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.