Since becoming a mum 9 years ago, it has become apparent that motherhood is not all that I thought it would be. Do not get me wrong, I love my children and i love being their mum with every inch of my body and soul, but for some reason, I did not expect it to be this hard! They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to raise a parent and i believe that finding a supportive network of people (also known as a ‘village’) throughout your motherhood journey can be a definite game changer.
Being a mum is tough work, there is so much pressure on women these days to be a certain way and to parent a certain way and if you do not fit the mould, you are just not good enough. I am not sure where this pressure originates from, but I believe the main source is, US!
Things are different for kids these days:
I remember living in a suburban area, playing outside with other kids in the court until the street lights were on and until mum called out the front door “Tea’s ready”. I would eat my dinner on the couch while watching Mash, The Simpsons, Neighbours, Home and Away and then shower and bed.
In no way am I saying that my Mum had it easy as a parent, she did it hard too. She had her own personal issues and of course was busy raising us 4 kids, but she also had her village. I am not sure if you’ve heard of it, but back in the day, they use to have this thing where they would drop by a friend, neighbour or family members house for a cup of tea? Without even texting to see if they were home! I know right, weird! But this face to face contact would save their sanity for that day. They could sit out the back, share a pack of Longbeach Super Mild and a few cuppas and whinge and bitch about their husbands, kids and life. We had aunties around every week, or we would be there. They use to help each other tidy the house, I would stay at their place to give mum a break and my cousins would stay at ours.
We are missing the contact with our village:
Most of us these days, have to work, so we are not home to have that cuppa with and we have also figured out that smoking is actually really bad for you. If I let my kids roam around my street until dinner was ready, I would have someone complain that I am not looking after them well enough and not to mention the safety concern and all the creeps we are more aware of these days. If my kids watched TV of an evening, where would we fit in readers, spelling words and after school sports? Not to mention that mash, the Simpson’s, neighbours and home and away are probably not appropriate shows for our children to be viewing.
The contact I have with other Mum’s is a quick chat in the car line if lucky, or through Facebook and Instagram where I catch up on their life through pictures and status updates, which usually only display their highlights and rarely touches on the struggles they may have faced that day. Then when chatting to other Mum’s, some find it hard to express themselves in case of judgement and the fear of people thinking that they are failing as a parent and just not good enough. BUT We are all good enough!!
Growing with change, offer support:
Things have really changed in these parenting times and I believe as Mum’s we need to grow with the change and find a way to still be there for others and allow others to be there for us! We should find a village, or better yet, create a village! Don’t be afraid to ask others for help, offer a cuppa catch up, or Friday night wine (or any day of the week that ends with Y wine).
Human beings strive from other human contact and communication, we need to ensure we are still getting this. Motherhood is hard, but it could be easier if we just helped each other out every now and then and let the judgement and disapproval go. We are all in this together, you are not alone.
Shout out to my village, without you, the days would be darker xx
I challenge you to take the leap and offer one act of encouragement, support or solidarity to a fellow parent today! Any gesture big or small, one act of kindness can go a very long way!