There’s a traditional African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child, but I was always kind of iffy about that. I mean, it’s a nice idea but 1 kid, really? You need a whole village for that? I could do it with one hand tied behind my back. Oh 2 kids? I’ll need my other hand, I suppose, but not much more. Because see this mom vest I’m wearing, the one that says “MOM” in bold uppercase Arial Black font? That means nobody does a better job with these kids than me so step on aside, I’ve got it covered. (I know, I’m with you – how did I get away with being that annoying?)
Right now with 4 kids, I’m reconsidering my stand on that. As a matter of fact, I’LL GO AHEAD AND TAKE THE VILLAGE OFFER, thankyouverymuch.
Coping with 4 is proving to be quite the challenge. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge but wow, this is a big one. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so out of my depth before, like everything is one step away from spinning out of control and I’m one breath away from drowning.
Doesn’t help that I’ve been dreadfully ill twice in the past couple of weeks, floored by a bout of flu and then followed by a terrible stomach bug episode, of which I am still recovering from. In between vomit sessions with my head still in a barf bag two nights ago, I looked at the husband and said “why did I think I could do this? Because I clearly can’t.”
“It’s ok, you don’t have to do this on your own,” my very wise husband said.
It’s true. Raising these kids, making sure they’re clean and fed and hugged and educated and loved, it ain’t a 1-person task. I need my village for that.
Also, when you’re so ill you feel like you’re going to die, you morbidly start thinking about your own mortality. Like “bollocks, what if I die from this, what happens then??” I panicked for a moment at that thought but then I considered my village and I thought, “ok relax, the kids are going to be ok either way. Maybe not the best kind of ok (because hello, mom vest!), but ok enough.” Although turns out that I’m not dying of a stomach virus so that’s moot.
I guess what I mean to say is that this post is really about all the people who make up this village of mine, to whom all the thank you’s in the world would not be sufficient. And perhaps being ill is making me sentimental but they’re the reason my head’s still above water and I am so grateful I’ve got them in my corner.
And as for feeling like I’m out of my depth, well, as my favourite fish, Dory, would say, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” I’m cherishing every crazy, stressful and happy moment one day at a time.