It Takes A Village

I’m a terrible Mom.

That’s not necessarily true, but it’s often how I feel.

I can’t get her to sleep through the night.

I can’t get her to eat.

I can’t do this or that and so on and so forth.

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way, particularly if you’re a Mama that stays home with the kiddos all day.  It’s easy to get lost in how you feel when there isn’t another adult around with whom you can have a conversation- using real, grown-up words.   It’s easy to feel over-whelmed and inadequate when you’re doing your best to do it on your own.  What’s good for me to remember, is that parenthood, just like everything else in life it seems, was never meant to be forged alone.

Biblically, children were reared all together due to the nature of extended families remaining together, traveling together, living together, working together, etc.  Many cultures today exhibit this same model of, “raising children” as a community effort, responsibility and privilege.

Here’s where we (particularly East-coast Americans, in my experience) get parenting all wrong.

We’re too busy, too consumed with independence and pride in said independence.  Too worried about our status of the Mama who can, “do it all”.  If we can’t maintain our careers, roast a chicken while still wearing a suit and shout out homework help from the backyard while weeding the garden, we feel as though we’ve failed as a successful individual, who just so happens to be a parent.

Something happens to our kids when we feel like we’re the only one who can comfort, teach, instruct, encourage, nourish, care and love them.

They believe us.

Not only does that cripple them socially and emotionally, but it strips them of something that can truly enrich their lives.  How many things have you learned from someone other than your Mama that shaped who you have become? Moms are wonderful.  But they aren’t the end of the road.  They can’t be everything.  They weren’t meant to be, not for the good of the Mom or the good of the child.

So stop feeling guilty about it.  You were never intended to raise a child alone, nor just with your spouse.  Your child is designed to need instruction and care from others- from Grandparents, from aunts and uncles, from friends, etc.  It’s imperative they learn from you that “doing it all” isn’t an expectation you have for them.

With that said, I’m so blessed with family and friends close by whom Ellie loves to spend her time with.  She knows her Grandparents, recognizes our friends and looks forward to when she gets to play with them- and Rich and I get to go out.   She knows Mama isn’t the only one who can kiss a boo-boo or make macaroni and cheese.  It takes a village, not just for you, but for them.

I think this was a fairly decent article on the matter.

Enjoy your day!


One thought on “It Takes A Village

  1. I say this exact thing to my clients ALL the time. SAHM’s come in and talk about how impossible it is for them to take care of the kids. When I ask them who supports them when they are home all day, I get blank stares. Ok, who helps you on the weekend? Blank stares. The happiest moms always seem to come from an ethnic background that values huge families all living nearby – they have a constant helping hand from grandma, sister, aunts, uncles, family friends, etc. My close friend just gave birth a little while ago, and we spend most days together, either at her place or mine, so that she can go to the bathroom and eat with two hands and have grown-up conversation, and I get my share of baby-snuggling. Her mom comes over in the evening to clean or make food for her and her husband, or hold the babe so my friend can go for a quiet walk or get a nice nap. Her sister comes over on weekends and gets her out of the house, gossips about the latest goings-on, and helps with the garden. It makes so much sense to do things that way – but I think many americans don’t have that luxury, because we all tend to live so far from our families, and have so few friends.

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