What is a “Village” and Why Do I Need One?

Written by: Kaitlin McGreyes, Founder, Be Her Village, Inc.
Posted: June 07, 2020
Welcome to Be Her Village! 

My name is Kaitlin and I’m a mother of three who has experienced first hand the power of a village. 

When I became a mom for the first time 7 years ago I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. 

NO IDEA. 

To prepare for the new baby I took a childbirth education course, I read books about breastfeeding, and I had a baby shower where my family and friends bought me my stroller and car seat and basic baby items that I needed (along with a bunch of expensive toys and clothes that we didn’t). 

My mother kept warning me, “Your time is not your own once you have a baby,” but I mostly ignored her because I didn’t know what that meant and I was pretty sure newborns slept all the time anyway. And babies are cute, so how hard could this be?

My birth didn’t go as planned and I ended up with an emergency cesarean. Breastfeeding was supposed to be easy since it’s the “natural” thing to do. Turns out that was another thing both baby and I needed to learn how to do. And it also turns out that newborns don’t sleep when they are hungry and your milk hasn’t come in yet. 

I came home to no friends, no support, and no professionals visiting my home. 

A few days later my mother came to drive me and the baby to his first pediatrician’s appointment. When she walked into my apartment she found me in the nursery, sitting in the rocking chair completely naked, crying, and unable to figure out how to get dressed and go into public with a baby that would cry anytime there wasn’t a boob in his mouth.

I remember thinking to myself: If I had any other kind of surgery I would be in bed with people waiting on me hand and foot. But because I had a cesarean I am up and out of bed. Instead of healing, I’m taking care of a newborn around the clock! 

I had more support the second and third time around (and much better birth experiences) but it still wasn’t the picture-perfect postpartum where your house is clean and your body snaps back into place and dinner magically appears on the table every night while your newborn sleeps alone in a crib.

It was hard. Really hard. 

After my 2nd birth, I became a doula. My guiding principle as a doula is that a woman should feel heard, be seen, and have a sense of control during her birth. I believe the choices that a woman makes during her labor do not define her or her experience. 

As I attended more and more births, I started to see the same situation again and again: women wanted support but couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket for doulas, meals, laundry services, or house cleaners. 

They were being gifted thousands of dollars in baby gear and adorable clothing, but when it came to what they really needed (hands-on support) there just wasn’t anything available. 

I created Be Her Village as a tool to help new moms have a better experience. It’s designed to help friends and families gift new moms services like folded laundry, home-cooked meals, vacuuming, childcare, doulas, breastfeeding support, and any other service that helps new moms have a better time transitioning into parenthood. 

We offer new parents the chance to learn about the support available, connect with local providers, and see all of the services and pricing upfront. It’s as simple as adding the service to your registry and waiting for friends and family to buy you the perfect gift: support. 

Gone are the days where you have to figure out how to care for a newborn on your own. Now friends and family can gift you hands-on support that will make all the difference in making your transition into motherhood the best it can be.

When you are home with your baby in a clean house with a delicious and healthy home-cooked meal after an in-home visit with your lactation counselor you will not be missing the 43 onesies and expensive baby toys that you would have gotten with a traditional registry.

Be Her Village is about more than gifts. We are bringing visibility back to moms. We envision a world where every new parent is fully supported by their village. I’m so glad you’re here.
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