“Never again. I am never going to do that again!” That’s what I said last time I did what I did again yesterday.

You gotta laugh, though, when you show up to drop your kids off at school after Christmas break and realize school doesn’t start back up until tomorrow. My kids go to a home-based Montessori school so even though there were no cars in the driveway and the lights were out, I still rang the doorbell just in case while frantically thinking “please tell me I didn’t do this again.”

Rewind the clock three years…

You see, this is not my first time standing in the driveway of my care provider, needing to get to work, but the lights are off and no one is home.  Three years ago I showed up at my sitter’s house on a Monday morning only to find out she was on vacation that week. I can’t blame her; she told me in advance. I just plain forgot. Somewhere between my raising my 2 year old, being pregnant, working part time, maintaining friendships, and attempting to keep my house in order- one of the spinning plates dropped that day. Classic mom fail. So I frantically scoured my contacts for a friend that might be able to watch my son. Texts. Calls. Facebook messages. Begging. Each time having to confess that I made this mistake and ask for a favor. Does anyone else struggle with being vulnerable like that? So after a lot of time and self-inflicted guilt, I found a gracious friend that could help. And I realized something. I had a community, a village of people around me, that were willing to help. But there had to be an easier and less painful way to communicate with them when I was in need.

Fast forward to yesterday…

There I am in the driveway. I did it again. At this point I could let shame and guilt seep in. “What are you going to do now, Audrey? How many times can you call in favors? You don’t have cash to pay a sitter…” But all those voices are silenced at the touch of a button. I calmly got out my phone, posted a request in Komae, and before I finished buckling the kids into the minivan I had an offer from my friend, Jess.

The irony is, Jess had texted me the day before asking to do a play date but I regretfully declined because “That’s my kids’ first day back at school.” Sometimes you just gotta laugh at life. Additionally, Jess really wanted to earn some Komae Points to add to her bank so she was eager to help. My kids were delighted that instead of going back to school they got to go play with their buddies Lucy, Hank, and June and all their new Christmas toys. (Including a bounce house and a zip line!) And I escaped the spiral of mom-guilt that typically would have swirled in my brain. That is a text book win-win-win scenario if I ever saw one.

Friends, it truly takes a village. I fall short daily but that doesn’t mean I fail. By sharing my struggle and allowing my friends to help carry my load, I release pressure from the entire guilt-ridden system that holds us moms captive. It takes courage to be vulnerable. Komae helps friends help each other and as a result, helps us all.

Snow days. Sitter cancelations. Date night. What could you use a Village for today?

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What if babysitting were free?
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