“I hope you don’t mind but I just full-on corrected our kids in the pool today,” my dear friend shared as we stretched ourselves on lounge chairs on that bright, summer day. Undeterred, the kids splashed happily as though it had never happened.
Chuckling, I responded with “Really? You don’t even have to tell me about it.”
Of course I don’t mind. In fact, I appreciate it. My friend loves my children too much to allow them to misbehave.
These are my tribe mamas. The girls I trust wholeheartedly to scold my children when I’m not there and join me in this insanely difficult quest to raise these little people up right and be functioning members of society. No small feat.
I can’t do it alone. No one can. And we’re not supposed to.
In many cultures, this is the norm. It’s expected you’ll correct someone else’s child because we’re all in this together. We can’t be everywhere at the same time so we all must mother together.
It’s expected that children won’t be perfect because adults aren’t either.
And it’s understood that it truly does take a village.
But here’s the problem: if you have village mentality, and you correct a child who’s parent does NOT have village mentality, watch out.
I know this from experience.
Let’s all lean-in a talk about this for a moment, shall we?
First of all, let’s all take a moment to thank God for the girlfriends who help us navigate this parenting map by assisting us with the feeding, transporting and supervising of the youngest tribal members. Try as I may, I can’t figure out a way to get myself to two places at the same freaking time. Enter tribe mamas.
Second of all, I don’t know about you, but I usually don’t really know 100% of what I’m doing parenting-wise because I’ve never done this. I’m much more comfortable in my own parenting skin than I once was but I most certainly don’t have all the answers.
C. S. Lewis once said, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live among those who are,” and it’s gospel truth. When I ask Jill if Samuel’s behavior is normal for a nine year old boy, she can give me good insight because she has two sons of her own. The woman knows boys.
Lastly, we all all need to have tribe mentality because let’s face it . . . it’s way more fun. There are just some things only other women are going to understand and we can usually all find humor in most of it. Most.
But what if you long for a tribe but just can’t seem to find it?
Don’t give up. Keep going. Pray for the right people. Have courage to keep putting yourself out there. Be vulnerable. Be kind. Put others ahead of yourself.
So often, we think friendships are for our benefit but in reality, there’s no greater example of loving our neighbors as ourselves than loving the tribe mamas in your village.
And guess what? When you love those tribe mamas as yourself, you DO actually benefit.
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” – James Keller
All of these photos were taken two weeks ago while I filmed the six teaching sessions (and one introduction!) to the new Becoming Heart Sisters Bible Study releasing from Abingdon Press in February 2017. Stay tuned for more information and pre-order specials!