Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
One phrase that stuck with me during this adventure in parenting is “it takes a village”. Isn’t that the truth? Let’s take a little stroll together to find out, won’t you be my neighbor?
In pre-pandemic years I struggled to make connections to build my “village”
Whether losing touch with friends when life became busy or not always being available to our homeschool community to create new connections. When it came to socialization, my kids came first and we busied ourselves with extra activities that would keep them engaged with other children. I relied heavily on our family, and the kids made wonderful connections with their grandparents over the years.
Over the last few years…
In 2019 I challenged myself to becoming more “available” to new friendships. Making a priority of going to all the parent workshops that our charter school offered, and engaged with other parents when we were at dance lessons or gymnastics, was a big step for me. I also started looking for and attending some of the local park play dates with other homeschool families. Finally I began building friendships with amazing people that understood the struggles of balancing homeschool and work, and just being a parent and grown up!
2020 hit us like a ton of bricks. The socialization opportunities disappeared for us. We took precautions for the grandparents to be sure that we were not exposing anyone to unnecessary germs. The kids and I isolated in our home, going out on rare occasions to public places. Our village shrank dramatically. We lost a few family members that year and struggled to remain positive while our county continued its restrictions.
2021 had it’s own set of challenges however it also had some amazing opportunities for our family. The kids and I were able to drive out to Arizona from California twice to spend time with my grandmother who turned 90 in February! I was so excited that my kids would get to develop a bond with my grandma, who I spent so much time with as a child. We did a little exploring of some local nature and read so many books! It was an incredible time and built my confidence, that I was able to make the long drive, keep working my business and getting our homeschooling done.
Growing our village
By the end of 2021, we had a lot of friends and family leave the area, and our village was shrinking yet again. Our family of four, along with my father-in-law planned an incredible Christmas holiday in the mountains and we looked forward to the relaxing time and all of the snow! As I sat in home we rented, watching the snow fall while I had a fire going (on the television, LOL) I thought about how our village has changed over the year and how, with the internet, our village is only limited by our own fear of reaching out. I was inspired with so many new thoughts for my business and I realized that my village is here, with you neighbor!
I get it, parenting is hard work!
As parents, we want was is best for our children, their health, their education, their happiness! We strive for them to be responsible and well rounded, imaginative and thoughtful, independent and to take charge! We want to be wrapped up in the cozy blanket of our village, to have our neighbors take our hand and help us through our struggles and cheer on our achievements.
And that is what brought me to my computer today! Yes, I am a small business owner, a homeschool mom, a busy lady! But I also want to have the connections that come along with being a part of something bigger than my small corner of the world. I want to know that my village is not just the area of the city I live in, it’s not just the local community of homeschoolers, it’s a community of busy parents that need a good cyber hug and a dose of inspiration, even a helping hand of creative learning to get the little ones unplugged but dialed in to hands-on, creative, nostalgic toys that allow mom (or dad) to get a few minutes of “me time” so they are refreshed and ready to get back to all of the things that need to be done.
So what I’m asking is… Won’t you be my neighbor?