"It takes a village to raise a child" as the saying goes. In our day and age, we don't have that sort of environment that the saying came from. We lead very independent lives and our work and home schedules keep us busy and separate. I've been pleasantly surprised to find how easy it's been to build my village!
For starters, we're blessed to have our families nearby; I'm so thankful that God provided a perfect little home for us here in So Cal so our son and future babe can grow up around our family. Secondly, our church family is amazing. Judah seemed to start the baby train among many of our young married friends whom we've done Life Groups with for a while. The few of us that were first have a text thread to commiserate together about lack of sleep and the inconvenience of pumping and to share sweet pics of our littles and get together monthly just for fun. Aside from those friends, I have so many at church that have offered to babysit and just love on my little guy. Third, I joined Stroller Strides. I can't speak enough praise of this group--especially Oceanside Pier Strides! I did it because it was a fun way to exercise and work off that baby weight while getting outdoors with my boy. But it's so much more than a workout. They do Mom's Night Out every month and playgroup once a week in addition to the park play date after class. They have a Facebook group so we can keep up with each other and with the happenings.
Recently I was recommended a group on Facebook called San Diego Moms Network. It's a closed group and they have an extra measure of checking that you really are a mom that lives in SD due to people not actually fitting the description trying to join. Now, I've been in some FB groups having to do with moms--particularly having to do with Babywise and cloth diapering that had a way of making you feel like you're doing everything wrong as a mother. This group has not been like that. Everyone has been super helpful and non-judgmental. It's nice to have that resource when things come up that you haven't experienced before and can draw from other people that can just tell you it's normal and let you know what they did.
With Baby Helms 2.0 following Judah closely in age, we will be needing some additional supplies that Judah won't have outgrown yet--something I hadn't thought about when I considered wanting all my kids to come close together. So I've been keeping my eyes open for good deals, and let me tell you God has been providing for us in big ways! The SD Moms Network has a shop as part of their group where moms can resell baby items they don't need anymore. The moms are so generous on there, and I've received some great deals on items we had on Judah's birthday list and on my registry like a sit and scoot toy, a pregnancy wedge pillow, and a Boppy nursing pillow. We were extra blessed by a mom who was giving away a free crib that she was gifted on the group because her son didn't like it. Out of all the people on the list who said they were interested, she chose me! It's a beautiful crib, and a huge blessing since Judah won't be done with his for a while.
Facebook Marketplace has also been a great resource. We just scored a dining set today--whoohoo! I was thrilled to death yesterday when someone posted a double City Mini stroller that I had on my registry. Those things are currently $521 on Amazon, and I was able to get it for $145. I'm feeling happy and cared for in so many ways already with this new little one on the way. I couldn't do it without God's provision and our awesome village surrounding us.