An Open Letter To Our Village

This year has undoubtedly been THE WORST YEAR FOR SICKNESS in my household, EVER. Point blank PERIODT. My youngest has been sick every other week consistently since October. Thankfully our oldest has a stronger immune system, but he too has been down several times with ear aches and colds.

All of this fun stuff has been happening on top of my husband getting a new job where he’s earned ZERO time off yet, and has an ever-changing schedule. Therefore I’ve exhausted all of my leave time at work. I mean all of it, every single last minute of PTO.

I, like most working moms, have really been struggling lately with feeling like I’m spread too thin. To elaborate further on that, I feel like I’m half-assing my job, as well as my duties as a mother and wife. I’m not even going to lie- I’ve hardly cooked anything for dinner in the past few months. We’ve been picking socks and pants out of clean piles of clothes that are in an unfolded mound on top of the dryer. Bathrooms are getting “spot cleaned” instead of the deep cleaning they so desperately need, and my floors are covered in dog hair, slobber, and dirt. Dishes have sat in the sink for a few days at a time, and I’ve never felt like I’m failing my husband and kids more.

At work I have deadlines piling up and staring me right in the face. I’m looking at a pile of papers on my desk that should have been handled the week prior, and I’m starting to think that I’m too behind to ever be caught up. I’m getting the BARE-MINIMUM done just to make it by and I’ve never felt less efficient in a work setting. I feel bad, I feel like I’m letting my fellow employees down, but truthfully I’m doing the best that I can.

Some years are better than others when it comes to feeling like this, but this year just simply hasn’t been our year. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have family, friends, and “your village” backing you during your rough times.

To the spouses, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, daycare providers, teachers, etc- thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for stepping in when I had to work, thank you for taking over when I was also sick and exhausted. Thank you for picking up stuff from the grocery store for me, thank you for picking the kids up and for dropping them off. Thank you for filling in at doctors appointments, school events, and everything in between. Thank you for checking in, and being there. Thank you for reassuring me I am not being a burden when I feel like one, and for reminding me it’s okay to ask for help. Thank you for the kind words of encouragement.

When I was younger, I always thought I wanted to move as far away as possible from this small hometown. As I’ve grown older I realize the importance of having your village close. Whether it be family or friends or teachers or community members, it’s so important. At the end of the day as parents, we try our best. Some days are better than others, and some years are better than others, but we try. And if we felt like today was a failure, tomorrow we will try again.

My favorite African proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child” and honestly I’ve never had anything resonate with me more. Make sure to hug your kids, and then hug the members of your village. I’m extra thankful for mine today.

Until next time,

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Em.

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