It requires a village. . Growing up I remember running around with my “village” but I don’t remember my parents relying on the “village” as much as I rely on mine. This proverb originated from the African American culture but became popular with Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book published in 1996 called “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.”
I’m lucky to live in a locality with neighbors that socialize, children play in the front lawns and where most children go to the local, public college. My family moved to our present house 9 years ago when my daughter was 1 and what we did not realize is that we had a “village” to survive life with children. Our village started to grow without us realizing it.
As most of us know, as you get older, friends become more difficult to make. Friends start being made by circumstances. By way of example, you live on the same street, you fall off at daycare the same time every day or you work in adjoining cubes. By the time our eldest daughter ended Kindergarten, we had a net of friends whom I could call when I had to. I was a working mother and sometimes I felt like I was always asking people for favors. What I learned from people who had older children and weren’t new to the village was that “it all evens out.” I am a firm believer that it does and now I have a 7 and 10 year old and not working full time, I tend to be someone that my village stinks on. It all evens out.
Parents need to remember they can not do everything. You will need to surround yourself with people who help you. This is hard for a lot of us but you can’t be the soccer coach, class parent, Boy Scout leader, softball team parent, and social planner. And all that on top of your career and being a parent! This is when your circle comes in and takes on some of these roles. Depending on what is going on in your life, you may rely on your village otherwise throughout the year.
Recently I had one of these days – we all have them and we are not proud. I alternated between wanting to shout and shout. I didn’t understand what I wanted but what I got was a hug, a school pick-up, a grocery run and a Pinkberry, all from different people in my village. The actions themselves may not look like much but it was what I needed – support. Support is what I rely on my village for, some days more than others. I may not need my village today but who knows what tomorrow holds.
How can you rely on your village?