I often remind myself of the wise African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I repeat this when I am late in the mornings getting my boys to school, when we are arguing in the checkout line at the store (because they just HAVE to have the gum-candy-shitty-toy hanging in their faces) and when we are trying to do the bedtime routine, which usually ends with mommy yelling something along the lines of, “Brush your teeth and don’t you dare brush one tooth at a time like you did last night.”
I’ll repeat the proverb to friends when they ask how my kids are, “Oh you know, little assholes this week but hey, it takes a village right?” We laugh and agree that yes, it does. We’ll make plans to “get together soon for lunch,” even though we both know it won’t happen for at least the next three months because Ally/Adam/Henry/Carly has basketball-piano-Minecraft coding classes-homework during every free minute we have. This leaves us with some precious time sitting alone on the stadium bench or in the car while they practice, relishing the 48 minutes of quiet time, while simultaneously hating the fact that we have to wait one more hour to get home, put on some pants that making breathing easier and indulge in that lovely bottle of wine. Followed up by chocolate (but only eaten while in the closet and quietly, because the last time you ate candy in front of the kids, they reminded you that you had not finished your dinner and OH MY GOD THAT IS NOT FAIR!).
All this leaves me sitting here, wanting to scream, “Where the F*CK is my village?” I want a village. I want it so badly I can taste it. I can see it. I actually have it all worked out. We’ll all live close by, one big, happy neighborhood. There will be a communal park where we send our kids directly after school—no playing games or TV until they have had 2.34 hours of outside time. While the kids are playing, the women will congregate at someone’s house (whoever’s is the cleanest on that particular day). the chosen house will be required to have good wine, yummy lemonade (for those that don’t indulge…ahahaha, I kid. Anyone in my village will indulge a little.) good chocolate and finger foods. I flipping love finger foods.
We’ll gather and you know what—we’ll have the best time ever! These women will be supportive, not spiteful or jealous. We’ll lift each other up, “Oh no Shelley, those pants look amazing on you,” and we’ll mean it. Because hey, if Shelley feels hot in her new pants, I say OWN IT! There will be no gossip because we’re all too tired and we know it’s just more draining. It will be all about girl power (sans spice girl theme song) and we’ll just enjoy having someone there who we know has our backs.
If it’s been a particularly rough day for Clara, I’ll yell, “Send your tyrants over here for a bit,” and I’ll make a gourmet meal of mac‘n cheese, hot dogs (uncured and organic of course–wink, wink) and sliced apples. I’ll deal with the loudness, the crazy times that come with having a house full of four kids and I’ll feel good. You know why? Because I’ll know I am saving the life of another mother who has hit her limit that day and needs this time to unwind. And I’ll feel elated knowing that when I hit my bottom, Clara will be there for me.
We’ll all have the same locks on our doors and keys to each. I might come home to find Jocelyn in my closet, because she needed a time out and it’ll be ok. Or Jocelyn might come home to find me at the kitchen table, fresh cookies baked, because I need to stuff my face full of chocolate and butter, as I cry about how my sons were once again, having a war to see who could fart the loudest but this time, were taping it with their iPods because this was going on YouTube and going to make them FAMOUS!
I want my village. I believe in the power of women supporting women. I believe in the need for timeouts. I believe in girl power. Most of all, I WANT it and NEED it. But, until I can find a block of houses for sale and the money needed to move everyone there, I’ll console myself with phone calls to the women who understand. Those in the trenches who sometimes find themselves hiding in closets.
But hear me, I have a dream and I believe this dream could save the sanity of many women I know. The village is out there; the village is calling. And right now, so are my boys because, “Moooom, he sat on my head and farted and now I have his poop air in my hair.”
This post originally appeared on BluntMoms. It has been reprinted with permission.