on both sides), aunts, great-aunts, and even some of my mom’s best friends. They were all there at my birthday party. They gathered to celebrate another year in my life and to support my mom that day.

She had her mama village

Women of the generation before us, the generation before that, and the one before that even had their village. They had women from their church groups, from their tribes, or from their childhood that supported them, loved them, and helped them as they brought up their own babies. 

But, what about us? 

Never in the history of the world have women had more pressure on them to look amazing, teach their kids so much before entering kindergarten, work full-time or stay-at-home while managing a household budget that is not align with the current cost of living. We’re spread thin—in our marriages, in our careers, in our well-being, and in our roles as mothers.

So many of these things could be helped with the help of other women that are going through the same thing. We could help one another out, be there for each other when an extra set of hands is needed, or when a few words of encouragement on social media is just not enough.

Real women, taking your kids off your hands for a few hours, and you are OK with this because you’d do the same for her in a heartbeat. Women who ring your doorbell on a random Wednesday morning just to drop off a cup of coffee and some donuts on your doorstep, and leave before you answer the door because they know you don’t want company but had a hard night with your newborn baby.

Where is our village?

The elderly woman from up the street who gets school-aged kids off the bus for a few hours for the smallest amount of money from their working parents. She does it because she was once the mom with the career that didn’t pay enough and still had to have someone watch her kids the few hours between when she was done work and her kids got out of school.

Where is our village?

That mama friend you met at a play group when you were both newly minted moms with babies who had yet to sit up on their own. You bonded over birth stories and husbands who snored as you nursed your sweet babies in the wee hours of the night. Now she’s your go-to gal, the one who encourages you to go back to school and even offers to watch that baby while you take that night class that’s only offered on the same night your husband works the late shift.

Where is our village?

The sisters who live just a few streets from each other instead of across the country. They are raising their babies together, cousins who will grow up more like siblings. They are each godmother to the other’s baby and host weekly dinners at each other’s houses. 

Where is our village?

If it’s there, I have yet to see it. I look at those old photographs and long for a time when family was sacred and friendships lasted beyond the birth of one friend’s first baby. I dream of a motherhood where comparison is nonexistent and women lifted each other up not just in times of crisis, but every day as we travel this road of motherhood together. 

I pine for a village of my own. One that will stay with me after my youngest child graduates from high school. One that new members are brought in as new babies are born and older members pass away. 

I want a mama village of my own, wherever that may be. What about you?

You may also like: 

Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

I’m So Grateful For My “Always” Friends

Can We Restore “the Village” Our Parents Enjoyed?

Why Every Woman Needs “Rally Girl” Friends

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Britt LeBoeuf

Britt is a married mother of two from northern New York. She has an undergraduate degree in Human Services. When she's not chasing down her two young children, she writes for sites such as Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, Filter Free Parents and Sammiches and Psych Meds. Check out her first published book, "Promises of Pineford" on Amazon too. On her blog, These Boys of Mine, she talks about parenting only boys, special needs parenting, mental health advocacy, being a miscarriage survivor and life as a crazy cat lady.