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Thread: Having more babies and impact on village

  1. #19

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    Bath, maybe its because if you are working often you have to drop them off pretty early and pick up late (ie near dinner) and they really might not want to impose?
    Then again if its over school holidays, it may be likely the kid is booked into a holiday program somewhere (like I did), so it's pretty much covered. It can be hard doing different things each day (nannas one day, friend the next etc) and those programs can be pretty cool. I see where you are coming from
    I find its usually children driven - can Hannah come to playeeeee, pleaseeeeee? It's not like I have much choice sometimes!
    So if it was more a "we gotta get these kids together" rather than "can I help you out a bit?", they might not be so paranoid about relying on you...Gawd all this paranoia!!


  2. #20

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    Bath - There's nothing wrong with you. I'd accept your help! And I'd be willing to offer help back too. Perhaps its the 'obligation' that comes with accepting help that people don't like. I think this was talked about in another village thread once. *hugs* tho, I know you've struggled with the whole village thing I feel really lucky I have my mum just down the road, and tho it felt silly saying she is my village.. just having that one person can be so much more than others might have.

    Lulu - it's a local community preschool, so school hrs only, and by the looks a lot might be sahm's coz there's a lot of younger siblings. And I think there is fundraising and working bees and stuff here too, so I'm going to try and be one of those 'involved' parents.

    Hmm.. just thinking.. I did a school pickup for someone else just this Monday! LOL - so i'm part of someone else's village! Woot! I think it could well be that my village is larger than I think, just I haven't had a real need for it, so haven't thought about it.

    ETA: Aww Bath, he probably misses his little village of grandkids too. See, while mum sometimes has a grumble (she's a bit of a grumbler LOL) I know she's really enjoying her grandkids. She didn't/doesn't have this constant interaction with my bro's kids, and now they're in canberra, so we hardly see them. So I think she does enjoy it.. I mean, she still calls in all the time! Even if it's just to see how Tallon's day at preschool was.

  3. #21

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    Thanks girls And yes, Lulu, you're right about how I phrase the offer. I think at the moment my 5yo is still quite shy and I guess hasn't asked for a playdate... and my 14yoDD is fairly independant... althought come to think of it we are briefly connected to the parents of the other year 9 girls at her school... but there aren't the same social opportiunites for parents when your children reach highschool... that's half the problem. And my 2yo doesn't go to childcare or kindy yet... we have dropped playgroup because logistically it doesn't work ATM. But i think you are right... things will improve once I get to know more parents. But everyone really seems so busy... and everyone does seem to have their own extended families that seem to require a lot of their time and energy... I have felt it hard to weave our family into the lives of other families for that reason.

    Liz awww, and likewise... it's hard when you meet people on BB who you have so much in common with and who seem so open... then you venture out into the real world and everyone just seems so closed, suspicious, and wary of obligation. I think I'll turn this around and make it a greater priority to attend more BB meetups!!! Shame I couldn't attend the last one at Cai's place... but bring on April!!!

  4. #22

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    OMG you are all so so lucky to have the help if needed! My nearest relative is 6000km away on the other side of country and all though we moved away it would be nice occasionaly to have some help...with housework of cause LOL!
    Even when i had DS who is nearly 7 and we were within a few hundred kms, i only ever had him looked after by DP's sister once for a couple a days while we had a getaway when he was 2yrs, and all i did was fret for the two days until he was bad in my sites so it wasn't even a getaway!
    I have always done it on my own with DP and i just couldn't imagine it any other way. I'm certainly not judging anyone, but i don't think you should base your decision for a third on the presumption you will need more "VILLAGE" help, you would cope no matter what because that is what you would have to do....no choice, just do what you have to do to get it done, where not supermums!

  5. #23

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    Yeah, I wouldn't base the decision on it, but life doesn't revolve around just me. There's no doubt a flow-on, and with mum so involved already, of course it would impact her, she'd have more grandkids to play with! hehe. I mean, I wouldn't even involve her in any discussions about whether to have more, that's between me & DH, but I can't ignore the impact it has on other people I don't think.

