A wise person once observed that it takes a village to raise children but where has this village gone?
Collaboration & cooperation seem to have been replaced with competition & consumption. Moms, anxiety ridden, impatient & exhausted, have bought into the idea that we have to have all the answers & do it all on our own!
Our partners can’t do it ‘right’, our parents don’t ‘get it’, friends couldn’t possibly help & god forbid our children assume any responsibility that could lighten our load. Is it any wonder our village has disappeared? We’ve scared them all off!
Moms used to be linked like a circle, arm in arm, giving where they could & receiving when required. There were always other kids around for entertainment, elders to learn from & a pack to share the load.
Somewhere along the line women became ranked, valuing singular achievement over working together. We climbed to the top of a triangle, to prove our worth, leaving the others behind & below us, only to find ourself all alone, teetering at the top, with no one & no where to go.
It became easier to do everything yourself then to ask for help, you convinced yourself. Judgement, criticism & a false sense of superiority, slowly took over, now you feel overwhelmed & disconnected from your children & community trying to maintain your career & marriage while making healthy meals, keeping the house together, squeezing in bath time, homework & all the little kindergarten books to prove that your child is a reading genius at 5!
And you wonder why you feel anxious, not good enough, or like you’re failing? This way of being is not natural. It feels unsafe to us & consequently we are reacting from a place of fear instead of responding from a place of safety, trust & love.
We’ve pushed away family & friends who would otherwise gladly have stepped up to help, we’ve isolated ourselves from neighbours, required too much of our teachers & put our kids in lessons as babysitters. It’s ok, we’ve all done it, you’re not alone! We’ve all gone off course, tangled up in the cultural demands that have been placed on us as momma’s & now we all need to turn this ship around!
So, how do we rebuild a village around us to share the load? We first need to be willing to see things differently. Acknowledge that perhaps we got caught up in a lie, that other people are indeed capable, trustworthy & able to offer something that we alone may not be able to.
We need to slow down, start to express our needs & be willing to both give & receive. We need to observe instead of judge, get curious instead of having to have all the answers & we need to open ourselves up to a larger circle of influence that will enrich our world & our child’s.
We were made to cooperate & collaborate, we were meant to be linked, not ranked, & we have gotten further away from our natural way of being, but we can make a conscious choice to change the trajectory of our child’s life, through conscious parenting.
Lindsay Lal Professional Coaching