Monday, February 7, 2011

From Crystal: A Tribe

This post is from Crystal, a mom of three amazing kidlets up in Alaska. Her world views and mothering style are incredibly different from the traditional norm, and I have enjoyed her input tremendously throughout the varied provocative postings I've had here and on my Facebook. While I was teaching kindergarten at the farm (APU's Spring Creek Farm in AK), I had her eldest in my class and loved every minute of it. We are raising some terrific children here! Thank you Crystal for the poignant post.

"I have always heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child,” but I never really believed it. I have three children under the age of 6 now, and my opinion has altered slightly. I want to point out something that has occurred to families. It used to be in village settings, where the men would leave and spend their days away; not so different from now right? Well, it also used to be that all the mothers would remain in the village together all day, in charge of all the children. The women worked side by side, and shared the “mothering” of all the children.

This is where my hang-up used to be, thinking that I wouldn’t want other women influencing my child as much as me. Although in a village setting, there are shared values and belief systems, so families didn’t vary too drastically in their beliefs. Now I understand that the mothers weren’t really sharing the “mothering,” but were there to support one another. “Nuclear families” have broken the village, and left mothers without their support network while their men are doing their work.

I am beginning to understand the need for women to keep other women close. So it may not take a village to raise a child, it surely takes a village for a mother to best raise her child. I think we must choose our village, by gravitating towards people and places that share our interest. I think having “community” is important to the well-being of “family.”

And to all you mommas out there who feel overwhelmed, like it shouldn’t be so hard; it shouldn’t. We need a tribe to hold us up when we aren’t feeling our strongest. I urge every momma to allow themselves the help that having one other momma will offer. It can be a tough job, and any mom knows what 5 minutes alone to breathe deep can do. Be the first to offer another mom 5 minutes alone, and the favor is sure to come back to you.

Love you all for the great job you do."

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