Who’s in your village?
By Maegan Bennight
Raising a child in today’s world is tough! Every family has their own challenges they face whether it be financial difficulty, finding the time to get everything done, legal troubles, figuring out what’s for dinner, having that difficult conversation, health problems, our child’s behavioral issues… and sometimes it’s that last option on multiple choice tests, “All of the above.”
Growing up, I often heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”, but it didn’t really hit home for me until recently. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a control freak, and it’s hard for me to ask for help. That wasn’t such a problem when I was a mom to just one child, but since I became a mom of two, even with the help of a super supportive husband, I’ve had to learn that having a village is critical to my family’s success…and my sanity. But what does a village look like? In reality, it has a lot of different faces. For me, it’s the friend that periodically calls or texts reminding me that we need to hang out and that I still haven’t asked her to babysit my kids so I can have time to myself or to have a date night with my husband. It’s my sister that I can call and vent to about anything knowing that she will empathize with me but just might challenge me to rethink my perspective on whatever issue I’m venting about. It’s the app on my phone that gives me a daily Bible verse to help me tend to my spiritual needs and another app that provides me with ideas for activities to engage in with my kids. It’s my daughter’s pre-school teacher that will give me suggestions on how to deal with a particular behavior my daughter is displaying at school. It’s a lady from the local WIC office that happens to engage in a conversation with me at a community event and then ends up helping me trouble shoot ways to get my infant to take a bottle. It’s the mom I met at a Bible study group who friended me on Facebook and suggested I attend an event that connected me to other moms going through a similar season of life. It’s the coworker that gently touches my elbow and asks me how things are going even when she’s dealing with her own struggles. Our villages are all around us. Sometimes our village members are obvious because they’re involved in our day to day lives. Other times they aren’t so obvious for whatever reason, but they are there, waiting for us to recognize and call them to action.
Sometimes we have to be intentional about adding members to our village. MCH Family Outreach offers services to those who are interested in expanding their village. Join us for food, fellowship and fun as we come together to support one another through our parenting journeys.
MCH Caregiver Empowerment Groups
2nd Tuesday of the month
Held at the MCH Family Outreach office, 1111 Herring Avenue, Waco 76708
Next meetings: October 10th & November 14th
Two times to choose from: 11 am-Noon or 6-7 pm
Call 254-750-1263 with any questions
Hope to see you there!
Maegan Bennight is a case manager in the MCH Family Outreach office providing support to parents, grandparents and other caregivers raising children in and around the Waco community. She is a wife, a mother to a 3 year old daughter and 5 month old son, a graduate of Texas A&M University, and a Central Texas native. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.