A super giant picture today – but I really want you to see that comment. From the moment I became pregnant, my experience as a mom was less than the rainbow and butterfly experience I’d hoped for. I feel alienated, like a stranger in my own skin, and then once that little human appeared… I lost my sense of self and struggled… a lot.
I almost immediately began blogging (even though my pregnancy… a hidden blog you will likely never find)… and my goal was multifaceted. Primarily, I needed to vent. Secondly, I needed to let other moms know that they weren’t alone in their thoughts, feelings, parenting woes, etc. Additionally, I wanted to create a sense of community – a common space for parents to share their stories, struggles, and hope with one another. This last step really took place on Facebook. While a SAHM, I had a lot of time to focus on building this community though my blog, Facebook, and then even pulling parents together in my community.
Insert job here… and all the questions about why I stopped blogging. The truth? Going back to work was the HEALTHIEST decision I’ve every made for my family. Munchie, Momma Bish, and Daddy Bish are all doing much better in our separate spaces and then coming together in the evening. We actually LIKE each other – imagine that! I have a lot less to gripe about now… and a lot less time to spend griping… so the blog has fumbled a bit. (Big time shout out to my super awesome Psychiatrist, for fixing all my meds, too!)
Upon returning to work, I was genuinely happy. I was in a position to continue building community in our church, as Director of Communications. As my health improved, I began learning about this company called Tinkergarten. Patrick and I discussed their play based learning philosophies, how I could bring Alex to class with me, and how the whole program was OUTSIDE and would help me work education and building a community of parents back into my week. After a long application process and extensive training, I was ready to go. A box of the most magical supplies arrived… and what happened next was something I still can’t explain.
I began to meet families who were just like me. They wanted to find a community – a village – to be a part of. These families wanted to lean on others and creatively raise their kiddos in the best environment possible. The kids who attended my classes were like Munchie – adventurous, in their own way. They loved to explore, discover, create, and play together. Throughout my seasons, I’ve really bonded with the families in my classes and they have bonded with one another. We’ve formed a community… and so have our children.
This week, Central Office pulled a one of my photos from class to share on the main Tinkergarten social media pages… and I didn’t think I could have been more excited… until a parent from class commented that I’d helped her find the village she’d needed. *insert all the feelings and tears here*
Building this village, allowing families to feel safe raising their children in a community because they feel as though other members can be relied on – that’s something special. We no longer have the “village” our parents and grandparents relied on… so it’s up to us to create our own. What are you waiting for? Go find your people – when you find them, you’ll know!
Think your people might be waiting at Tinkergarten? Check out our classes.