As a woman late(ish) to the motherhood game, to say it rocked my world would be an understatement. Prior to becoming a mother, I have always prided myself on being independent, self-sufficient, and an uber-organized multi-tasker. I relished in my solitary nature, convinced I could take on life in my own way, mostly alone. I prided myself on late nights of work and being overscheduled. Socially, I had few friendships outside of the office and enjoyed even fewer deep connections socially. I rarely asked for help, preferring to pretend I had it all together (while clearly I didn’t) – even when my people and community around me would graciously offer. Only a few short years ago, I begrudgingly began to realize I needed help, physically and emotionally worn down from the joys of modern womanhood and mom-dom.
I believe the universe used my pregnancy, birth and the daughter that eventually came with it as a way to teach me this painful, but beautiful lesson. A lesson about letting go. A lesson in grace. A lesson in seeking support, asking for help and opening myself up to the love, community and learning what comes when you do just that. It’s often said that welcoming a baby into the world has a way of cracking you open. For me, this has proven true on so many levels.
Still, in the beginning, I puttered and struggled my way into motherhood, determined to do it the only way I knew how. On my own. I fought against asking for help. From my husband, my mom, my friends. I read and researched any problem we ran into, trying like mad to keep appearances up.
All this changed when my daughter came into her own personality and free will. At 3, her fiercely independent, fiery spirit and sensitive personality came into full swing. My Taurean stubbornness + independent nature met its brilliant pint-sized match in my Scorpio girl. Exhausted, frustrated and at our wit’s end – I began seeking help. From teachers, therapists, friends, or nannies. I found that the more people that were involved in our lives, the easier our problems got. If one solution didn’t work, no problem! We had a menu of options, and advisors to try.
Slowly, as I began to let more people into our routines + our lives, our world began to shift and expand in ways I never expected. These days, we have a wonderful circle of friends, family and professionals that help us do life. From running carpool to playdates, overnight sleepover and trips to the ER – our group keeps us running, keeps us loved and keeps us feeling supported. More than that though, they’re my lifeline to any problem I’m experiencing. As a mom, as a woman, as a creative. I have the best of the best ready and willing to answer the phone, jump on a plane, drink the wine with me as often as needed. And I return the favor often and joyfully.
My daughter and I are better off for the people in our village who expose us to new cultures, foods and ideas. Who show up and share their love, joy and wisdom with us daily. Who help us find our path when we’ve wandered off just a bit too far. I’m so happy to have found our people and wondering why the hell it took me so long to see that it’s kind of amazing to seek the support of your community.
Jill Elliott is a creative consultant, strategist, and thinker constantly seeking inspiration and balance. As a writer, artist, and founder of The Color Kind she seeks to inspire others to live creatively every day. She can often be found making art and messes alongside her 7-year-old daughter and Goldendoodle puppy.