It takes a village to raise a child….
At least it does for some.
The old adage that you need lots of different influences to bring up a well-rounded child, and give them lots of loving family and friends is a rather sweet notion.
And for a lot of people it is probably quite true.
Perhaps by choice, or maybe by coincidence, but they’ve started a family surrounded by family members and close friends. Sundays are spent with the Grandparents, and Saturdays with xyz friends at soft play. Last minute meetings at work are fine because Auntie A can look after the little ones as she’s off work that day anyway, and Great Grandma takes the smallest baby for a morning a week so mama can get a hot cup of coffee and hoover the living room (aka sit and binge on Netflix).
And to be honest, that sounds like perfection.
I honestly would love, and I mean truly love, to have this lifestyle.
And I am slightly jealous of the families that do get this. Not resentful, but maybe a little green eyed. I would hate to be that person who dislikes another just because they were more fortunate, or planned better, than I did.
For us, yes, we do have weekends with family, and we can ask a couple of close friends to help with last minute childcare, but it’s never a guarantee. For the most part, it’s just me and Dann. And that’s fine. At the end of the day we chose to have kids, not our family. So why should we rely on them, or be resentful of the lack of contact, when they didn’t chose to bring our children into the world. We chose that, and we knew (sort of anyway) what we’d be letting ourselves in for.
But it is hard.
Much harder than I expected.
On the days when parenting feels all just a little too much, I’d love to pop to my mums, or my mother-in-laws for a cuppa and off load the little one on his grandparents for a half hour. I’d love to be able to arrange a date night with Dann without having to plan it in two or three weeks in advance.
However, having such a small network of support, does make me more grateful than possible for the people who can and do offer help.
We’ve had three offers of help to look after Henry when I eventually go into labour with Baby Boy, and I’m eternally grateful for each offer, especially as it’s one of the biggest things I’ve been worried about this pregnancy. I can’t and won’t expect any one of them to drop everything for us. They all have their own families and responsibilities and that just wouldn’t be fair. But it is nice and comforting to know that we have a few options, because you really can’t predict labour.
We know that Henry is very much loved, and that’s the most important thing.
We might not have the biggest village, but our little one is very important to us.