There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child.
And it does.
As a parent it is difficult to stay ‘on’ 24 hours a day. What a comfort it is knowing there are other adults willing to lend a helping hand, be a second set of eyes and ears to see and hear the things we can’t, or even just to offer a second opinion on some things (when asked).
But “the village” is gone friends.
Where once we could count on the help of kind and well-meaning neighbors, we now find ourselves bracing for attacks from mudslinging, flesh-ripping pit bulls trolling our Facebook feeds. An army of online bystanders reassured of their own parenting by the failures of others.
Everyone is slow to help yet quick to judge.
Observers are quick to point out when a Mom is failing, yet don’t offer to help her get through a tough time. And by help, I don’t mean telling her she is doing it wrong or they could do it better.
What happened to the out-of-the-blue social calls?
Where are the neighbors and friends who stopped in for coffee, and you didn’t feel required to clean the house from top to bottom or rent a bouncy castle for the kids?
A coffee break or a visit with another adult is of course a pleasant diversion. But it also lets a Mom know that someone is paying attention, someone cares.
Even if the visit is short and manic — like it can be with little ones around — it is still undeniably beneficial. Let’s bring back the unannounced company, the surprises that gave us the boost we needed to get through monotony of our days.
What happened to the babysitters?
Whatever happened to friends and family willingly offering to babysit, at no charge, without the fanfare?
I can think back to many a time where my Grandparents, or any one of my Aunts would take care of me — just because.
It is a chance for Mom to have a little ‘me’ time, or simply to get stuff done — whether it be working, cleaning, resting, or the like. And she knows her little ones are safe.
Let’s bring back the occasional help and child minding that gives Mom some much-needed time.
What happened to the food?
Where are the neighbors that bring food and comforts during times of celebration, and times of need? There use to be a day when if something big happened in one house, another house brought lasagna.
Do you remember?
We have morphed into a society where we are so afraid to offend, insult or say the wrong thing in person, that we barely acknowledge one another on the sidewalk.
At the same time we feel no qualms whatsoever about diving right into people’s very intimate lives via social media.
Let’s go back to a time that when someone has a new baby, you bring them a stack of washcloths and a pan of lasagna.
But there is hope…
I saw something that made me think perhaps the village is not gone after all.
One of my friends recently posted photos of herself on Instagram hanging bouquets on her neighbors’ doors.
How sweet is that?
Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 03:06 pm
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