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It Takes a Village… Not to Mention Wine and Coffee

I’ve always known and hoped that I would be a mom. When I was in Kindergarten, we had a “Star of the Week” program where the star would be interviewed. One of the questions in the interview was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My immediate answer, firmly stated without any hesitation? “A Mommy.”

What I didn’t know when I was in kindergarten was how hard being a mom can be. My mom made it look so easy. It wasn’t until friends of mine started having kids and then I had kids of my own that I began to understand that being a mom is not all singing, arts and crafts, park playing and sprinkler splashing. From the moment a new baby comes into your life, your role on earth changes and you soon discover that you can’t do it well on your own. It truly does take a village.

Luckily, I have a pretty awesome village… full of great friends and family who truly care about the well being of my kids. Well, and the well being of me too. Some of the best advice from my village has been…

My friend Amy, a week before Jacob was due, told me to skip the pretty PJ’s in the hospital and to opt for either just the standard gown or pajamas you don’t care about getting ruined. “You’re just going to be a big, fat, fluidy mess.”

My friend Ami, when I came to her crying because all the parenting magazines were telling me I was doing everything wrong. “Kris… you have great instincts, but on this one, I don’t get it. If you don’t like what the Parenting magazines are telling you to do, then stop reading the Parenting magazines!” I haven’t picked up one since.

Ami also told me that the first 8 weeks of parenting are a blurry, hormonal hell… something no one dared tell me before. You know what? Especially with the first one, she was right.

My sister, when I called after a rough transition from a money making, working professional to a one income family. “There were times when I dug through the couch cushions to gather up loose change to get milk at the store for the kids. Yes, taking a hit in the bank account is hard, but God tends to provide. What you are doing is worthwhile… the most important job you’ll ever have. No salary, even 10 times the amount you were making, could make up for the work you are doing as a mom.”

My own mom, whenever I call frustrated by parenting… “Kristen… go take a Midol and call me tomorrow. Everything will be fine.”

My friend Sandy, when I mentioned that Nick and I rarely have date nights… “For your kids, you need to invest in your marriage in the exact same way you would your 401K. It’s non-negotiable. Take money from your paycheck and put in a monthly date night fund. Keeping your marriage romantic and alive is the best thing you can do for your kids.”

My friend, Kristen… also a mother of 4… “Now is when you need to put your super woman cape away and start asking for help. People want to help… stop trying to be the hero and let your friends and those who love you help you when you need it!”

My closest friends on the block, when they see me outside, dragging a screaming toddler through the streets to take the others to school… suddenly that morning a Starbucks shows up on my porch or that evening a bottle of wine appears with 2 wine glasses and a listening ear.

I have a wonderful village… and it is because of them that my kids are turning out to be the special, young people they are. The advice of my friends and family, the offers to lend a hand, the straight forward truths they aren’t afraid to share… all of that is something I appreciate more than words could ever express.

Take a moment, like I did, and share an unexpected card with your friends to say thank you. They may not even remember what they’ve said to impact the way you parent, but letting them know you remember will mean the world. Oh… and drop by with wine or coffee. After all, it’s important to keep your village nice and fueled.

Disclosure: I am honored to be a 2012 paid brand ambassador for Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion. All opinions expressed are my own. For special discounts, product offerings and news about Hallmark, feel free to sign up for their newsletter.

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Comments

  1. Beautifully written! I can’t wait to be a mommy :) You sound like a great friend!

  2. Great post…….I really enjoyed reading. Thanks for reminding me that I need to thank my “village” for all of the help that they have provided.

  3. This is a wonderful post Kristen. It totally made me tear up because I am leaving behind my support network – all my friends and family – for a new city. I am excited of course but am just beginning to realize how much I have needed my people and how much I will miss them.

  4. Fabulous post and I love your mother’s comment, take a Midol & call me in the a.m. :)

  5. Best post ever. I absolutely loved it. When I found out I was pregnant with Gabriel, one of my friends/co-workers wrote me a letter detailing all of the things that no one tells you about being pregnant. She did not have a sister or anyone to tell her all of those things, and she wanted to pass on her new-mommy wisdom to me. The letter made me cry and still has me in tears as I think about it. I love that women only grow kinder, more loving, and definitely more supportive the older that we get. My village is my family, and I consider myself so lucky, so blessed to have them. You, my friend, have an amazing village because YOU are an amazing friend, person, and momma.

  6. I loved this post so very much. Truly it does take a village, and I am so grateful for the friends and family in my life as well. God provides in so many ways: money, food, shelter, love, joy, and of course, friends and family. Thanks for the reminder to write cards to those we love. I think it’s a lost art that I need to get back into.

    xoxoxo

    Bonnie

  7. Beautiful, Kristen! I love everything you wrote.
    It’s interesting how life isn’t really always how we kind of expected it to be (when we were children, teens etc.), but is nevertheless beautiful in other ways.
    Thanks for sharing! xo

  8. This. Is. Awesome.

  9. Classic and absolutely great responses and advice lol. I understand each one of those SO much! You’re lucky to have such great friends and family locally to help support you and your family.

  10. Loved this post! I’m definitely in a place where I’m needing that village – it’s so great to be surrounded by wonderful people. (And I remember getting similar advice from my mom starting in high school. Makes me wonder if I’ll say the same to my daughter!! :) )

  11. Kristen,

    I loved this post and yes it is true. My mother-in-law told me those wise words when I got married that it truly does take a village to raise a family. I am so happy to see you have one that is very strong in love and spirit. These are hard to come by but when they are found they are true treasures! ;-)

  12. Liked on FB. I need this book. I took a class to learn how to use my camera, and while I uersdntood it in theory, I haven’t been able to apply it how I want. Hopefully KD can help!

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