Let the Village Help You

“It takes a village to raise a child” is an old saying I have heard a lot. And after having my son I have come to the conclusion that, while the village isn’t necessary, the village is pretty nice and helpful. You don’t have to agree with the village, but just realize that the village is there to help because they love and care for you and your child. Having a child in this day in age feels like a giant weight is put on you of pressure. The pressure to be the perfect mother and to know and understand everything that is going on with your child. The pressure to have read all of the books and know all of the theories and know-how to fix everything. I and I hope I am not alone in this, feel this pressure to be perfect and not to listen to what my elders say because so many studies have been done and things have changed.

After a stressful night of no sleep because of constipation both my mother and my husband’s mother gave advice on how to help the baby. I didn’t take their advice right away because I assumed they must have been wrong because they don’t know all of the new studies. But when I finally got ahold of my paediatrician, it turns out they are both right.

That was when it hit me like a ton of bricks: they both had three children, and all six of these people are functioning adults. That doesn’t mean that I am going to put those crib bumpers up that my grandpa’s sister gives me, but it’s a relief to think that I am not alone.

Giving birth I realize that I give birth to mine and my husband’s son. But I also gave birth to a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, and maybe someday a brother. He isn’t just my person to love, a lot of people feel some ownership in loving this little man. It is mine and my husband’s job to teach him to become a good person we aren’t the only ones who are there for him. And I know we are blessed to have so many people who want to love our child. I shouldn’t allow pride or stress to get in the way of that.

So listen to the village, because they aren’t out to get you, they aren’t out to make you feel like a stupid new mother who doesn’t know anything. And while they may not know all of the latest research in parenting techniques, they aren’t out to hurt your child or hurt you. They are just there to love you and your child.

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