When I was growing up we used to have a lift club with my friend Denise’s mom. We also used to have annual galas at Sasolburg, the moms would all help out by taking extra kids, cooking meals etc. While I was lucky to have my mom there at most events and able to fetch me, there was still always moms around helping.
We lived in a cul-de-sac and we knew our neighbours and would often visit or our parents would ask each other for stuff. As an adult I have never been a part of a community like that. While I do have a few other parents I can ask for help, it is usually a last resort.
We need to stop that! We need to start using our village more.
Kiara is busy getting ready for a big dance competition, she is doing a solo and a duet, both are big deals and there’s lots of pressure. But what prompted this post was what happened between Kiara’s dance partners mom (lets call her Mary) and I during a whatsapp conversation.
Mary sent me a message saying she has spoken to her ex-husbands wife and she will arrange with me dancing practice for Saturday. A few minutes later I get a message from the wife to organise. I don’t know the history or what happens between this family but its irrelevant they are using their village! We are now using them as our village.
One of the biggest lessons I have learnt about parenting is that you can not do it on your own. Our parents didn’t do it on their own, I don’t know why we keep trying. There is always someone on the other end of the phone who will pick up your kid when you can’t, or grab a pair of dance stockings on their way because your daughters tore, or lend your kid a swimming cap – all you need to do is ask.
We are so scared that we are seen as less than, or weak or failing or something else we have made up in our heads that we don’t ask and we try to get it all done ourselves instead of reaching out and asking for help, or offering a helping hand when you can.
The village doesn’t need to raise your child or discipline them or be their parent, the village is a helping hand that we all need to start extending more!
Use your village!
These photos are old but we are lucky, we have an awesome village, these are those people!