I continue to think of this Mommy meme that I saw a few months ago.
It’s been stuck in my head like a song on repeat.
It is also the reason why - at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday – I’m writing my first blog post…
So the meme. Do you get it? The reference to the book? It might be a Gen X and up thing. Not to imply I have read the book; I hadn’t actually thought about reading it until just now. I was 20 years old in 1996 when then First Lady of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton published It Takes a Village. A book, I assume, about how society ought to ensure the wellbeing of every child in America. Please, no arguments on that ideology - I get it – some of you have seen society and don’t want it raising your children. I respect that. Anyway, even though I was a young parent at that time, I was reading midwifery books and the entire catalog of Anne Rice. I didn’t really care what a politician had to say about parenting one way or another.
Tonight though, the meme and the thought of the village - It keeps me awake. I really needed a village when my four kiddos were newborn babies. Did I ask for help? I can’t remember. I don’t know if I did. I can be stubborn. It was lonely, painful, and once for about a year, there was crippling anxiety and depression.
Truer though is that through the lens of 20+ years, I suppose I should revalidate my perspective about my postpartum experiences. I did have some help, a lot, actually, with some of the babies.
I was so tired between 1999 and 2001 that I can’t remember large chunks of time, but there are flashes of Mothers, Grandmothers and Sisters folding towels, making a bed up around me, bringing me food, rocking the baby endlessly while I tried to quiet my restless mind. I still feel the thrill of a hot shower ALONE after too long without, a hot cup of tea, honey butter toast in bed and giant glasses of ice water. So much ice water.
So, I don’t know if it takes a village to raise a child but I like the thought of it, and I am certainly a parent who doesn’t mind close friends and family giving my kid the what for if they need it. And I will say at the very least, the support of a “Village” is important, and something that too many humans don’t have for one reason or another.
It’s for that reason that my thoughts tonight shift a little further up the family tree when I think of the potential for what a village could bring to bear given the right tools and opportunity.
About a year ago I started a journey without knowing exactly where I was going. I had the end result in mind, but there are not enough hours in the day to build something this immense alone. I’m happy to say that little by little, a business plan came to life. I’ve found a supportive team who really believes in women helping women, and they have put the plan into action with me.
So here in our village, in the blue mountains of Southwest Virginia, we are building a foundation from which to collectively uplift a mother. A village to offer her tools of comfort and the household support she needs to replenish herself - from the very beginning - to raise her child. Tea and a sandwich, a nap, a sink free of dishes, a boost of confidence, a chicken in the crock pot. Some comfort and respect in the fourth trimester – a short but vital season of life. What better way to care for our children, than to care for their mothers?
We are building a company to bring the Village to Mothers. A postpartum doula and mother’s helper agency that brings local women an opportunity to serve other local women during postpartum.
Our village is Chicadee Mom.
The Chicadee Mom team is preparing to launch a Postpartum Mother’s Helper proof of concept this summer in the Virginia counties of Roanoke, Montgomery, Floyd and Franklin and we need some help. I need to ensure that our processes and services are exceptional, and that takes practice. We will be considering customers for the pilot starting immediately.
If you are interested, we’d love to talk with you! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Not only will you enjoy two mother’s helpers tidying your house and making sure your comfort needs are met postpartum, but you will also be a part of helping us create something really special in our community.
Thank you for reading my post. Please let me know what you think!