    And yep, I know we'd cope without a village, we'd have to, but it changes the dynamics with so many things. Plain old babysitting to try and have a date with my husband would be somewhat harder with 3 (not that this really happens with 2 anyway LOL) and I do think involvement with other families can be impacted with their perception of how busy you probably are etc. I just find myself bringing the village into the equation when talking about TTC, that's all

  6. #24

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    I didn't meet ONE parent from DD's high school for a looong time. But when I picked her up or parents did pick ups from my house I jumped on the opportunity. Even just to say hello - now we stop for a natter and it was brilliant when another parent (after about 12 months of quick chats at the door!) asked me about my stand on drinking and overnight stays etc. She was the same as I, and let me know all the other parents with our views (cos you know everyone else is allowed to *insert stupid behaviour here*). Now we know when there is a sleep over at xxxx's house, its gonna be ok, XxXx's parents are always away and never supervise or XXXX's parents let them drink but ALWAYS supervise etc.
    We all feel better knowing what is happening when we are not there!

  7. #25

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    Hey, unless you live in the outback everyone can make their own village!

  8. #26

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    Can I venture to ask, if people don't feel they have a village, do they have support from other avenues such as childcare etc? I tend to think formal, paid childcare is a result of a lack of village. So these parents aren't necessarily doing it on their own? Sorry if that offends, just a thought I had. In fact, even govt family payments etc have probably become a necessity because we all feel we need to stand on our own and not live as a village. Actually, I don't know why we can feel entitled to receive help from the govt with each extra child, and yet not be allowed to expect anything from a village. And I'm not talking about take take take from a village, it goes both ways, we need to participate, but I don't see anything wrong with wondering if the support would be there if I had more children.
    Hey, unless you live in the outback everyone can make their own village!
    That's true Lulu, altho not sure how that would make someone like Bath feel, who is trying to expand her village but feeling it's a bit tough. But yeah, it does depend upon us to get out there and get a village if we don't have a lot of family around, even then family doesn't always help anyway!

  9. #27

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    Ah no, I meant Danni - it's not just extended family that should count as you village - that's sorta what I meant.

    Bath, don't be discouraged there ARE parents out there you will click with, you just haven't found them yet. I noticed there were already 'cliques' and tight friendships between kids and families at Primary School - because they had already been at the kinder that fed directly into the school. I felt poor DD missed out on some opportunities because she did Kinder at the Day Care Centre and that was totally different with parents coming at all different times from different areas
    I used to lament having no one to talk to on the days I could pick her up from school (which was pretty often) - the main clique all drove brand spanking FWD's, wore aerobic gear and biatched about their husbands. They weren't interested in another friendly face (until I got married, then they all were lovely to me bleeeugh).
    BUT, then came a party invitation and I met another working mum - she let me know there was quite a few parents working (not just me, cos I felt like it!) and felt the same. After that I always had someone to sit with at concerts, sports days etc.

    DS has only been going to Kinder a few months now, and all the mums are getting to know each other. One has organized a phone number list for extra playdates (how I hate that word), and I have just met another single mummy that lives down the street. I've been here 3 years and never met her before now! Her DD is DS's new love so I'm sure we will see plenty of them and the mum seems lovely.

    For me (cos I have family fairly close) its more about my kids making lots of friends from all over the place. All families are different and I believe kids learn so much about things from how different everyone is. Mummy making new friends and acquaintances is a BIG side benefit

  10. #28

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    I have been thinking about this village thing (whilst grating up stuff for dinner) and realised that I did actually approach someone to be in a village - a girl who's husband worked with my DH (before he switched jobs) when our kids were little (our boys are 5 months apart) I rang her up and asked her if she wanted to mind my boy for a few hours one day and I would do the same for her the next week - so each fortnight we would have a few hours just to do whatever we wanted (hair cuts, waxes, massage - whatever)...

    and she rejected me.. she said no.. she couldn't handle having both kids... so I'm not sure if that was a reflection on how she saw my DS at the time (who has always been a handful) and I know people think he's a PITA cos its been said to me before - so how are you supposed to get a village when all the other mothers think he's so very painful?

  11. #29

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    I have live interstate without family and not using daycare, so my kids have grown up with out EVER been baby sat BHL and I have NEVER been anywhere without the kids...

    We move to where family are and still nothing has changed, so in that respect if we had to move interstate again I know we cope nicely on our own...

    Having also moved more time than I like to admit to ( with more to come ) I have to say I ALWAY find it very very hard to break into the circle of mums... I am a SAHM so I am there everyday to pick up my kids, we have been here almost a year and still have not met any friends not one talks, it can be very dishearting but I have learned not to expect much and to be happy with my little family, as at the end of the day they are my world....

    The hardest part is when you have to enrole you kids into school and they ask for numbers of people they can contate if they cant get you... they are never happy when I tell them there is no one just me and BHL if he is home... I was even told by a kindy teacher last year that, that wasnt good enough and that I would have to make friends fast so that they can be the IOE contate... Opps never did that, I was so upset to as for the first time ever I actully had name to put down ( my parents ) but been that they were 1.5 hr drive away she didnt think they were good enough...

    sorry bit of topic but just saying that even without a village I am coping ok...

