I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I don’t know as a mom. It’s not that I necessarily feel terrible about it. I’m just recognizing the fact that there is a countless list of things I would love to know about being a wife and mom that I just don’t. I feel there are secrets to motherhood that I haven’t been told, and I really, really want to find out what they are.
Do you ever wish we could live in a big community of families just to give us the opportunity to watch how women with more experience do things? Some cultures do this incredibly well. However, I feel like we so often end up living fairly isolated lives on a daily basis, making it almost impossible to know what the same tasks look like for others in similar situations. Yes, we can have play dates and coffee dates and be a part of moms groups and Bible studies and life groups, but how much do we get to dig into the dirt of real life in those settings? I would love to be a fly on the wall in a few different households of women I admire. I would take notes on how the house is kept in neat but livable fashion, how the mamas interact with the children, how much time they put into creative activities, what they do for family meals, how they make time for their own projects and goals, and how they love on their husbands in the midst of the constant pull of young children. I know there are books and blogs and YouTube videos about all of the above, but it’s not the same when we are living in our ‘for real’ settings.
The one time in my life that I feel I got to experience such community was when we were living at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya last year. There were at least five families living in immediate proximity to us. We would all open our doors in the mid-morning and let the kids run out into the grass, eventually hopping on bikes and scooters or running around as superheroes. It was during that time, when the parents would sit and chat while the kids played, that I soaked in a lot about how different parents do life. I didn’t get many weeks with the families, but I got a tiny taste of a really amazing way to do life. I would love to have that experience here in the States! I don’t know what I need to do to make that happen, but believe me, I’m asking God about it and discussing it with friends. That’s the tricky part, though. I feel like my friends are awesome (because you are!), but I really want to learn from more experienced women who have already been through this phase of life I’m walking through right now. I want to steep in their experiences and knowledge. Why should we feel like we have to reinvent the wheel when so many parents have already lived similar lives before us?
Friends, I would just love your thoughts on this. Do you have these same feelings? Do you have mentors who have taught you how this can be done? Do you feel like you have this kind of community already? I am truly longing for this kind of life. Are you?