It takes a village to raise a child – African Proverb.
Until I had a baby I never really understood this but now I get it. Being parents is hard work, you have no idea what you’re doing and this tiny little person just screams at you until you figure it out. It most definitely does take a village to raise a child, it’s all about having a support structure; having other people you can talk to and ask for advice. As new parents we literally would not survive without help from other people.
So where is this village that’s raising all the children? It’s in my phone, it’s in my WhatsApp messages to be more exact.
Last June I was sent a message asking if I would like to join a WhatsApp group for new mums and those expecting new babies, I joined up and it was totally weird to start with. Who were these people? where did they live? what on earth was I meant to say to these strangers? It didn’t take very long to break the ice, some had already had their babies and my Camera Roll was quickly filling up with squishy cheeks and others like me were growing our babies and counting down the weeks till we could add our own squishy cheeks to the mix.
Over the course of the last 9 months we have become a family, I can talk to these girls about anything and I mean anything. There is no such thing as TMI and nothing is off limits. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve sworn, we’ve all given birth and we all have the most amazing little babies and a couple of bigger babies too. I absolutely adore them, I love knowing that no matter what time of day it is someone is always awake, if you just want to chat about what’s on TV, discuss that one person on Instagram and Facebook that no one can stand but you still follow them anyway, or you need help and advice about parenting, diets or which dress you should wear for a rare night out you can guarantee someone will be there to help.
Maternity leave can be lonely sometimes, most people you know will be at work during the day so who are you meant to talk to about that episode of Say Yes To The Dress you just watched and quite frankly who cares that your baby has just done a massive poo? Other mums. That’s who cares, women who are having the same sort of day as you, who are still in their PJs and rocking that mum bun, they get it and sometimes all you need is to be surrounded (electronically) by people who get it.
I’ve heard a lot of stories about how mums can be so mean to each other and how we all need to build each other up and support each other, that’s what these girls do for me. They’re my support structure, they’re my friends. No I’ve never met them, we’ve never heard each other’s voices (apart from watching each other’s Insta Stories), we are scattered across the country as far apart as is possible on this island but none of that even matters.
Everyone is always talking about squad goals, well this is my squad and I bloody love them.