  12. #30

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    You sound just like me, Tali. We put Dhs brother down as the contact number - but he will be about as useful as my sister who lives in far nth qld. They never need to try anyone else but us anyway as we run a business from home - so we're always here when the kids are at school. LOL.

    It was the business that really helped with the coping. When we first moved so far away, DH was working in the city still and I was a complete mess at the whole concept. I had never lived so far away from my family, and my family is tight. It was an extremely difficult move for me, and even the first day moving in when things went wrong, DH & I were on our own - we had no one to call for help and it sucked bigtime. I think even he felt the pinch of the decision when it became apparent that it was iron deficient me and carpel tunnel riddled him only to get that piano off the back of the truck. It wasnt easy at all, but we moved it up the driveway slowly and together. Took us a couple of days to get it where it was mean to go - but we did it together and I think we have never doubted OUR ability since then - so now we work together on all things. I am a student aswell yes, because DH wants to give me the opportunity to realise any career aspirations I may have had, but we run our business, we raise our kids, we keep our home - together. We are all the village we need. People say you can't spend every day together - but DH and I have our own time worked out and are doing just fine.

    I still miss my big village, but thats more me missing my family with a little anxiety about the fact that I may have to go this next birth alone with no support person. But a village doesn't have to be big - not if it works.

  13. #31

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    i dont' have my Gremlin here just yet, but wanted to poke my nose in here and just comment. my DH and i live in a rather small town - he's been here his whole life, i've been here nearly four years - and i admit that our "village" out here is DH's village, not mine. i know i have people within two house blocks that i can call on for help, probably 30 people within town that i KNOW would jump to help - but they aren't people i feel comfortable approaching for help. if i need something, i call my bro and sil, or my mum (as painful as it is). i talk my issues through with my BB friends (my emotional village) more often than i'd ever do with my IRL village. my IRL village is spread over several towns, and most don't have the same family dimensions as we do (or will have soon) - all have older kids, or no kids etc. i'm the first to jump to help anyone that needs it, but i struggle to ask the same people for help!

    i'm hoping to become a member of a mothers group when Gremlin arrives so that i can find some people who have kidlets similar in age to our little girl so that we can have a cuppa and just talk stuff through - but i struggle to make friends IRL so i'm more likely to talk to my BB girls! hell, i know Bronners lives nearby and is due to have a kidlet any day (if she hasn't already) and i haven't met her yet - so i understand the lack of village feeling. i know people are there, i just can't build that network myself...

  14. #32

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    Hi I have'nt read everyones posts, but I can say I had a similar experience to what you are feeling. My parents were very anti us having another baby, mum would go as far as talking about a vas for DH. I was fearful of their reaction ot the point that we had decided to go for it I fell preggers then lost the baby at around 7 weeks i did'nt say anything, the smae thing happened again, it was'nt until after the 3 MC that I could'nt give a damn and in anger told mum what was happening. She ws less than impressed, I think after further discussion she thought I was toooooo old and i have problems in my pregnancies which she sugggested was'nt worth it. unfortubately?fortunately I am not my mum and life is'nt so B&W for me. We got preganant and after an eventful 4 months with loads of bedrest I ended up having a good rest of the pregnancy. My village was'nt available whne bubs was due, which i had been informed before hand, but it was tough, I have been told that they will not be able to look after the kids on a regular basis and definately not all at once. Don't get me wrong they love the kids especially once they are here, but are very opinionated and stubborn and no mind cahnging will happen. I make do with what I get and we use family day care for half a day per week for the 2 older ones, it is hard to make friends, we go to playgroup and we are friendly but freinds??? I am hoping in time it will happen...
    After everything I am finding it hard, I love my kids but do need more help. Definately would'nt change a thing though i would have major regrets, if our lives did'nt take this course. Our baby girl is so gorgeous as are the other kids, just feels different, cause if we had taken others advice she would'nt be here. Am working hard on extending my village.........

  15. #33

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    I guess my basic starting point is that grandparents should not be expected to look after their grandchildren and they should not be taken for granted. I've heard women get the hump because non-working grandma doesn't want to look after the grandchild(ren) for one day a week. I think that's really unfair (to expect that).

    Now, personally, I will be lobbying for DD to do the opposite of what I did and have about three kids by the time she's 25 because I can't wait to be a grandma BUT I don't think there should be a presumption that they 'should' help out. Great if they want to, but really, they've paid their dues already.

