Simply put, a momtourage is everyone that you, as a WAHM, lean on for support. These are the people and institutions that help you walk the line between career and home. You can turn to your momtourage for help, for guidance, or just to vent on a particularly difficult day.
The members of your momtourage can provide practical assistance or simply a shoulder to cry on. As such, having a momtourage is essential for any WAHM. Think about it: do you have a momtourage? If not, here are some places to start building one of your own:
Your momtourage should include the people you can call when you have a sick kid at home and a deadline to beat--ie., family members, spouses, grandparents, aunts, uncles--anyone you can count on as backup during the most stressful and difficult of times.
Other moms are fellow soldiers in the trenches, meaning they can provide you with up-to-date parenting advice, peer support, and the occasional glass of red wine when the going gets tough. If you don't know many other moms, look for a Mom's Club in your area. They are a great source for socialization for your kids--as well as for you.
Childcare Providers/Domestic Help
Your childcare providers and any domestic helpers you employ are a crucial part of your momtourage. These people pick up the slack when you can't do it all. Hiring someone to clean your house frees up valuable time to spend with your kids. Having loving childcare available when you need it leaves you free to beat a deadline.
Teachers are another essential component of your momtourage. They spend a great deal of time with your kids, helping them learn to navigate the world and shaping their minds. It's wise to get to know your kid's teachers and to be able to call on them when you have questions or concerns.
Social groups outside of the Mommy world are helpful to have in your momtourage. These groups include civic organizations, church groups, book clubs, and others that keep you informed, entertained, and in touch with the world outside your home.
Everyone needs time to investigate the spiritual side of life. No matter your religious slant, incorporating time for reflection and meditation is essential to your well-being. So your spiritual advisor can be anyone from your church leader to your yoga teacher, a shrink to a rabbi or priest. As long as you have someone who can help you navigate a spiritual path, you are set.
A momtourage is a cute, slangy term for something that forms the foundation of your WAHM lifestyle. These people and institutions make it possible for you to balance your work with your career and be the best person you can be. If you think about it, you probably already have the elements of a momtourage in your life already. Cultivate it a little further, and you will have all the support and encouragement you need.______________________________
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.