Thank your village — and then be theirs

Thank your village; Monday Motivation

Thirty-five miles from here, my husband and children ate breakfast without me yesterday, so I could write in a quiet house.

This spring, a friend’s landscaper-spouse is helping us diagnose the problems with our yard.

And this summer, three groups of friends are watching our children for a week so that my husband and I can take a trip for our 10-year anniversary.

It doesn’t just take a village to raise a child, as the proverb goes. It takes a village to have a life. And it really takes a village to have a business.

Solo entrepreneurship is odd in that it can be lonely and isolating, yet we often rely on others to step in or step up so that we can pursue our entrepreneurial dreams.

Today’s Monday Motivation Part 1 is this: Identify your “village” — who can you count on, who’s helping you and how? Who’s making what you do easier, even possible? Stop and think about all they do to help you, in ways big and small.

This is what my village looks like, in part:

I completely appreciate my husband parenting solo so I can get work done.

My 4-year-old’s spontaneous creation of a motherbility “theme song” absolutely delights me.

Every time a friend “likes” and “shares” a post of mine, I am encouraged. And it keeps me keepin’ on.

I’m pretty good at identifying my village. But I need to work on Part 2 of today’s Monday Motivation: Telling my fellow villagers that I appreciate their support and — crucially — finding ways to support them back.

Because, yes, our venture takes a village. But our villagers have ventures of their own and need a village, too.

So this morning, I’m picking up a friend’s son and bringing him to preschool while she heads out of town for a business trip.

My children will find little love notes in their lunches this week.

And instead of pressuring my husband to comb through the excess of electronics parts currently homed on our bedroom floor, I’m choosing today to oversee the kids’ bedtime by myself while I just let him be.

I neither need nor deserve a pat on the back: Mutual support is just how villages work.

No one-way streets allowed.

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