Creating Community

Over the past five years, as I've been raising my family, I've also been raising a community. Not alone, mind you. I belong to a band of women who are creating a community of families based on friendship, shared values and, above all else, support for one another.

I'm starting to dissect this community for the sake of my writing - exploring it first here on my blog. I plan to delve further into it for an article I have in the works. And then write about it in great depth in my novel, which follows the lives of a section of this special community.

We're a diverse tribe. Among us is an artist living in a two-mommy household, a baby-wearing business woman and a midwife married to a local politician. However, despite our differences in occupation and association, strong common threads run among us. Most prominent, we're all mothers practicing natural parenting who birthed our babies at home (or planned to). The camaraderie we've discovered amidst our likenesses and differences has blossomed into the makings of a community like none other.

Initially, a core of us met through the birthing home where we received prenatal care for our first pregnancies. Many of us were in childbirth education or AquaNatal classes together. More babies led to more connections and over the years, our community has grown to many families strong.

This group loves to gather! What started out as occasional play dates and kids birthday parties has grown to encompass all sorts of events. As mamas, we often join together for blessingways, birth story circles, new moon circles, birthday dinners and craft nights. As families we gather for potlucks, holiday parties, beach trips, kiddie camps and cookouts.

Friendship has seen us through a lot together. We've collectively celebrated the births of dozens of babies...and coped as a community with childbirth complications in all degrees of severity.

We've supported each other through family illnesses, difficult diagnosis and crisis, dealing together with everything from colds to cancer. We've celebrated a wedding for two righteous babes. And we've seen one of our own move across the globe. Together we've traversed the ups and downs, experienced the life-changing and the mundane.

There is something magical about our community. It just evolved out of our like-minded choices in childbirth and family-rearing, out of a love for our children, out of a common belief in being part of something greater than ourselves.

This community, born along side my children, has grown with them - and me - developing into a family of friends beyond anything I could have envisioned or set out to create. I can't imagine experiencing motherhood in any other way.


Anonymous said...

I'm speechless.

Seeing all of those photos together like that makes me so happy, proud, and joyful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

what are you trying to do to me over here, first harmony and now THIS? will someone PLEASE manifest me a tissue?

Cate said...

it was such a treat to see these pictures and read about your fellow mamas. you have gathered a beautiful band of women around you!

what a wonderful gift to give your children, too, to give them lifelong friends and strong women to surround them.

Maria Rose said...

How lucky you are. I would love to have a community of supportive women.

Anonymous said...

This post was so beautiful and touching to read! You inspired me to connect with my own feelings regarding folks I've known for years. Its so easy to forget what those connections mean when life gets ya' all caught up in the day to day. This post reminded me to make note of the love I have for them. Thank you. And I can not wait to read this book! I think it will be such a wonderful reminder to us all to value others. ))))Hugs((((