This post is sponsored by Amazon.
It takes a village!
This is a phrase we’ve all likely heard as moms but where do you find a village?! I know I certainly didn’t feel part of a village when my first child was born 9 years ago and I became a stay-at-home mom. I felt pretty alone to be honest.
Since I’d quit my job and had a newborn, our budget was one that didn’t allow me to go out and get involved with a lot of activities. No, instead I was home alone with my daughter most days. Day after day it was just the two of us until my husband came home from work to join us. It was easy to start feeling lonely.
I’ve found in my talks with other lonely moms that this lack of a village seems to be pretty common these days. Moms are so busy thanks to their jam-packed schedules, that assembling a village can sometimes be difficult.
Well, I’m happy to tell you that over the years I’ve managed to create an amazing village and today I want to share my tips with you on how YOU can create your own village, no matter your circumstances!
Start With Family
This one is probably obvious but should not be overlooked. Your family can be one of the greatest assets in your village. We are blessed to have a lot of close family members who are the foundation of our village. They are always there to celebrate with us, cry with us, and have fun with us!
Be Willing To Reach Out
I married much younger than most of my friends (I was only 19). That also meant that I started having babies much younger than my friends. In order to make some mom friends, I knew I needed to branch out from my current circle of friends. But where?! Initially, I really was not sure how to make mom friends.
When I was pregnant with Maggie (my oldest), my husband and I took Bradley childbirth classes. There was another couple in our class who we seemed to have a lot in common with. They had decided to have a home birth like us, it was their first baby, and they were about the same age as us as well. We were also both due with girls within a month of each other.
It’s been so long, I honestly can’t remember if she reached out to me first or if I reached out to her. Nevertheless, after our class ended we decided to stay in contact.
Our babies were born and a few weeks later we decided to get together for a “playdate.” At that point, our girls weren’t even rolling yet, so it was really more of a mommy date! We talked about our struggles and wins as new moms and shared tips about things that had been working for us. Then we scheduled a time a few weeks later to do it again. And then again and again. And the rest is, well, history!
With every playdate, we discovered more and more things we had in common. We also managed to continue having children at about the same rate. Yes, she now has 5 children as well. When we get together for playdates, it’s quite the full house at this point, but we have so much fun! Plus, our kids are all good friends at this point too!
I’m SO glad that one of us had the courage to reach out to the other and set up that first playdate!
On another occasion, I literally made a friend in the frozen food section at our local grocery store! I kid you not! I’m picking up some frozen peas while trying to breastfeed my newborn and another mom comes around the corner and strikes up a conversation with me. We exchanged names, found each other on Facebook, and were meeting for coffee 2 weeks later.
I know it can be scary to put yourself out there sometimes, but you just never know until you try! Your best friend might be waiting for you the next aisle over! Be bold and say hi and see where things go!
I know it can be scary to put yourself out there sometimes, but you just never know until you try! Your best friend might be waiting for you the next aisle over. Be bold and say hi and see where things go!
Visit Kid-Friendly Locations (Many are Free!)
Maybe you didn’t take childbirth classes and really have no idea where to begin looking for mom friends. Don’t worry. I’ve got some ideas for you! Most won’t even cost you a thing (except a little gas money).
- Go to the park. There are always lots of kids at the park and you are bound to meet other moms there!
- Go to story time at your local library. Most libraries offer this and many have special times for babies and toddlers!
- Go to church. You are bound to find other parents at a local church. A lot of my tribe is made up of people I connected with through church. My church tribe threw me a baby shower — for baby number FIVE. Most people don’t care once you hit baby number three. They also brought us lots of meals after our baby was born.
- Visit an establishment with a play area. Our mall has a free kids playing area and there are almost always other children and parents there. We also like to sometimes visit fast food restaurants where there are play areas. I DO try to purchase a little something, but it doesn’t have to be much. A round of ice cream for my four older kiddos and me can be as cheap as $5! Then I let them play for a while and talk to the other moms there.
Join a Digital Village
Sometimes it is just impossible to build a support team where you are. I get it! That’s why I created a pregnancy and postpartum support group on Facebook last year. It’s grown to over 20,000 members — talk about a huge village! It’s so nice to be able to see moms that have a question receive an answer almost immediately, or just a sympathetic ear when times get tough. If you feel like you need more support in your life, join a digital village. There are so many great groups online!
Make Friends with Alexa – Your Personal Assistant
Where your human village fails you, Alexa is always there to swoop in and save the day. Where you find you just can’t squeeze another minute out of your day and you NEED someone to make your life easier, Alexa can do that too. These days, Americans are so busy. Every mom should have Alexa in her tribe. If you haven’t added her to your tribe yet, let me take just a few moments of your time to explain how Alexa has been a help to me over the past few months. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!
Last year, my kids got the Echo Dot Kids Edition, and I got the Echo Show. I didn’t really realize how much I would love my Echo Show until I started using it. Alexa has quickly become my digital BFF. She and I are constantly conversing. Alexa is basically like the personal assistant I always needed as a mom but never thought I could afford! In fact, I’ve loved Alexa so much, I recently got an Echo Dot for myself to keep in my bedroom.
Alexa is a Personal Shopper
I keep our Echo Show in the kitchen and use it multiple times throughout the day. She’s become my personal shopper that I use multiple times a week.
