As I think about my mother on her birthday today, I can’t help but think about her as a single parent raising a daughter to the best of her ability. I wonder who were the members of her village that stepped in to help nuture and guide me. I am so grateful for my mothers village for playing that supportive role in my life. I believe that everyone has a village to tap into. I don’t know if my mother ever realized that she had a village. But, looking back I can see that she did. This is probably why I understand the significance of having one as I fully embrace my village. Earlier this year why being a radio host on Sage Network’s “The Real with Sage Single Moms”. I had to opportunity to contibure to the Network’s blog about what it means to have a village. I want to re-share that post:
Why you need a village, How to build your village and How to nurture it.
By Sage Mentoring Moment Host – Carolyn Wilson
Over the years, I have always had people tell me about what a great job I’m doing with my children especially with my son. Instead of the normal response of thank you, I would just state it was not me but my village. I would get tickled by the amazement rather the confusion on people’s faces as a response to my statement.
Is it true, that I am the mother? Yes! Is it true, that I did not do it all alone? Yes! Is it also true that I allow my children to be exposed to certain environments and opportunities that I alone wouldn’t be able to do? Yes, Yes and Yes! But, truly I contribute it to my village, his village, her village, our village that has made everything possible for us. I like to say our village runs deep because there are so many people that have been so instrumental to us individually and collectively. Their existence has led to my children and my overall growth and our many accomplishments, academically, athletically and personally.
So, why do you need a village? Well, it’s just as that African proverb states “it takes a village to raise a child”. Because a village is there to help guide you in areas as you navigate through unchartered territory. After all, I don’t believe any of us moms were given a manual when we had our children. Right? If your anything like me, many things were learned were either by observation or mostly by trial and error.
How do build your village? Well, you start with the people closest to you which are members of your family, other members of your village could include those who are around your child the most such as clergy, teachers, counselors, coaches, other parents and neighbors. These are the best people to have in your village as they will bring tons of insight that may be best for your child.
How do you nurture your village? The best way to nurture this extensive village is simply by embracing them. Some villagers are assigned while others you personally seek out. For example, I enrolled my kids in community service type organization to get exposure to giving back. Also, I have my children around other family units so they could see what a thriving two parent household looks like just as a couple of examples of how you seek them out. Either way be open and willing to accept the guidance and direction from those within your village as they are there for your benefit. Of course you use your own discretion about certain suggestions and guidance. But, overall if it adds value to the recipe of success then you add them to the mix.
Just think of your village like you are baking a cake. Keep in mind, a cake can’t be made with just one ingredient alone. Just like a cake, your village is not just one ingredient but a blend of resources that can be mixed and blended together to bake a sweet success for you and your child. Remember it takes a village. So acknowledge them, build them, nurture them, embrace them and your village will most definitely embrace you back.
Wow how true is that last statement that if you embrace your village they will embrace you back. I can say that because the village who is there to help me is also partially the same village that was there to help my mother. Just by knowing this I emabrace them and they embrace me in return. Always remember, you do have a village whenever you think you’ll all alone just know that your not. Look around the village is all around you.