“It takes a village to raise a child…”
Before becoming a parent I never fully understood the concept of a village. I mean I had friends and we hung out and stuff… Isn’t that what the village is? Oh yea and everyone helps out to look after each other’s children. Like play with them, that’s what kids do in a village, right?
It’s more than that though.
Looking after each other’s children means looking after each other. It’s not just children that are raised by the village, it’s parents and caregivers too, and especially supporting the primary caregivers of children – mostly mothers in our society, but sometimes fathers, or grandparents, or aunts and uncles, or whoever takes on that role (here I’m using the term Mum, but replace with whatever title fits you and your whānau).
It means building relationships with other Mums so that you can tell them when you’re feeling crap, or when you’re not coping, or even noticing that someone’s not quite right without them having to say anything.
It means catching up for a coffee, or having play dates, or asking them to a park so they have a reason to leave the house. Or bringing them meals, or baking, or a coffee, or chocolate.
Today I have been brought to grateful tears by my village. I have been hit with an awful cold, and as we all know, Mums don’t have sick days. Within the space of half an hour, one friend had picked up my youngest and taken her to a Playcentre, another had dropped chocolate off at my door, and another had left a pottle of soup in my letterbox.
Just a few hours to rest meant so much. Enough to be able to face the rest of the day. Lucky it’s warm so my youngest can play outside watering the plants while I take it easy.
One day it’ll be my turn to repay the favour, but no-one’s counting or keeping score, and that’s what makes it so perfect. We all help out where and when we can.
I don’t know what I’d do without my village.