Attention parents: Let the village help
I NEVER really bought into the saying 'it takes a village to raise a child'. Or maybe I just never understood it. I mean, if you choose to have a child, you should look after it, right? It's not fair to push them on to someone else and just continue with your life, is it?
Don't you want to be the one that raises them, with your morals? Instilling in them the essence of greatness?
And surely you don't want to miss out on the many magnificent milestones they pass in their early years?
This is what I use to think when people spouted the old saying of sharing the joy/burden of children around.
They would spruik the ideals of this as if there was no other way to raise children. And yes, now I understand. However, for me it's not so much that it should be done that way, but more a necessity at times for it to be so.
In my very early child-rearing years, I was hell-bent on doing it all - being a great mum, working full-time, being a loving wife and keeping up friendships and social appearances.
Somehow I did manage most of this, for a little while.
But then came my second child, who had all sorts of other ideas, and the juggle of an extra child in the mix threw a spanner in my well-oiled machine of life.
And thank goodness.
I didn't have to have it all figured out. I didn't need to be Wonder Woman. I was allowed to admit I needed help with the kids and even drop back my work hours and tell my friends I couldn't attend everything. And a large part of this was allowing the villagers in.
I let them help with watching the kids or with a kinder or school drop-off in the mornings. In return I would do the after-school run or cook dinner as a thank you.
And as we, the villagers, continue the dance of parenthood, we need to remember to open the door to new members and offer assistance if required. Because there is no greater burden on a new parent than that of feeling the weight of the world's - and your own - expectations and believing you must live up to all of them.
It is this perceived pressure that can ruin the early years for many parents, and subsequently children.
You can still be a great parent, partner, friend and staff member if your floors are dirty, if your sister takes the kids one morning or if you need to work from home.
Take a load off, and let the villagers in.
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