Monday, July 21, 2014

it takes an army to raise a child

It takes a village to raise a child.  Yes, it does.

But for this round #2 of baby-raising, my village turned extra fierce.  My village became my army.

I needed an army to encourage me while Nova was enjoying her extended stay in my tummy.  I was surrounded by people who supported my decision to let her come when she wanted to.

I needed an army for the arrival of Nova and an army is what I got.  The meals, texts, messages, Sonic drinks, chocolate malts, donuts, and the willingness to listening to me ramble and talk myself in circles hijacking all conversation for a few weeks - all of it saved my life.

I had a cheering army when I excitedly proclaimed that I had ventured out into the world with both kids for the first time on my own.

I took a screen shot of this back when it happened because I was so thankful for these ladies.  They celebrated me and I felt so accomplished that day.  This group of Instagram commenters covers a lot of friend categories.  It ranges from some of my very best friends to some people I hardly know.  It's just proof that we can (and should) be on each others' teams even if we don't know all of the ins and outs of one another. 

And then there was the nursing debacle.  I'll never forget this time in my life.  Boy, did I need an army for that one.  (I realize I haven't explained the whole nursing situation here on the blog, and I do plan/want to.  It's just a matter of gathering all of my thoughts into one place.)  The countless group texts (essays) back and forth with my sweet friends at 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. or whenever to which everyone responded.  The million decision changes I made and how everyone was on board with all of them.  My mom who saved my life by helping me at the house and watching Duke for my lactation appointments.  The amazing group of women at the Tuesday night book study who are mostly 5-10 years older than me and totally jumped in with me and my issues.  I can't describe how refreshing it was.  Without even saying it, their presence reminded me that the formula/pumping/nursing conversation eventually just doesn't matter.  Nobody asks how long you nursed your baby when they enroll for Pre-K.  And while it is important, it is not life-determining.

And the army doesn't stop with people I know.  Complete strangers can turn into your army for the day.

A lady at the park with a 6 year old and two 3 year old twin girls made me feel like a million bucks on one of my first mornings out with both kids.  She congratulated me on getting out after only a month and encouraged me by saying that it does get easier.  She said she would pack the car the night before she went out with her 3 girls and she told herself, No matter how the morning goes, I'm determined to get out.  I'm sure she had no idea, but I left feeling so confident.  In fact, I was so confident that my plan to just go to the park turned into a couple more outings.  Thanks to that lady, Duke had a really full and fun morning and I felt, even if just for a day, that I could do this and do it successfully.

Our armies are so important.  They're important for the long haul, but absolutely crucial in these first few months.  These people are what pulled me through (and are still pulling me through).  When every hour feels like an entire day, you need people like this.  And if you don't have an army, consider me your first member. 

I've done nothing to deserve this kind of love and friendship, but I am thanking the kind Lord that he has surrounded me with people like this.


  1. Great post! Just this afternoon I reluctantly sent a message to my close girlfriends here (at Jonathan's encouragement) letting them know about my tendency to have mild ppd and that my biggest remedy is contact with people in the weeks after baby. My Memphis friends know that but this is my first okie baby and Jonathan told me I should really let my friends know how they can help: aka don't be a stranger! So yes...we need our people!

    1. Well, good for you! Yeah, I found that this time around, I MADE myself say "yes" to more things (like close friends coming by, bringing drinks, etc.). It always lightened my days and I found myself not really dealing with PPD at all this time, thank the Lord. So excited for you and #3! :)

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