Just a forewarning as this is going to be a rambly post as I get my thoughts on the screen. I could edit and finesse it, but I think that editing too much might take away from the sincerity with which I want to write this.
Ok, here goes..
Quite frequently over the past few years, and then twice in the last week, I was confronted with the reality of just how lonely some mothers are. The story is the same for most, with them feeling disconnected from the people around them. Feeling as if they were going about mothering without much support and the last time anyone offered to do anything for them was a distant memory.
You can say that they need to stop feeling sorry for themselves, get up and do something. You can say what you put in is what you get out. You can ask when was the last time they have invited someone to their house, out to the park or out for a coffee? All these thoughts are very valid, and yet, is this the best way to deal with it? Throw it back in their faces? Make it their problem?
Over the weekend, these women got me thinking, are they the only ones that I know are feeling this way? I don’t think so, as I know I had these feelings when I was at home with a few little ones.
It led me to ask myself the question: Are we losing our villages?
By ‘villages’ I mean our support systems. The group of people who drop in unannounced. The people you can ring to just have a sane, five-minute pep talk amidst the mayhem that is sometimes motherhood. The people with whom you can arrange after-school park dates with a simple packet of milk arrowroot*. The people who can offer to babysit unprompted without needing payment so that you can go out for a much-needed night out with your husband.
Looking back to when I was young, we had a huge village around us.
Life has changed.
And now I’m asking you.
Are we losing our villages?
Are we too busy for villages?
Are we too busy with our online lives to be involved in meaningful, real-life relationships?
Are we too obsessed with having Real Living** homes to have people over?
Are we over scheduling our children with too many extra-curricular activities?
Are we too occupied with our hobbies?
Do we stress about needing to have something home-baked on the table, and so often just don’t invite anyone over?
Have we been burnt by harsh words or obvious shuns that makes us afraid to take chances?
Are we becoming keyboard warriors in real life and so we are burning bridges faster than building them? Have we lost our filters?
Are we struggling with the sin of discontent in our lives and feel that we just don’t live up to other’s expectations?
Are we willing to extend our friend parameters to allow someone else to join us?
What do you think? Do you have solutions?
*cheap packet of store bought biscuits
**Home Decorator Magazine in Aus