The Virtual Village

Written by guest blogger Meagan Kreitzer

Becoming a mother is so often depicted as the most joyful time in a woman’s life. The truth is motherhood changes us. From the inside out, these tiny creatures that come into our lives mold us and shape us into a whole new person. We find ourselves not only trying to learn to care for a baby but also trying to navigate these new aspects of our own personalities. Parenthood has a way of challenging your perceptions, which is an aspect that I was not anticipating.

I have yet to experience anything more catastrophic to who I am as a person than becoming a mother. Just like in the aftermath of a tornado, I find myself dazed and confused, wandering around the rubble, trying to make sense of what once was. As time passes, the dust settles and I find my new normal. Of course, oftentimes, for all of us, just as things are settling, something happens to rock your world again. We are always adjusting, always adapting, doing the things that need to be done to survive this journey.

Can we go back to where I said motherhood was catastrophic? I know, maybe that sounds a little harsh. But truly, it rocked me to my core, destroyed anything I thought I was. Forced me to start over. Motherhood is so often portrayed as this graceful, magical experience, and while the stigma surrounding this topic is being lifted more and more, it is still so hard to admit when you are floundering. Amid the chaos that comes along with caring for a tiny, squishy person 24/7, it is so easy to lose yourself. We get so wrapped up in our new role of Mom that often times it is the only persona that we embody. Though they can be few and far between, in the moments I find to reflect on my life, I see that I am in the midst of a bittersweet whirlwind. I feel enamored with my life and the tiny people I am surrounded by, but I find myself feeling isolated and under-appreciated more often than I’d like to admit.

Here’s the hook, though: in my loneliness, I am not alone.

There is a whole world of parents out there, feeling EXACTLY like I feel, on a day-to-day basis. The more I talk to other parents, especially those that stay at home with their children, like myself, the more I hear my same feelings mirrored in others. I often hear others saying that they simply cannot find any like-minded families in their local community. Trying to find your Mommy Clan can be hard enough, but when you’re part of a subculture, like natural parenting, it can be even harder to find others who share the same views as you.

I’m here to speak on the solace that can be found within a virtual village. I personally don’t have many family members nearby at all. My husband works third shift, and while I adore the few close friends I have, we are quite different from one another. Sometimes you really just need someone to talk to you about your cloth diaper wash routine. Or maybe you could really use someone to tag in all of those Instagram giveaways. I mean, I’m pretty certain I have seen my husband’s eyes glaze over more than once when I started talking about a comment Kim Ormsby left in GroVia Families, and just how many ellipses followed her statement, and what could she possibly be hinting at!??

Where isolation can be such a dark shadow, I have found a bit of sunshine within my virtual village. What a world we live in, having access to so much, right at our fingertips. Something as simple as just having somewhere to vent, or a place to post your giggle-worthy experience at the grocery store, or maybe you just need someone to say, “Hugs, mama; you are so loved.”

You don’t have to feel so isolated. That’s the beauty of GroVia Families, for me. I have found my village within that group, and with it, the bad days are fewer and farther between. Maybe Families isn’t your village, and that’s okay. But when you’re feeling like you have no control or no one to confide in, just know that there are SO many people who are feeling just like you.

There are people who want to geek about cloth diapering, or give you advice, or send you a squeezy hug through the internet. You are not alone. Your village is waiting. Go find it.

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