We hear it all the time: It takes a village to raise a child. But I never truly understood it until I had kids of my own. We may not need the village, or be lucky enough to have a village, but a support system certainly helps us as parents! But what about Mom? Who keeps her running? These important people help you be the superwoman you absolutely are.
1. Your barista
The conversation may be nothing more than pleasantries and your coffee order, but without that beautiful cup of java, you’d be a sobbing puddle on the floor. (It’s not just me, right?) Hat tip to the barista who not only remembers your drink order, but also your name and the names and ages of your children. Baristas are the unsung heroes in a mom’s life.
2. Your gynecologist
Sure, you may not have seen her as regularly before you got pregnant as you did once you were growing a baby and in the months after, but she’s been there for you in the most personal way possible. She’s answered your questions, held your hand, reassured you that everything is normal even if it doesn’t look or feel like it. And she’s been there when you were making the biggest decision of your life—birth control or another baby?
Your support team is wonderful and you couldn’t do it all without them, but there’s no doubt that you are also support for other people.
She remembers you before you had kids. She is a milepost in your life, reminding you of who you used to be (even if you don’t want to be that person anymore). She is available for drinks or dinner or a movie on that rare occasion when you have the energy—and a clean outfit—to go out. She energizes you and makes you feel good about yourself outside of motherhood. Cherish her.
4. Your mom
Now that you’re a mom yourself, it’s easier to appreciate your own mother and the work and sacrifice it took to raise you. She’s there to give you advice, to remind you that you don’t have to do it all alone and, yes, to make you feel like a child again. Don’t roll your eyes, young lady. Be grateful she’s there to be your role model. And for those of us who don’t have our mothers in our lives, I know you don’t have to look too far to find one or two older women who have been as maternal to you as you are to your own children.
5. Your hairstylist
Face it, pregnancy changes your body in ways that no one—no one—ever told you about. At least not in detail. It can take months or even years to come to terms with your new body. And age doesn’t make it any easier. But a couple of hours in a salon and you can feel like your old self again, at least from the neck up. Your hairstylist is more than just a creator of beauty, she is your confidant and friend, the sorceress who stops time for a little while and lets you just enjoy being pampered. Plus, your hair looks awesome for at least a few weeks and that almost makes up for the chronic lack of sleep.
6. Your older neighbor
You know the one—she knows not to ring the bell when the baby is napping and keeps to herself most of the time. But she’s there when you need to borrow two eggs or an extra hand to carry in the groceries. She brings cookies when you’re too damned tired to make them yourself and tomatoes from her garden when you had good intentions but never got the plants in the ground. Give her a spare key to your house and car because the time will come when you will lock yourself out and you’ll be grateful you did. And invite her over for a cup of coffee once in awhile. She’ll appreciate the gesture and you’ll have a friend who will be there long after the kids are grown.
7. Your childcare provider
Whether it’s someone who watches your child while you work full-time, part-time or only when you need some alone time with your husband, there is someone who is there when you need to be elsewhere. She’s a life saver who brings peace of mind. Never take her for granted.
8. Your partner
For better or worse, you're in this parenting thing together. You prop each other up and keep each other running. You know how important you are to each other, but you probably don't say it enough. It's not always rainbows and roses, but it's yours and it's what you are building together.
On the good days, it’s easy to forget how hard this motherhood thing is. It can seem almost seamless, the logistics of having and raising a child. You can laugh about being a superwoman because it doesn’t seem like it’s anything that special. But on the bad days … those are the days to remind yourself that you are phenomenal. You are doing so much for yourself and your family. You are keeping yourself going with caffeine and a prayer and you deserve some applause. Your support team is wonderful and you couldn’t do it all without them, but there’s no doubt that you are also support for other people—and that you carry on and make it work even when the safety net you’ve built gets a hole in it. Good for you. Good for all of us!