So, I always believed in the old saying, It takes a village to raise a child. Being a young mum when my first was born, I was clueless and relied heavily on my family and in laws to help, give advice, comfort and sometimes, just give me some time out! I always figured that as they got older, that would change and we wouldn’t need to rely on others so much to help us in this parenting caper.
Oh, how I was wrong!
I have actually found that as they have gotten older, not only do I still rely on my family as much, but that that circle of people that I need to ask for help has widened!
My little ballerina is struggling at the moment. An injury that is taking a while to diagnose, is stopping her from dance. It has meant no ballet exam, no eisteddfod, no Australian Dance Festival and worst of all, it has meant that she has to sit and watch as her friends perfect an amazing group routine, that just weeks ago she was raving about everytime she got into the car, so excited about the depth, choreography and story behind it all. So things are tense, and as you can imagine (especially if you are a dance mum), we have spent weeks working our way through the Physio, who referred us to the GP, who referred us to the Orthopaedic Specialist…...blah blah blah. It’s taken weeks.
But as I was sitting in the waiting room today, waiting for this specialist who has finally given us some answers (and is bloody good looking to boot!), I realised that this has all happened, not just because of my husband, who does his fair share of the parenting and house work and myself.
This took a village.
It took my mum, who took my daughter to the Physio when I couldn’t get the morning off work last week.
It took my sister, who, as a dance teacher, has given us advice along the way...pointing us in the right direction, when I clearly had no clue what we were dealing with.
It took my best friend, who when I got into the specialist earlier than expected due to a cancellation, knew that Mr 7 year old drama-rama, would not be the best companion on an appointment that we had waited weeks for and took him for the afternoon to play at her house.
It took my daughter’s dance teachers, who when they found out she was injured were completely supportive, sending her texts of reassurance, convincing her that there would be other exams, eisteddfods and groups, as long as she let herself heal.
It took my colleague across the hall, and his understanding when I have told him for the third time in a week, that I am going to have to leave straight on the bell, to get her to yet another x-ray, MRI, physio appointment or specialist consult.
It took my friend, who has connections that help immensely when you are a dance mum, with a frustrated, injured 13 year old. Who when I thanked her for the billionth time for getting us in ASAP and referring us to the most amazing physio on the planet, simply wrote back,
“You’d do the same for mine.”
And I realise, it does take a village, a city, a country of people to help us raise our kids. It takes a network of amazing people who all send the love and support back and forth between each other, as we fumble our way through this mystery maze that is parenting.
So, to my network.......You probably don’t know how much you help out those around you. You probably just think it’s part of life, that you do the things that you do. But it’s because it’s just a part of life, it’s because the lot of us get that it takes a village, that our kids are turning out as awesome as they are.
Nativity play, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gift stalls, School Fetes…..all annual primary school events where parents rummage around the house searching for second hand gifts, ingredients for cupcakes and a tea towel/shepherds headdress in order to contribute to the life of their child’s primary school.
Well this week is the ultimate……
Facebook feeds across the country (including my own) will be filled with photos of hand painted, home made, Grandma sewn costumes that have been planned for months. I admire these mums. Those who enjoy the time laboriously perfecting every last detail of the sequined Elsa dress that they have been working on since the Book Parade date was announced. Or the Spotlight mum, who has planned, designed, sewn and hot glue gunned every last square centimetre of their child’s costume. All hail the Spotlight mum…..You put the rest of us to shame.
Next will come the photos of the poor kid with the last minute mum. Who grabbed a box out of the recycling bin, painted it black, put it on her kid’s head and sent him to school as a Minecraft Man! These ones crack me up….such creativity, such commitment. As a teacher, I LOVE standing there watching the costumes walk past in the parade….and although I admire and oooooh and ahhhhhh at the cuteness of each costume….I am really thinking about the mother who last night realised that the Book Parade is tomorrow and has manically pulled together a costume that Better Homes and Gardens would be proud of! You make me remember that I am not on my own….as I run from work to pick up, to ballet, to tae kwon do….I’m not the only one who sometimes takes the easy option! Your kid will think it’s the best costume on earth and you will have some hilarious memories to boot!
Let’s flood the internet with pics from our kids Book Week efforts this year.…..Yes, it’s about kids and cute costumes but it’s also a time of year that celebrates parents that put in the effort…...whether you’re a Perfectionist Patty or a Last Minute Linda!