The media turned Hillary Clinton’s “It takes a village” into a bit of a cliche, and in some cases a negative one, but I’ll be the first parent to tell you: Make sure you have a village.
For me, the village is less about raising my children — that’s up to Dan and me, and to some extent the schools we choose — than it is about having someone to turn to to say, “Uh, could you give me a hand?”
For example, this Saturday Flora has an all-day soccer tournament. Ten o’clock in the morning until four o’clock in the afternoon.
Since Monday is her birthday, and my parents are coming to town on Friday, I thought Saturday would be a good evening to celebrate with pizza and cake. And, er, a sleepover.
I delegated. Heavily.
My friend and Flora’s godmother, who is coming to stay with us Friday evening, will watch Kate and Michael Saturday while I take Flora to the tournament. My father will probably join us at the soccer field. After work, my husband will pick up the pizza, snacks, and cake and ice cream for the party.
I’m kind of hoping the house will just be “clean enough” for guests. If not, maybe my mom will pitch in and vacuum. (Otherwise, she’s just going to hang with her grandchildren, and who can blame her? She has cute grandchildren.)
This is the kind of stuff that happens all the time.
My in-laws, who are also our next door neighbors, are an invaluable part of our village too. And Twitter friends. And more.
This week alone, my MIL has cooked dinner twice and picked up the girls after their half-day of school. Each Thursday they pick M up from daycare so that I can go get my CSA vegetables. A friend of mine who lives near the soccer field where Flora will be Saturday offered to bring us lunch if she’s free.
I can’t do it alone, and I’m not afraid to ask for help. I don’t see that as a weakness. I see that as being smart!
What does your village help you with? Who’s in it?