10 People Who Are My Everyday Heroes as A Parent of Young Kids

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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It takes a village to raise a child - it always has, it always will. Parents can often feel very alone in the process of raising children, and to a certain degree there is validity to those claims. An increasingly globalized world means we often don't live close to family members (my own family lives three time zones away from the nearest grandparents), and in some cases we don't even get along with family members nearby. It can be easy to forget how much help we truly have around us - I've certainly fallen into this trap.

On a daily basis, I rely on the help of many people who likely see themselves as doing nothing extraordinary, but to me it can feel pretty monumentally helpful. These people are my everyday heroes - you may even be one of them:

1. The grocery cart swipers. These are the folks who, while walking through the parking lot on their way in to the grocery store, notice the struggle bus that is me trying to load two children back into car seats and ask if they can take my cart. What kind of angel are you, dear stranger? Yes, YES! What a win - you get a cart, I get to schlep my kids and groceries home about 30 seconds earlier - a 30 seconds that might make all the difference today in my maintenance of sanity. Bonus points if these are the same people who offer their empty carts to a just-arrived parent and their crew.

2. The meal bringers. Whether it's because we have a new baby or our family has the latest case of feels-like-death illness, these are my chicken-soup people. They know that food might as well be a love language, and may or may not know the weight lifted in not having to figure out what the next meal will be. They know it doesn't have to be fancy or even homemade to communicate solidarity and warmth.

3. The caretakers. The people who watch my kids on occasion - parents morning out or evening out at local churches, grandparents, babysitters, fellow friends. My village. Even if I'm paying $10 per kid for 3-4 hours (side note: so cheap!) this much-craved alone time is the time I look forward to so much. One of our local churches has a weekly parents morning out on Wednesday mornings, and it became so popular that the sign-up list fills up within an hour of being opened. The poor church secretary - also a hero of mine.

4. The February Christmas light take-down crew. People who see a need you had overlooked and offer to fix it for you. I know some folks might take offense to being offered help with something like this. Like - should I be ashamed that someone noticed my Christmas lights are still up? My advice to you: lay down thy pride, sisters and brothers. There is nothing like the swallowing of pride that happens as a parent to young children. Had they not offered, it is entirely possible those lights would have remained up until June. Or December. Whatever...

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