Motherhood isn’t an Island, embrace the village.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

When it comes to motherhood how often do we hear the phrase “it takes a village”? I used to think that that was a load of rubbish to be honest, I mean, all my kids need is me right? I still think that to an extent – I remember my mum, doing it alone, no help from anyone really and she was awesome. Now, however I’ve come to appreciate the village thing in a totally different way. While all my children need may well be me, having the extra people in their lives is a blessing – for all of us.

Let me just elaborate a bit further. No mother is, or should be, an island. Motherhood is tough, it’s exhausting and rewarding in equal proportions and on occasion totally unequal proportions. Sometimes it down right sucks and it’s a day to day struggle. That is when the “village” comes in from a mother’s perspective. Earlier this week we had a blow out with the tyre (thankfully there wasn’t even so much as a swerve) but I called my husband, who stayed with Edith and called my mum who came to help out and stay with the car while I took the boys to school. It meant not having two frustrated kids sat at the side of the road while I waited for the AA to come and collect me, and I was incredibly grateful that it happened on a day when they were both around… but I was grateful for something else too. My friends. I immediately got on the old blower and told my mama compadres that I had had a blown tyre on the way to school and although help was on the way, I was annoyed. Instant replies flooded in from our little group, suggestions, what they did in the same situation and “oh no, that’s shit” galore. It’s the same when the kid’s are poorly, mine or theirs, sometimes you just want someone to text who understands. To feel less isolation.

Funnily enough, this isn’t my only little group of mama friends, I have a few that surround me (though in fairness a lot of them are also bloggers who I only know in the virtual!) and I am eternally grateful for their support, even when they don’t know they are giving it. I think every mother goes through the phase of feeling lonely, and like they need to be that island – strong, unyielding and everyone’s safe haven… but it is one sure fired way to drive you to insanity. I think back to having my miscarriage before I was pregnant with Edith and I turned to my mum, my best friend Kate. Kate doesn’t have children but she is a certified member of my “tribe” and I felt that she would understand my heartbreak, my despair and my need to talk it through. She did, and though in that situation a problem shared is never really halved, it does help – it’s like comfort food for the soul to share and ask for support. At the time I didn’t have school mum friend’s like I do now, I didn’t have the baby group friends that I know I could talk to even though we aren’t close… but what I did have was people who loved me and wanted to help. So I let them.

I also think that the importance of the tribe is understood on more than just a personal level nowadays, especially with the power of the online world. The village becomes more, surpasses the ocean even and we have support networks all over the world through Facebook groups, whatsapp and so much more. Even the way that we shop has changed, with companies like The Baby Cubby taking a more parent – friendly, tribe approved style of shopping, with places to sit and have a cuppa in store with your friend’s while the kids play, or easy internet ordering with real people to talk to if you have a problem.

I really love the fact that, as mothers, we’re accepting that we aren’t islands and that we can make use of the social networks we have, whether they be virtual, filled with mum friends or just family members. Asking for help and sharing the stresses of raising another human being.

On top of the benefits of having a “mother tribe” allowing the proverbial village into the home can often feel like a slide of control for a mother (maybe that is just my control freakish-ness?). If you are like me then learning to co-parent with your partner and his different ways of doing things probably gives you a neurotic eye twitch from time to time, so adding in additional ways of doing things sounds like a nightmare. Grandparents, family friends, other parents, can all have such a wonderful impact on your children and their upbringing. Let the village in, just consider yourself the mayor when it comes to your child’s upbringing.

What are your thoughts on the motherhood tribe, the village and asking for help?

H x


  1. Avatar
    June 28, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Well…I tried to make mummy friends. I went to the mother and toddler groups and tried to find friends. The first group were ultra competitive. My little girl wasn’t good enough in any way. So I found another group- it met fortnightly for 2 hours. Nice mums there but in my little village they were all friends already and didn’t welcome newbies. I didn’t have use of a car and with a very travel sick daughter, I didn’t fancy taking the hourly bus to groups in the middle of nowhere. Plus they were all super expensive. I probably didn’t make enough effort, but the group of supportive mums never materialised for me. Its better now she is at school and I see the playground mums, actually.

    • Harriet June 28, 2017 / 6:22 pm

      Ohhh that is such a shame! It’s so frustrating when that happens and I could throttle mums who don’t open arms and say JOIN OUR GROUP! It’s hard enough without the bullshittery of cliques.

  2. Avatar March 25, 2017 / 2:19 am

    Everyone needs their village!

  3. Avatar November 8, 2016 / 12:22 am

    My family are totally and completely my village. I don’t know how I’d cope without them!

  4. Avatar November 6, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    I think you can adapt the village community to so many aspects of life. I worked abroad and when I came home at the end I was a bit lonely, I was unemployed for a while and I found an amazing community online who were always there to talk to if my family or friends weren’t around. It’s so great that social media has helped us with this, and I’m so glad you found your village 😀 😀

  5. Avatar November 5, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    If I had children I would totally embrace the village and have as much help from friends and family as I could x

  6. Avatar November 4, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    I loved this!! It’s absolutely true. I would have much sadder days without all my girls to turn to. (You included of course!) Also, gif life rules! ?

  7. Avatar
    November 4, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    I think it’s so important to have support, embrace the village!

  8. Avatar November 4, 2016 / 9:16 am

    I think the village mentality is so important, whatever your season of life 🙂

  9. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 11:38 pm

    It’s so important to have a few people around you to support each other when needed!

  10. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 10:41 pm

    I love love love this post!
    I am a mum to 6 and I so try to do everything myself but there at times I get so exhausted I am not enjoying motherhood, it’s those times that friends and family show me it’s much easier and more enjoyable when I ask for help. I also own a very large Facebook support group for mums, mums all over the world helping to support each other daily and to some mums, this is the only support network they have. It’s sad but its so true, we do need help.

  11. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    It is really important to have enough people to support you when you have kids x

  12. Avatar
    November 3, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. I’m the type who hates asking as i feel like it’s bothersome but I’m learning to ask for help. I’m also learning about stuff at the same time.

  13. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    I have always wanted to be a mum, i know its not easy but i imagine its worth it xx

  14. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 6:22 pm

    I does help to know there are other there that can lend an ear, show support as it’s tough being a mum

  15. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    Aww I can only start to imagine how hard it can be from time to time, having a good team to fall back on must be a must.

  16. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    My cousin is expecting and I’ll definitely have to send her this. Although I won’t be much help since I’m definitely not the motherly kind, it’s important to know you’re not alone.

  17. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    I totally embrace the village, I often feel like I’m doing it alone but I’m not, I have help and support whenever I need it from family and friends around me. It’s a blessing.

  18. Avatar November 3, 2016 / 11:41 am

    And the “it is shit” gifs coming to the rescue to make you smile 🙂 love this, seriously, you take my thoughts and hit me round the face with them.

    • Harriet November 3, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      Those are the ultimate gifs – I hope you all know you are the aforementioned group madam. You guys are a worldwide lifeline for the shittier days 😉 x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.