Welcome to part 2 of my Africa Series and for reading about how being pregnant in Africa continues to teach me about motherhood. Prior to living in Kenya, I had heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” yet I did not know the extent of its beautiful meaning until I had the blessed opportunity to witness it being lived out in Africa.
This phrase does not mean that a mother is incapable of accomplishing the task of mothering her child, but it speaks toward the power of community working with you in your corner. Communal effort speaks about building the testament of sustenance to your family’s story and allows for others to celebrate and to cry with you among the trenches and the mountaintops of motherhood.
In this community of Moms Blog, you will hear the word community voiced in many spheres of influence because it truly is the village that helps anchor a mama in strength on the journey.
I remember the day that I shared with a precious African woman the news of my pregnancy and was immediately invited over that day to share in “homemade bone broth” with their family to celebrate. Now, my first trimester of not being able to keep anything down kept me from drinking the largest bowl of soup that I had ever encountered, but the intent behind the gift blessed my spirit immensely. The nutrients of the soup were intended to bless my womb with a healthy pregnancy and a blessed child. Gathered around a shared table and breathing in the warmth of a meal generously prepared for me and my unborn baby, that shows village.
A village gathers around you and intentionally takes the moments to celebrate your moments with you. They give of their time and their talents to extend their love to you in a season of newness and transition. They acknowledge and they show up.
How can you celebrate with others in this season of pregnancy and of motherhood?
I remember vividly the vibrancy of community as women gathered around shared water basins and detergent and took their family’s clothing and scrubbed every inch from dirt stained to spotless. I can see the clothes hanging on the line and blowing in the warmth of the African sunkiss. I still hear the songs of worship and praise they voiced over their time working together, shortening the time so that they could have a margin for the rest of the needs of the day. Choosing to join others in the roles of motherhood, that shows village.
A village recognizes that even though capability is present, strength arises from joined effort. They know the demands and they desire to be part of lessening the load for others. They know and they see you.
Who can you see in this season of motherhood and join efforts in your tasks that seem daunting solo but could be strengthening when shared?
Grief comes with an unwelcomed and unsurmountable force and in the trenches of motherhood it feels unbearable to face. It is in those moments where one feels the pull to retreat to self and isolation or lean into others and community. Brave vulnerability amidst the hard parts of motherhood and loss, that shows village.
A village knows your struggles and it becomes a joined effort to see one stand with strength and ability. Amidst the human frailties where isolation can drag a spirit into hopelessness, the rallied love from community steps in and lifts up a heart from despair to hope.
Who’s your village that you share your hard and your truth with on your journey?
If you need one, reach out to us at Cincinnati Moms Blog and we would love to connect you to that place. Motherhood is a beautiful refinement and may we stand united in the village of seeing one another’s story and joining in showing kindness and love, both in the valleys and on the mountains.