thread: Having more babies and impact on village

  1. #37
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    Cai: Everything you said makes sense. However I hope it doesn't come across that I am only looking for a village so that I can get something from it like free baby sitting. I do believe that I spend an equal amount of time wondering what I can contribute, but I like i mentioned earlier it seems that so far that what i have to offer hasn't really seemed of use to anyone... even my company or conversation. However I think this will change as I get to know new parents at my DS's new school.

    I've been a SAHM for nearly 9 years in total... not consecutive. And I guess it wasn't until I had my third child that I have really started to mourn a greater sense of connection to a village. Maybe when I was working and studying I was too busy to even think about it... and when I was younger with my first child I didn't expect to have much of a village because I was the first of my friends to have a baby and kinda expected to be isolated.

    What really changed my perspective was developing a chronic illness. When I was diagnosed with Graves disease I lost alot of my resilience That notion you described Cai of happily accepting 100% responsibility for the care of my children was severely challenged. At the worst of it about a year ago things got so bad that I did something really hard and asked for help... asked for the one thing I swore I would never do: ask another mum to drive my 4yo to kinder. She didn't have to drive more than 3 houses out of her way but I still found it so hard. I really had no other option... it was either ask and risk rejection or pull him out of kinder because there was no way known I could get him to kinder every day with the extreme fatigue and chest pain that I was suffering. Anyhow this lovely mum did help and I am forever grateful. I offered several things in return... would her son like to come over and play during school hols... could i pick him up from kinder occassionally too... but no... she never asked anything because she had her own mum to do all that thanks. Once I started to respond to medication and felt better I imediately resumed full transport responsibility of my DS. Very conscious not to take advantage.

    So... I guess my point is that while we are fit and healthy and capable then needing people in terms of what they can do to help is minimal... but what if you too fell ill.... what then?

    For me I could see the almost spiritual benefit of going through the humbling process of asking for help... it certainly made me leave my comfort zone! And maybe it has also opened my eyes to signs that other mums might not be coping. There's a mum at my son's school that I see everyday... her DD is in my son's class... we often pass out the front of the school... as I am leaving she is grimly pushing her pram, running late again. I don't think i have ever seen her smile. She always looks sad. It would be easy to choose a more receptive parent to smile and say "hello" to... but I continue to make an effort with her. Her vibe is just so lonely... I hope she too isn't battling on without a village How can i not feel for her?

  2. #38
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    Bath severe illness is IMO NOT free babysitting. That is the time when the village including school parents, church whoever, even BellyBelly can help. But yes you should be able to ask your village for help. When my MIL had 2 heart attacks I flew to Perth with my kids to help cook and just be there. I would do that for anyone, and I know a lot of people would. But people often assume you do have support when you don't which is why they don't offer. Does your church have something similar to pastoral care? Do you have a charity organisation that can offer help? I know for some illnesses you can get carers help, but often this information is not given freely. When people from the parish found out about MIL's sickness we had food delivered from St Vincents de Paul's not for poverty reasons but to help so MIL didn't have to cook. Charity isn't just for the poor or underprivileged, it is there for people who don't have the support they need at the time.

    This is why I think its extremely important to socialise. I socialise with school, kinder, BB and friends of the family. Not just so I can extend m village but so that I can be part of their village too.

    When someone calls and asks if you are ok be honest. People don't know if you don't tell them, and often this is how we block our village by not wanting others to know we aren't coping in times of need. You can't have a village, if you don't put yourself out to be part of one. As my granny told me, pride never helped anyone in need.

  3. #39
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

    Jan 2005
    Funky Town, Vic

    Seriously, I just can't leave this subject alone can I??

    Bath - I know you have had trouble making connections and your inability to do hysterical , but these things take time. I suppose it may have come across that I can just pick up and make friends wherever, but it's not like that. There have been many "eeerrr umm" moments over the years, but its the rose coloured glasses firmly soldered onto my face that enabled me to remember that if I cast the net out far enough, I would find more connections.

    Arimeh - You will find that as DS gets older (and you make more connections too) that people will be more willing to have him over for playdates etc. When they are older they are more manageable to others (when they can TELL you want they want clearly etc). My DS is a HANDFUL too (you know it!), but guess what - you will meet someone that has a little hurricane too, then you get to swap stories and laugh that tension away with someone who knows what its like.

    Hang in there and put yourself out there.

  4. #40
    Registered User

    Dec 2006
    In my own private paradise

    this topic has been something of an eye opener as to the different perceptions of a village - which is a good thing - it's great to see how different people look at the village, and to learn from each other.

    as i mentioned before, i don't have a strong IRL village that i can call on for physical help if needed. i tend to struggle on by myself, feeling ashamed to admit that i need help (which isn't healthy, but we all know we do it!) - i go out of my way to offer assistance where i can, but i seem incapable of accepting it - go figure!

    i find the most important thing (for me personally at this point) is to have someone to talk to - about whatever is bugging me. i have learned not to bottle stuff up and encourage others to do the same. yes, i vent a lot on BB when it's just general grrrrr stuff, but when things are really getting me down, i have no issue picking up the phone to talk stuff through - or getting on MSN and just chatting. and i will do the same for my friends (yes, i'm one of those nutty people that keeps my phone by the bed 24/7 and have gone online at 4 in the morning cos someone needs me!). my village is very diverse in the people, their location etc...

    as to the "babysitting" thing - i will be returning to work just before Gremlins first birthday. i have a VERY family friendly and flexible job (which is a bonus) and will go back two days a week. my parents and i have talked it through, and mum has asked me not to put Gremlin in day care while i work. between the days DH will be home from work (where he'll look after her), and mum and dad requesting to have time with her at least one day a week, they figure it's better to not put her in care. my mum isn't that old (she's 50 mid year) and as much as she isn't the healthiest of people, she is more than capable of looking after a young child for a day - in fact, she thrives on it! it will give her reason to stay motivated to do things away from the house (dad works perm nights, and sleeps during the day, so mum will plan outtings for the mornings when Gremlin is there which is better for her than doing nothing). due to dad's work hours, he struggles to get out here, so it will also mean he gets to see his grandaughter at least once a week for a few hours when he wakes before work... SIL also wants "gremlin days" so i guess my village are rallying behind me, but it's a mutually beneficial thing (hope that makes sense)

    and Liz, i agree - the village is definitely a two way street! my mum is alone most nights from about 4 as dad goes to work. yesterday, DH and I were cooking roast dinner so called mum and invited her over. she enjoyed dinner,and left here with some baby linen to pre-wash for us! she wants to help, knows i can't dry pink stuff outside at home (bloody nosey neighbours) so took some stuff to wash for us!