“They say it takes a Village to raise a child, I think it takes a Village to be a human being.”
I saw these words in an article and suddenly thought to myself, “I’ve seen them before – they’re mine!” I was so delighted to read a story featured on the Huffington Post that had quoted me as saying this. Not only because I fully believe it to be true, but to think that this message is filtering across the globe is phenomenal.
I remember when I had my first baby, Olivia, who’s now eight (where does that flipping time actually go?). The midwife sat me down and we chatted through my ‘plan.’ Now, if you know me, I have an odd planning style that pretty much nobody but myself understands. I’m also known to talk to myself. A. Lot. I do wonder how this combination in labour actually looked from afar – I can only assume rather entertaining. Me the internal planner and my own inner dialogue, verbalised with a few endorphins, a dash of relaxin and a whole lot of oxytocin – certainly not a state where glamor is made. Let’s face it, anybody who has experienced the delights of childbirth knows too well, pretty much everything that happened during that time span, quickly becomes a very, very distant memory. So distant, there’s little to no recollection whatsoever.
Anyway, back to the midwife (who by the way was wonderful during the birthing process). She was very firm in telling me that I didn’t need anybody around me besides my beautiful husband and brand new shiny baby in the first few days of our life as a new little family. I took it onboard, fully. I gently suggested to mum that she wait a week or so after Olivia’s birth before she took the flight over from Adelaide to visit because (apparently) we needed ‘time.’ Truth be told, our first night at home was sheer hell. Olivia cried the entire night, stopping only when held and continuing where she left off the millisecond she was put back down. I had very little idea what I was doing and whilst my husband was a great support, for everything I didn’t know about having a baby, he knew half that again.
As soon as dawn broke, I called my BFF. I told her of my horrible night. She took quite some time to respond and eventually responded, ‘when’s the last time you fed her, I can hear her crying and she sounds hungry?’ Um, FAIL. I hadn’t once tried to feed her after all of the screaming and tears from all of us overnight. A simple and very obvious explanation – yet in a sleep deprived, hazy post-partum state, I’d let that one slip! Parenting fail. Needless to say, the next call was to mum, begging her to get on the next plane even if she had to hijack it to get to me. This was not a job I could do on my own. I needed to call in the troops.
Thankfully we moved past that hurdle and nobody was harmed in the process. But sadly this isn’t always the case. With the rate of depression, anxiety, hormone disorders and many experiencing dire health, building our support network is more important than ever. The original article which featured my quote, was an article written about anxiety and being open and honest about our feelings and experiences. It’s a beautiful piece and I encourage you to read it. Written by Kylie Aloi, she suggested, “The more I open up about it (anxiety), people have started to open up about their experiences. Even if it is witnessing firsthand a loved one go through it. I think it is a really important point to remember, that our wellness (mental or physical) always affects those around us.” This is so very true with everything we experience, being open and honest is paramount in us not only identifying hurdles like anxiety but also supporting and assisting those living with it.
I’m not sure when living as a community of women took a backseat. I’m not entirely sure where we thought flying solo was a good idea. Given that throughout time, women got together to support almost all aspects of living, I’m pretty confident in saying that’s the state of living we need to strive more toward.
As women we crave our tribe. We all have those extra special women we confide in, the ones who make us better humans and those that we turn to in times of need. Ever since having Olivia, I realised this more than ever. It’s possibly one of the reasons I was so drawn to creating the membership, a safe place women could congregate, come together, solve issues, listen to each other and learn. It provides a haven, for women to chat through their health issues, hang out, join me for exclusive webinars, radio shows as well a host of ‘pretty’ stuff like artwork for your favourite wall at home.
I don’t want any women to go it alone. I especially want to help women continue to live the life they deserve. I’d love for you to come and join me and the crew over in the Wellness Collective Membership. There’s a whole world in there just waiting to be explored. You can learn more here.
Go build your tribe and above all, go love them hard.