I felt attacked.
The words of some of the members of my village felt like knife lunges.
When Jazmine was born, I didn’t understand the purpose of a village. I had heard of the term but didn’t apply it to me. Growing up, we had community; neighborhood, church and the like. I never considered that to be my village as my adult understanding saw it. Those adults whom I was close to as a child were all out-of-state. No one lived close. Whenever my parents had to go out childless, I, being the eldest, was the babysitter. On very rare occasions did another adult watch us. In that respect, I did not grow up with a village.
So it was with Jazmine. When she was born, I sought out companionship because being a stay-at-home mom was lonely and I felt insignificant. That drew me to MOPS. As a homeschooling mom of a preschool aged child, I felt unsure. That drew me to our first co-op. I was seeking a community then to help me through those mom changes. I didn’t view that community as a village for my daughter.
Being a mom for a second time (still praising God over this long-awaited child), it’s finally starting to dawn on me that my daughters do indeed have a village. Our families, mine and my husband’s, are in close proximity to us. We have good friends in close proximity to us that we do life with. Our co-op community has become part of our village. There are several adults that I trust my daughters with and whom Jazmine knows she can go too if ever she needs help. That is why it was so hurtful to hear a few in my village speak to and make decisions for me the way they did.
Being a second time around Mommy has opened my eyes to many things that I used to put up with (which is code for I-didn’t-like-it-at-all-but-never-addressed-it-directly-but-instead-complained-about-the-issue-and-the-person-to-anyone-who-would-listen). The length of time we waited for Baby Grace greatly enhanced my appreciation of being a mother. I can easily detect any assaults to my motherhood. How I deal with such assaults has changed drastically from when Jazmine was born to now with Baby Grace. I have identified a list of rules that must be met if someone is to be in my village. I am confident in what I can demand from others regarding my authority over my children.
That being said, all that new-found freedom came with a cost. (Wisdom is costly). I’ve had to address some things with people whom I considered well established members of my village whom ought to have known better than to even encroach upon the rules. Praise God that He has groomed me to handle it with gentleness and grace but not lacking an ounce of truth. I was able to accurately and compassionately state my expectations of them to them. It was not one-sided. I too had to make adjustments to prevent problems that I was unaware were happening (refer to rule #2). The result was very favorable for me. I am quite pleased with the outcome even though my village member seems to be having difficulty with the changes. I am confident they will get over it 🙂