Alexa, I need more diapers, will you order more?
Alexa, show me deck planters.
Alexa, I need to order more Command Hooks.
LOVE having her right there on my counter so I can order the little odds and ends I realize we need throughout the day. I get the quick 2-day shipping on Prime, but lately, my items have even been shipping to me in 1 day. The selection is always amazing, the price is just right, and I don’t have to leave my home.
She even notifies me when the items arrive which is great because our mailman usually doesn’t ring the doorbell. He knows I have young children who might be napping.
Alexa Helps Me To Keep Track of My Schedule
I feel like with each new baby I lose a little bit more of my memory. That’s not great since I’m literally busier than I’ve ever been! My husband tends to use his phone to track his calendar but I’ve found that I often miss alerts on my phone because I have it set to silent. (I’m always afraid it will wake the baby while I’m trying to rock him.)
That’s why I love that I’m able to set up reminders and alarms with Alexa. I use the Alexa app on my phone to set up reminders for when library books are due, when the kids have an appointment at the doctor’s office, playdates, and anything else we have scheduled, plus daily reminders, like when I need to start dinner that night so it’s ready in time.
Then, Alexa helps to keep me on track!
I’ve recently had the idea of using Alexa to help remind me what chores I need to get done that day. It’s been a great way to help me to set up and stick to a cleaning schedule.
Alexa Helps Me Improve Myself Through Podcasts
2019 has been the year of the podcasts for me. Before this year, I NEVER listened to podcasts. Honestly, I never understood the appeal of a podcast. I thought to myself, who is listening to these? Well now I can tell you, I am listening to them. I have no idea why I never tried them before but I’m LOVING them!
Because the Echo Show can open YouTube, I watch many of the podcasts there. Every day now as I make breakfast, lunch, and dinner and as I clean up after those meals I listen to podcasts. There are parenting podcasts that have helped me in my parenting, religious podcasts that help me in my Christianity, and there are even blogging podcasts that help me to improve my website. There are podcasts on basically anything you are interested in!
Alexa is an Entertainer
When I’m trying to fix dinner and baby Aram is not happy in any other way, I know that I can always make him happy by putting him in his highchair and turning on Baby Shark or another one of his favorite songs. Then he can happily clap along to the music and munch on a little snack while I work. This has been a huge lifesaver for me! It is so much easier to fix dinner when I don’t have to hold a baby during the process.
Alexa is a Teacher’s Aide for Our Homeschooling/Homework
We frequently use Alexa for homeschooling, whether it’s to help with math problems, spelling, or answering one of the millions of questions my kids ask me every day (Mom, what do aardvarks eat?), she is the BEST teacher’s aide ever!
Audible, available on the Echo, is like having the library available at my fingertips without having to go anywhere! Cause, let’s face it, some days getting all of the kids out of the house is exhausting. I use Alexa with my kids all the time. Since we can’t always make it to story hour at our local library, I can sit with them on the floor and have Alexa read a book on Audible.
I’ve been working with our children on memorizing the children’s catechism and since there is a music album on Amazon Music designed to do just that, we listen to it every single day. My kids have learned so much already! It’s a great way for them to learn even while they play since we listen to music on their Echo Dot Kids Edition all day long.
Alexa is the Home Ec Teacher I Never Had
In past generations, women didn’t work outside of the home and therefore the older generations were around to teach and help the younger generations. That’s not really the case these days. There are SO many life skills I wish I had someone to teach me: sewing, gardening, canning, the list goes on and on. Whenever I want to attempt one of these things now, I just open up YouTube on the Show and learn how to do it there!
Alexa Helps Me Fix Dinner
I ditched my cookbooks long ago. They took up a lot of room and thanks to Pinterest and blogs, I knew I could get whatever recipe I wanted digitally these days. The one drawback was that I either had to move my bulky laptop down to the kitchen or keep using my phone to see the recipe. Now that I have the Echo Show on my countertop, I just utilize that when it’s time to cook.
The screen is a great size for reading recipes and makes fixing dinner that much easier when I’m trying to fix something new!
Alexa Helps My Spiritual Life
My life is SO busy that I find it hard to sit down and read much of anything these days. I want to spend more time studying the Bible and reading devotionals but finding the time can really be tricky some days. Then I discovered that I can use Alexa to listen to my daily devotionals and Bible on audio. This has been HUGE for me! Now I can listen to the Bible while I’m folding laundry in my room. And, with 5 kids, trust me, there’s a lot of laundry to fold.
Utilize Delivery and Pickup Services
Having a village is more than just having a friend or personal assistant when you need it though. When I was growing up, all of us neighbors knew each other. All of us! It’s just not like that anymore. At least in my neighborhood. People tend to keep to themselves. If I need a cup of sugar, I’m not running over to the neighbor’s house to borrow it. I’ve gotta actually load all of my kids into the car, drag them into the store, and get my sugar…or do I?
These days, so many businesses are offering pickup and delivery services. Sometimes creating your village these days means using these time-saving services that are available to you so that you can spend your time doing what you really want and need to be doing with your family! I don’t have my mom next door to fix me dinner on a busy night, but I do have the ability to order online and then go pick up dinner in a flash or even have it delivered! It’s like having my own chef whenever I need it!