    We don't have a village ATM. My parents live in the UK and DP's mum is dead and his dad is in a nursing home. I would not be able to keep mum and dad away if they lived near us which would very much be a double-edged sword, believe me.

    We do get paid care when we need it AND DSD has been a gem since she started living with us. Really, a bloody marvel. She will often tell me to go out on a Saturday afternoon while she minds DD. I cannot tell you how liberating that is to not have to worry about when DD is going to wake up from a nap (often not till 3pm) until I can go out. DP usually works weekends so often every day feels the same and we don't get chance to do things as a family.

    Geez Bath, I hope you're not being left out because you're a non-driver. I'm in the same boat. I feel a little silly at times especially as I did actually pass my test and wish I could get over the nervousness of driving. I haven't driven since the day I passed - how stupid is that?

    Lulu, I think you've painted a very good picture of how villages evolve over time. DP loves doing drop-offs and pick-ups because he is a COMPLETE noseyparker and loves having a look at other people's places especially as we are mid-reno and he comes back with stories of other people's kitchens. OK, that has NOT added much to the discussion so I will stop there.

  16. #34

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    Liz: to answer your question about paid care: My 2yo was attendeding a CC centre for one day a week just to give me a break... but he only went about 4 times (a month) before I started to have reservations about the quality of care he was receiving... plus he started to really reject going there so, because it was just for a bit of "me time" I pulled him out and now I have gone back to just having Saturday mornings off like I used to... with DH at home with the 3 kids. I still wish I could have one weekday off because there are quite a lot of things that I wish i could get done during business hours... dental appointments... enquiring about future study etc.

    I also agree with Fiona that Grandparents shouldn't be taken for granted. I have to admit to feeling a bit ... hmmm.... concerned about a few families we know that leave their young children (babies/toddlers) with elderly Grandparents on a weekly basis so to avoid paying childcare fees (yes, i know that sounds harsh but I think it's what it boils down to). Look, as mums we all know how tiring and demanding young children are... I myself am exhausted after a full day of caring for my boys... even just my 2yo can be tiring... lifting him into prams... cleaning up his messes that he spills on the floor (easy enough for me to bend over and clean up a spill... but not so easy for a 60+ yo woman)... bending over to change his clothes or help him on the potty... hurrying around outside looking for him, finding the gate left open... sprinting down the drive and finding him on the footpath... picking up toys on the floor, tripping over trains. I honeslty think it's too much for an elderly person to be doing by themselves for more than a few hours. But some parents seem happy to leave their toddlers with Grandparents up to 2/3 times a week! I'll be honest and wonder how satisfactory this really is. Eyesight is another issue: my 60+ yo mother once served us up a plate of steamed vegies that had aphid-infested broccoli!!! ewwwww! Ok, might not have killed us... but I would hope she would at least put on her glasses to read the correct dose of Panadol for example.

    I'm not suggesting that it's always wrong to leave your children in the care of elderly grandparents... but just from my experience, and like Fiona's point, I have personally seen them taken for granted and parents really need to think about whether it is really in the best interests for all concerned.... especially when it is regular and for more than once a week.

    Lulu: Yes, with my 5yo DS who has just started school: he is the only child to have come from his kindergarten (pre-school)... all the other kids went to the one in this area... my son went to one a little further away... so yes... all the other parents know each other and it's going to take me a little longer to make friends. They seem a nice enough group of parents though It's still early days... I'm sure it'll be ok. There is one family who live in our street who I guess I would have hoped to have been a part of my village but I think i just have to accept that we are too different (remember my "I can't do hysterically happy thread? LOL yep, think that kind of different)... and I don't drive a flash European car or a brand new 4WD... which seems to be a pre-requisite to be a real member of their village... oh and I don't much care about grooming myself to the point of bankruptcy every day... I think I'm the Felicity Kendal of the street who just isn't interested in keeping up with Penelope Keith (The Good Life - 1970's British sitcom... yep, showing my age here). IYKWIM.

