One of my best friends recently took a full time job after being at home with her children for the past 5 or 6 years. With the reality of her new situation sinking in, she took the opportunity to send her core group of “stay at home Mom” friends a heartwarming message. She referenced Hillary Clinton’s “It takes a village to raise a child” and thanked all of us for being that village.
Not only did her message bring tears to my eyes, but it resonated deeply with me because I agree with her wholeheartedly. Being a mother is the hardest and most wonderful thing I have ever experienced, and I feel blessed to have had these women with me on the journey. Each of us (in our group) left our career and went into Stay-at-home-Mommyhood with a little trepidation and fear, but with a fierce sense of responsibility. Mostly, I think we all went into it knowing and anticipating that it would not last forever, and that one day we would re-enter the workforce.
And so it was that my good friend pointed out all the reasons she loved our “village”:
Because our children listen to anyone of us; we are interchangeable with each other and our kids feel comfortable in each other’s homes and under each other’s care.
Because of our playdates, which were just as much for ourselves as our children
Because of our tradition of celebrating birthdays together at Panera (passing babies around while the older ones attended preschool)
Because while we were becoming lifelong friends, our children did the same with one another
Because each of us could (and can) call the other to vent frustrations, or to share a small joy, without judgement and with understanding
It’s funny, but I started this whole “stay at home” journey counting down to the day when it would all end–when I could “resume” my life. But with good friends, and the inherent joys of motherhood, I had settled into my role quite comfortably somewhere during the last 7 years. Recently, with many of my friends returning to work, and my own time at home drawing to a close (my baby goes to Kindergarten next year), I have been mourning the end of playdates and Panera. But as my good friend pointed out in the end of her message: it is true our lives are changing, but we will always have the bond of what we have shared and no matter where our paths lead us, we will not cease to be A Village.