• Shannon Caravello

The Villageless Mother

So, this post has been sitting in my draft folder for about 3 months now. I’m blowing the dust off of my computer, and I’m sitting down to continue writing. When I first started on this post, I was in the middle of mopping my floors, dusting down my furniture, putting toys away, you know? My usual evening routine. Tonight, though, I had so many thoughts floating over me as I was tidying up. “Will I get the laundry done tonight?”, or perhaps, “Shall I share a new blog piece?”, “Will I ever actually edit Mila’s birthday pictures?”, “Should I scroll aimlessly into social media oblivion when the kids are finally asleep?” – That last one never fails LOL.. But I thought about my blog for a moment. Oh, I’ve neglected my other baby. I just have so many thoughts I want to share. I’m a perfectionist by nature, and well, true perfectionists, they hardly get anything done, or we do, but it can take us forever. I’m working on it (along with about a million other things)…

Anyway, a few nights ago, while scrolling into social media oblivion, I actually came across a very meaningful post, that was shared by a super sweet mama that I follow, Hana. She talked about it taking a village to raise a child, and what that village meant to her. It resonated with me, like, it really hit home for me. It brought my thoughts together, so much so, that it inspired me to open my laptop and blog to you about: The Villageless Mother.

I know many of you are probably wondering, “Well, what’s a villageless mother?” Oh I’m glad you asked. Well, to me, it’s the mother that needs to run to the grocery store, but doesn’t have the energy in her to bring her irritable toddler with her. Who can she ask? Who can she rely on? Who will watch her screaming toddler with unconditional love and patience, and explain to them for the millionth time that you just can’t eat crayons? It’s the mother who wants five minutes to herself without feeling like she’s being a bother. (It’s just mom guilt, guys, a vicious cycle) It’s the mother who feels like she won’t ever be able to resurrect her social life. What is a social life really? These mothers I’m describing, were/are all me at some point. I found myself ugly crying one time, because I let my anxiety get the best of me, all because I was afraid to go to the grocery store with two babies. It’s tough stuff people. Anxiety is crippling. But that’s another blog post.

After having my children, things were constantly changing, and I found myself losing connections with some of my childless friends, simply because we weren’t on the same wave lengths anymore, simply put, I have kids, and they don’t. I found it hard to relate to the things they liked doing. It felt difficult to be interacting. I was even judged for my messy kitchen. YUP! At first I was hurt, but I quickly learned that this was a part of being on this new, amazing, exhausting, but permanently rewarding journey. It’s growth. Growth can hurt. It’s uncomfortable. I don’t blame them! They wouldn’t ever understand my love/hate relationship with the Baby Shark song, or that I just didn’t care about my messy kitchen, 24/7.

Feeling like the villageless mother at some point, made me realize, that I needed to connect with other mothers. I posted about this on Instagram once before, that yes, it takes a village, but that we also needed to allow that village. Now I’m tweaking it to say, allow the right village. I couldn’t expect my childless friends to understand my mom life struggles. Connecting with the right people, helped ease my anxiety so much. I’ve connected with moms at my daughter’s daycare, and to hear that we ALL go through more or less of the same thing, made it a whole lot easier. We constantly group chat about who’s kid broke the record of staying up late, which mom whipped up some last minute Eggo waffles instead of an organic gourmet breakfast, who’s kid got sick, or which mom scored Build-a-Bear coupons for us all to take our kids. It’s easy. There’s no judgement, just support, mutual, unconditional support. It really might seem silly, but a village helps. The right village helps. The village that you can really relate with about things like this. One mama in particular, zipped through Publix with me, her daughter and mine, just so we could get a few groceries done. It meant the world.

If you find yourself feeling like the villageless mother from time to time, it’s okay. Build friendships with other moms. Mom-friend it up at daycare, at the park, heck, even at the grocery store! There are tons of moms going through the same silent struggles.  Seems like too much too soon? I’ve been there too, my friend. Online communities like Instagram and Facebook have helped me meet other mamas like myself and Hana, who go through the same struggles. Suuuure, at first we all think the other’s got it more together than we do, but the truth is, no one’s got a clue LOL ..we’re all just winging it! I’ve met some incredible women through these platforms, and the support is tremendous! There’s enough sun for everyone, mama, come and share your story.

Remember, you’re not alone in this, we’re in it together!


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