I’ve always heard this ancient African proverb It takes a village to raise a child being bandied about. But until this weekend it never really meant anything to me. I thought it was beautiful and very appropriate but that’s where it ended.
DH and I were navel-gazing this weekend and one of the questions we couldn’t answer was why our families never just popped in or called to say we’re fetching Thomas for a few hours or drop Thomas for a few hours and you guys get some shut-eye or whatever.
I recall coming to after my C-section (I had to be put under because my anaesthetic was wearing off) and catching a glimpse of my husband sitting in the nursery with Thomas tucked under his T-shirt and looking so frail and vulnerable – it was as if he was a little boy protecting his even littler brother. Broke my already mushy heart. Don’t want to even think of where he was in his head… Wife in recovery (the last of me he saw was a very dead looking me) and baby son frantically clinging to his chest and trying to find a full nipple. (shame) I’ve found myself wondering… where was our village then? Why wasn’t MIL there for her eldest son? Why wasn’t my Dad there to see if everything’s ok like he usually does. Why did they all just wait for the call that Thomas was there and made their way to the hospital after the call?
We came to the following conclusion: Both DH and I have younger siblings who are needy, not mature, who made big mistakes in life so far, etc, etc. We (as the eldest) were always relied upon to be sorted, mature, instinctively know right from wrong and never NEED our parents as they’re too busy with the younger wayward ones. Another one of those societal pressure things… I’m really starting to hate this Society and it’s pressures. Society says you’re supposed to know from the point of conception exactly what to do and when to do it and if you don’t then you suck and you might as well give your child up for adoption or sell it to a sweatshop in China.
As a result we’ve been trying SO hard to be everything we think and are guided to be by societal pressure and our parents that we gave off this SUPER SORTED, SUPER UNNEEDY and SUPER STAYAWAY vibe. No wonder we’ve been buckling and just about managing to still know each other. Thomas has been the centre of our universe and we almost lost ourselves and each other along the way but no more, we tell you.
It’s time for Lord Muck’s village to step in and help. I made a plea on FB yesterday and I already have three babysitters lined up whom we love and trust and who’s prepared to take care of the beast in his own habitat!
I really want to give Society a kick up the … Did any of you fall for Society’s not-so-funny joke or are you all sorted with the village thing?