They say it takes a village to raise a baby.
It’s a beautiful concept, but when your village doesn’t look quite like every one else’s, it can feel like just another way to fail. When my friends had babies I saw their moms flying in for weeks at a time to help them with the new baby. I heard about late night phone calls seeking advice from moms who live far away, and every year I see grandparents fly in to celebrate birthdays with their grandchildren.
Sadly, that’s not how my village looks. Not on my side of the family at least.
My oldest is now six, and through these years I’ve learned a lot about parenting and support. I’ve seen how every one’s support system looks different.
While I don’t have a parent flying in for the births of my children, I do have a mother-in-law who bent over backwards to be there for the births and every day since.
I have a friend who pumped milk for my daughter when mine wasn’t sufficient. She brought me so much frozen milk and kept doing it until I could successfully switch my baby girl to formula. She received no open recognition, and it’s unlikely those weeks stood out to her as anything special, but it still brings tears to my eyes, remembering the friend that saved my baby girl.
There are people who are there, in the middle of the night when my husband is out of town and I need help with something.
There’s friends that come over when the house isn’t really clean because I’ve been sick, and then by some miracle help me clean it.
Sometimes the biggest things that make an impact are really quite small to the giver.
Like the day I posted on Facebook about being sick, home alone with a toddler and infant while my husband was working 14 hours. And some one stopped by with dinner without even asking.
Beautiful moments tucked away into memories. They all run together and while I may not be able to point to one person and say THAT PERSON took care of our family, I’m able to point to so many wonderful people and remember the ways they’ve had an impact on my life and the lives of my kids.
So I guess the old saying is true. It does take a village. But that village doesn’t look how I thought it would. It’s not just one or two people there for everything, it’s a group of people, in and out, there and back. It’s those who rise up when you need them, and silently cheer from the sidelines when you’re doing just fine on your own.
Sometimes the people you need are the people you would not have expected to be the ones there for you, but they are and it’s a beautiful thing.
Opening your heart over and over to new people and in new ways is one of the most wonderful things about life. Seeing people come and go and love is shared among everyone given freely and without thought to what the receiver will be able to one day offer in return. It’s a true and deep kind of love, and one that I’ll never forget, even in just all the small and ordinary things that the givers may have already forgotten.
Is there some one in YOUR life that has impacted you in a special way, or some one that you have noticed always strives to give to the community? You now have the chance to honor that person by creating a video about them.
Upload your video to youtube, vimeo or even directly to the 25 Days 25 Ways to Care website. You can’t nominate yourself, but rather think about people in your life making a difference and nominate one of them! Each day there will be random drawings from the video entries who will win gift cards. The nominee will win the prize, not the video creator. You can even earn more entries towards a prize for your nominee by sharing your video across social media.
A grand prize of $2,500 will be awarded to the charity of choice by the winning nominee. The grand prize winner will be selected by a panel of judges from Create the Good, so try to make your video as fun and creative as possible!
You can see full Contest Rules here. Start thinking about who you’d like to nominate, even if it’s just for that every day sort of care, it deserves to be celebrated!