I can’t even count how many times I have wanted to pull my hair out, scream and run for the hills! Parenting is hard, and I am so grateful that Stephen and I have had two grandmas to tap in when things got tough. Seriously, when our moms (both widowed) moved to Vancouver to live near us, our lives changed. I knew the Calvary had come to the rescue, and the Special Forces were ready to move in as needed. We now had the support to get us through the crazy moments of parenting.
This last week, Steve and I were tapped in to support another family. We now have an additional teenage girl in the house, taking the total to four. Bless Steve’s heart. You see, sometimes friends need help from friends, and parents need support in raising kids. Teenagers make things complicated on parents, and parents can make things complicated on kids. I believe God intended us to have a community to raise our children.
In America, we often try to do things solo. We hate to admit when we need something. In other parts of the world I meet people who lack material things, but they have a community to carry the burden. In other cultures, kids don’t just belong to the parents; indeed they belong to the tribe.
The thing is, we can’t do this life alone. Raising kids and all, experiencing life and death; we need others to help us through when the road gets tough. We need other parents to help us parent better. We need friends we can talk to. We need elders to give us wisdom. We need pastors who can shepherd our hearts. We need family who can be stable for us. We need the community when we have a loss.
I visited a Maasai tribe this last June. They shared everything. One mom would be watching seven or eight children (not her own), while the other mom went to work, and the mom watching the seven or eight kids, wasn’t paid. This was normal. The tribe shared everything including their tools, food, water, transportation, talents, and most of all the BURDENS.
I am thankful for my church, for friends and family. Life would be too hard alone. I am glad I have a new teenager in my home and I am glad someone asked for our help…this is a wonderful opportunity. More than this, I am grateful to be practicing community. There is no shame in asking for help because we all need it. For me personally, I am so grateful for the grandmas, the aunt and uncle and cousins near by, the church family and friends, willing to help in the moment I call.
Community is vital to parenting, and we need to be willing to ask for help when we need it, and be the hand to provide help, when requested.
Don’t we all need help sometimes?
Raising kids is hard, and yes, as the old saying goes, “it takes a village.” It takes a community.
Do you have a community you can depend on?
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I can’t shout AMEN loud enough. You speak the TRUTH and God bless you for being community to someone courageous enough to confess their need against all cultural norms here in North America. Now that your kids are more independent, it might be time for your mothers to relocate to our neighborhood…just sayin’!