  17. #35

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    I think I see a village a lot differently to other people. I don't see a village as free babysitting. I don't see a village as what I can get from it. I see a village as a connection. I don't keep tabs on my villagers to see what they do for me and what I do for them. And TBH I try and do more for my village rather than expect more from my village. I don't have villagers that will take my children at the drop of a hat, and I don't get upset with said villagers if I can't get help for whatever reason, and I know the same applies if I can't help them. My village first and for most is supportive, its a connection with people that I have that extends from that of acquaintance type relationships. I believe that my children are my responsibility, I am their prime carer. And as someone who doesn't have access to child care, or family that will take my children whenever I would like I have pretty much done it on my own. I'm not a martyr, its just the way it is. But time out doesn't need to be separate from your children. IMO getting out or having people come to visit with their children so they can play can be just as enjoyable as going out for a night out. As can an hour long phone conversation with a girlfriend while you fluff around and do housework. My husband is the person I turn to if I want complete time out. We still try to have "dates" when we can, even if that means me cooking a 3 course meal to be eaten after the kids in bed, lighting some candles and sipping on some red and reconnecting. DS is 3 he has started Kinder this year, and he is loving it. So basically for 3 years I have not had much time to myself, I have not had the cleanest of houses and thats ok. But it was only 3 years. I now have 5 hours a week to do the things I need, and to be honest that is PLENTY of time. And next year it will be 11.5 hours and then after that he will be gone for over 30 hours a week. I honestly think that perhaps people expect too much from their village these days, there is no point in me looking towards another who has a lot of phsyical support from family members and comparing my situation and thinking somehow I am worse off. I am not it is just different, I still have support and connections I just operate differently within my village.

    To answer the original question, no I don't think having children should be dependent on the type of support you get from your village. Especially given anything can happen at any time and you are never ever going to be certain that there will be villagers to lend a hand.

    I think also that as a society we need to look more at what we can do for our village, and less about what our village can do for us Or I daresay we'll end up with no village at all.

  18. #36

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    Yeah, I agree. I wouldn't leave the kids with mum like that. As I said, the only regular thing we have is her coming up to help with swimming lessons, the rest of the time is her popping in, or me popping in there, and we have a cuppa together, and it's a change in company for the kids. Tallon's at a good age now for her to take for a few hours, he's toilet trained, he likes to sit and do puzzles with nana or help to cook or something like that. Otherwise her 'babysitting' is usually with me there most of the time LOL.

    She actually offered to have Tallon 1 day a week not long ago when there was a bit of uncertainty with his preschool. She said she'd have him until he got into the preschool we wanted. But I said no. And turns out he was offered a spot anyway. But I wouldn't have done it to her LOL.

    I think if I was relying on mum like that then my question would have been all the more important.. because she would HAVE to be considered when discussing whether to TTC. I don't think it's a good idea either that people pop out kids for the grandparents to look after.

    However, I'll still stand by my saying I think it's ok to expect support from your village (not talking about set days per week, just general support) I think it would be sad if we all had to feel that we had to be utterly independent and self sufficient in order to have kids. It's natural to have help and to help others. I'd hate my kids to feel like they 'shouldn't' expect anything from me as a grandparent, and that anything they ask of me was a favour. I think it's lovely to have friends & family that are just there for each other, with no score keeping.

    Yes I agree things can get off balance, and people can be taken advantage of, but I think in general it's ok to 'expect' some support from the village. And by 'expect' I mean it differently from 'demand'. If I do get pg again, I'll need to call on the village for some help during that first trimester, and I don't think it's wrong to have that in my 'plans' that I'd need some help. The help goes both ways anyway eventually, if not already.

    I'll also just clarify that since we've been discussing this I've realised my village is in fact larger than just my mum LOL. So i'm not talking about relying solely on my mum during the first tri

    Quote Originally Posted by blackduckies
    it is hard to make friends, we go to playgroup and we are friendly but freinds??? I am hoping in time it will happen...
    I know what you mean. We've been in a music class for 3 terms and only recently really started chatting afterwards (and of course now we've changed classes coz of preschool times LOL.. so have to start again!) but I know what you mean about being friendly but not friends. It's going to take effort to take it past the friendly chat after school and actually invite someone round or something.

    ETA: I agree somewhat Cai - and I hope my posts haven't sounded like a take take take from the village, coz that's not what it's like at all And my original question wasn't whether it should be dependent on the support received from the village, it was about taking into consideration the impact it can have on the village. I guess coz I wouldnt' want to be taking advantage like we've been talking. Coz people help whether you like it or not LOL. Interestingly tho, rereading your post.. I've been the same for 3 years.. no time to myself, had the kids with me pretty much constantly, DH & I don't go out without them.. we squeezed in a 2hr lunch for our anniversary last year LOL.. otherwise our anniversaries include the kids. So my village doesn't necessarily provide me with breaks.. it's the support.. the odd meal for the family, chats on the phone (or net ) and more often than not, it's a cuppa with mum when she pops in and she sits with the kids. But I don't think you can deny that if you have another baby, you do draw on that support more, and I don't see anything wrong with it.

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