It takes a village to raise a child…
Well yes, but most of us don’t live in cosy little villages any more.
In fact lots of us don’t even live all that close to our immediate family, or maybe if we do, we don’t get along with them so well, especially when it comes to how we choose to raise our children… And so whatever village we had to begin with, gets smaller, and smaller, until suddenly we realise that most days we don’t talk to anyone over the age of 4.
Isolation sounds so desolate, like we are all alone, living in a one room shack, in a dark Antarctic winter. And sometimes that is exactly what it feels like when your village is too far away, physically or emotionally. The cracks begin to show and you question your choices, you begin to question whether you should ever have had children in the first place and why that guy loves you…
It takes a village…
But I don’t have a bloody village! I just have me, and him, and we are out numbered by children.
And then one day you decide that you really need that damn village. You need someone you can call in the middle of the night, someone who will notice when you are not ok, someone who will bring you frozen dinners and chocolate, someone to bloody talk to. And you need to be able to to do all of that for someone else too.
So I decided to build my darn village.
I am not the best village builder. My village is still kind of on the small side, but it’s there, and it’s strong, and it seems it is built to last.
I built mine with the help of the internet, where my ‘pretend online friends’ became ‘real friends’ and now a village.
They are the people I call when I need to escape with another adult or two for decent conversation. They are the people I call when I have run out of pred mix and my girl is having a bad asthma night. They are the people who just arrive with food and chocolate when they know I need them most. They are the people who’s ebb and flow fit perfectly into mine – I can look after your kids, you can let me update itunes on your internet. I can drive, you can listen to me waffle on because I just need to talk to someone.
My village is not perfect. For a start, I wish my village was geographically a lot closer together, like all on the same block kinda close. But imperfection has it’s charm and it’s benefits. My village has diversity which I value so much more than I ever thought I would.
My village is not what springs to mind when I hear that saying. We are no tribal community or hippy commune. We don’t share every day or even every week. We are not that text book village but we are still raising kids, our kids, together.
So it takes a village to raise a child huh??
That’s cool… I’ve got it covered!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
This was a post I needed to see today, am feeling isolated in a new town. Hubby has a new job and no longer works from home. Time to pull myself out of my funk and find a village. Thanks Kate
my village is very small and this year I’ve really needed it. I feel that I need to expand it though because my troubles this year (and they will continue next year) are just too much for this tiny village. I don’t want to destroy it so I need to share the load. Perhaps online is the way. I guess I just need to open myself up and see what grows from reaching out and being real.
How ace would living on the same block be?
I agree. Sadly, I have no village but your sentiment is mirrored in my home too.
I have family nearby, but my ‘village’ isn’t just family. It’s also the group of newbie mothers that our local council threw together 5 years ago and we just happened to click. I even wrote about them all myself.
I have a wonderful village. The people in my village have supported my family and I through some horrible times of grief and they have laughed with us in good times. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my village. We’re all super different so it’s no always plain sailing but by golly how I LOVE my village. It’s mostly family friends from my childhood…and now the second generation of these families…and the third generation! My parenting journey and my life journey has been made so much richer by all these people…who just KNOW me. I adore them. And if you don’t have a village…then yes BUILD one – online and offline! I’ve ‘met’ some amazing people online who (perhaps strangely) I count as incredible friends.
Sorry had to comment again as this is a topic so close to my heart! We affectionately call our village ‘the cult’ (we’re NOT a cult BTW but we do all drink weak black tea and finish each other sentences!). My parents have coffee before work everyday with about 10 other ‘village’ members at a local coffeeshop. Now some of the second and third generation also join them. Community is a wonderful thing…it has the same problems that any real family does but it is so great to have a support network in tough times…and boy have we had those. ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is the saying I used on both my daughters thank you cards after their births, and they have that saying hung on a china ornament on their bedroom doors. Villages rock…and they can be built everywhere.
Love love this post. I got to find my village too :) I am lucky to have family nearby, but sometimes I miss having friends; friends who will listen to me babble, without judging… who will let me be without the need to talk. I miss having them…
I need a village. One of my goals is to make more friends, preferably IRL but online is easier (i’m too shy). I’m making more of an effort to say Hi!
A village is definitely what YOU make of it! :)
Jen aka The Mad House says
This is a post that I so need to read and listen too. I have slowly been building my village. I don’t open up very well and as we have moved quite a bit I struggle with local friends, although I have worked hard to have one. My internet friends are my real friends too
I’m not the only one! Pretty much my entire village in online!