What I Learned From Our Family Holiday In Italy

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I was a more patient and fun mother and wife for ten days.  Yes, we happened to be in a gorgeous villa in a quiet part of Italy where loud noise was limited to crickets, and our biggest complaint was the heat at noon.  

But the game changer was having four grown-ups managing our little home away.  It wasn't a solo mission to keep Bodie safe and happy, get meals and snacks organized or generally keep house.  My back was achy, and I was a bit nauseous on our last evening, and my parents scoured the property on our behalf for all Bodie's odds and ends and arranged them in a neat pile near his suitcase.  So we packed without any scramble or heavy lifting and flew back to New York the next morning.

Since we've been back, I've been observing the little parts of the day that feel more taxing in my mom's absence.  And more so, noticing my waning patience after the fifth time Bodie bops me on the head with his play kitchen pan or ever so casually pours a pitcher of water out of the tub.

At every juncture in the last few two plus years of parenting, I've resisted dialing up help from our current set up with our lovely part-time nanny (Mondays and Tuesdays).  Most of that is knowing and wanting to be with Bodie more than I'm not.  Part of it is the pride in the balance I found in that setup for so long.  And part of it is the desire to prove I can do it.  And I can.  As so many women do.  

But if I can be a better version of myself for me, for Bodie and our family, I want that more.  Italy brought into focus what that (read: I) could look like and reminded me there's a reason "it takes a village" caught on as a concept.  

I'm not sure yet how I'll dial up or shift our household help as my body gets a bit heavier and we prepare for the new baby but I'm willing to be more open to honestly looking at the shift in our needs and what I can realistically give in another phase of the evolving motherhood chapter. 

How has your village evolved in your parenting experience - from early days to school age, one child to more, from full-time motherhood to more work? 

Featured Image via Lauren Marek