The Village

They say ‘It takes a Village’. Back in the day, many many moons ago, it literally took a village to raise a kid. There was grandma and aunty this and cousin that. And not to mention the village elder and medicine man. All of these individuals not only lent a hand in raising the child, but they had some (no matter how little) influence on that child’s character and what he or she grows up to believe in.

Now, these days a village generally is family and sometimes close friends. That’s also what God-parents are there for. When Miss E was born, however I didn’t have a village. In fact, I had 1 good friend who literally made up my village. This is part of being an expat: sometimes you just have to make do with what you got!

My experience...

I had once or twice complained to Papa Bear that I wish I did have more help in terms of people doing things for me whilst I was recuperating from major abdominal surgery and trying to adjust to life with a new born. But now, here on the very public blog, I take that back. I am actually thankful that I didn’t have a typical village.

I recently realized just how much I grew as a person and as a mother. By not having a village, I was forced to figure things out for myself. I learned what I was truly capable of. I had to learn to make do with my own two hands.

I became a stronger person. I grew up – I had to. I put hopes and dreams I had on a back-burner because there was now a tiny human, a living person who depends on me. My priorities changed. Life has a different meaning now that I was a mum.

And I know in my heart that I could not possibly have come to that realization if I had several people ‘holding my hand’ as it were, on this journey of motherhood. For me, personally, I believe that had I had the luxury of a village, I would have taken advantage of it to the extent that I would not really know my child. And I really do know her. Of course, I am only speaking from my own personal experience. I am in no way judging anyone else who does have the village (just want to put that out there!)

Don’t get me wrong:

Of course it’s great now when Oma and Opa come to visit and they ‘babysit’ so I can go on a date with my husband. But it’s not an expectation from my side. I can make do with getting Miss E into bed on time so I can have a romantic picnic on the living room floor with Papa Bear. And that right there is the little things you learn to do when you have no village.

What is your opinion on having or not having a village when you have babies?

I look forward to hearing from those who are fortunate enough to have them and those who don’t.

PS. Pics all for attention

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the post. I have 2 kids under 4 and I am also an expat Mama with no typical village. I was lucky to make a few friends during my pregnancy and they became my village and family when my kids were born. I do realise how lucky I am too, in that I learnt a lot about myself as a mum and the strength I had within me. My sister recently had her first baby and lives 5 minutes from my mother who is retired and is always available to babysit or help out. And I often thought my sister is super spoilt, but there is a lot of things she doesn't really do or know how to do because she hasn't had to learn. Thanks for the post though. I know I'm not alone, and you should feel proud of what you have learnt and how much you have grown as a person and as a parent, all by yourself!
    • Zephora
      Hi Carla, yeah I definitely learnt a lot over the last 3 years. And I often still find myself amazed at some of my friends who have more than 1 kid, often juggling work as well. Kudos to all Mamas!

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