It Takes a Village
But the village looks different than you expected.
It’s something else to live in Mexico when you have a baby and are pregnant.
Countless strangers stop in the middle of their busy day to say hello and play with my son. “Que hermoso!!” they coo.
Men have blocked several lanes of heavy traffic with their vehicles to allow me to cross the street with my baby safely.
It’s not uncommon for women to stop on the sidewalk, pick Peter up in their arms, and fawn over his sweet smile and blue eyes.
A dozen ladies at my church flocked around me and lovingly caressed my barely-there bump when we announced our pregnancy.
Someone is always holding a door for me, offering to allow me to go first. I’ve never needed to unload my own groceries. An entire checkout line at the store is dedicated to me.
This all took a little getting used to, but I have to admit now that I like it!
I’ve heard mamas say they wished our American culture had more of a “village” approach to family. I agree! I believe God’s best plan is for us to live in community, supporting and living life with one another. But does the U.S. actually lack this kind of support, or does our perspective need some adjustment?
These are some common complaints I’ve heard lately on social media:
It’s “bizarre” when someone congratulates us by gently patting our belly.
It’s “creepy” when a stranger smiles at our baby and squeezes their foot or hand.
It’s “toxic” when our mother-in-law comes over to hold the baby so we can get some things done around the house.
It’s “patriarchal” when men offer to hold the door or carry something for us.
How many times do the people around us show love in the ways they know best, yet their efforts are met with offense?
This is our village, ladies.
It may look different than you’ve been expecting. The comments and approaches might feel awkward at first. But they are meant to celebrate us, care for us, and love us. Welcome this support!
To be clear, appropriate boundaries are healthy and needed. But if a correction needs to be made, please make your requests with grace. You don’t know how much of a person’s heart was invested in their gesture of kindness.