We have all heard the phrase “it takes a village” but what happens when you don’t have that village. There can be many reasons as to why you don’t have access to the village whether it’s living remote, you have emigrated or just moved to a new area and don’t know anyone. There are many reasons as to why you may choose or be forced to raise your family without help. Here is the story from a Motherhood Unplugged Community member and her take on raising our children without a “village”.
A New Start Again – Raising Our Children Without A “Village”
A house full of boxes, a new city, no one we know around us. A new start, again. This is our second time we have moved, and we are starting to get the hang of it. Husband has picked the house and school and starts working immediately. This time the garden is big so while I unpack all the boxes, the children (5, 3 and 1) play in the yard or near me. When I finally crash on the couch after our first long day it’s time to check out the area on my phone. I am looking for playgroups, mother groups, classes and playgrounds. I have learned from previous moves that if I don’t act on meeting other children and mothers, I won’t meet them. I really have to get out there and make an effort as it is so important when raising our children without a “village”.
Even At School You Have To Make An Effort
The positive side of this move is that our eldest will go to school and the easiest way to meet new mothers is via the school. Thing is, even at school you need to make an effort. I am not really the most outgoing person and making new friends is still scary. I remember that even saying “hi” to someone I wanted to come in contact with gave me red cheeks and sweaty armpits the first time. I have found that since I have moved to Australia, I really need my female friends. Not so much for hanging out with the children but more for hanging out together to have a night off.
Raising Our Children Without A “Village”
Raising our children without a “village” has been challenging but we have made it work. Since we have three children, they kind of rely on each other as playmates which mean for them it is not urgent to meet other children since whenever we go to a park (which we do a lot) they meet other children anyway. I must be honest and say that parks are a lifesaver. To be able to get out, getting a break from being in the house by myself is what’s kept me sane. The fact that it’s free, that I can play with our one year old and that I can have a moment for myself where I can actually hear my own thoughts gives me energy for the rest of the day.
The most challenging time of the day is dinner time when they are all hanging around my legs. This is usually the time when everyone in the house is at their most tired. The proverbial “witching hour”. This is where I would have liked my mum to help me out, the time when if I had that village I would welcome them with open arms. But, to be honest, even if I was living near my mum, she wouldn’t come at that time anyway. Dinnertime is a busy time for everyone.
Nothing Lasts Forever
What I am most proud of is that I know our children so well, I only need half a word or not even that to know what they want. There is a bond there with just me that hopefully will stand long after they leave home and move out. A special bond of us being there to look after one another and being all any of us have. I don’t know if our lives would have been any easier to raise our children with a village as this is all I have ever known. One thing I will say though is count your blessings, it’s over before you know it. I always tell myself that everything is a phase and nothing lasts forever. Even when my child comes out of his bed for the eighteenth time. All in all I know I have made the right decision by raising our children without a “village”.
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