It Takes a Village to Raise A Child.
An african proverb + a book authored by Hillary Clinton + a mantra among parental units.
But where is MY village.
Now, before you get defensive, please remember that this post is solely MY point of view. It’s MY personal experience and I do not… as a parent to a baby and a tween … i DO NOT have the time to research all ends of this argument.
This is a crazy, pressure-paced world in 2014 and navigating all the madness of parenting is scary, exhausting, confusing and lonely.
So here goes… Where Is My Village?
I was at our town pool recently. This is a hub of ‘mom with kids’ activity. I always end up “meeting” a mom at the pool. We have amazing conversations. we connect, we laugh, we tell stories, we share toys with our kids…and then we leave.
Back to our homes in the afternoon.
I always wonder… are other moms sitting at home in their primary-color-filled-playrooms, overflowing with toys… lonely?
Are you in your home with your babe playing dollies or choo choo, following a daily routine, all alone?
I have NEVER in my life borrowed “sugar from a neighbor”.
Are those days over? I never experienced those days.
This village which people speak of, this village where I myself grew up..might be an urban legend because I have never come across this culture as a parent.
We have now lived in our new neighborhood for 2 years and I STILL don’t know my neighbors. It’s not from a lack of trying. I am always outside with the kids eager to hang on to any morsel of conversation that anyone is willing to throw my way. But nothing. One of our neighbors drops off yummy tomatoes and veggies from his garden, he even hands them to us over the fence. But last week I found out that he has been a grandfather for 15 months! Another neighbor has a daughter who is Lily’s best friend but we don’t know them – the parents – at all. Yet another neighbor has boys who are Lily’s age and are always playing outside but never takes the time to stop and say hello to me when I am outside with the kids. Our church family is great… but saved for Sundays, not social otherwise.
I yearn for MY village! In an attempt to find my village I joined a mom group. I love it! It’s actually my lifeline most weeks. From the over 60+ members I have made ONE connection…after a whole year of being a part of the group.
When we first moved to our new community I was so hopeful. we had our local coffee shop, Tuesday music on the green, a gorgeous town park to walk through, town pool, soccer… all of it. But it seems like a short-lived mirage.
We live in a really old house which used to have a front porch. Probably a proud glorious friendly front porch which has now been enclosed and made into a light filled indoor space. The alternatives are back decks, with privacy which keep us inside our own world and not engaging with our neighbors.
Growing up in India and also in Florida – the village was there. In highschool i felt like everywhere I went, i had one of my moms friends there either working or coordinating or doing something at any given location. My school life was integrated with our neighborhood so neighbors picked up kids, borrowed sugar, had house parties, kept an eye on all the kids and built them self a village.
I don’t have a village and it’s not from lack of trying. I have tried… I have tried for 2 years and it seems as if everyone around us has settled into a rhythm and routine over time and new people in the neighborhood like me have no room.
So I ask, Is there any sense of a village in the year 2014?