It Takes a Village


I just wrote a post about how I’m frustrated that the baby sleeps at night, but can’t nap without screaming as if she’s being tortured.  Then the post got deleted, and she just fell asleep for a nap with only 40 minutes of blood curdling screams.  And that makes my day for some reason!  Its one for me, I guess.  But somehow I feel like I don’t really win anything…except 35 minutes of blog writing quiet.  I’ll take it.

I was chatting with a friend recently about how long the post-partum depression window is open.  If your baby is over 1 year, is it just plain old depression?  When Viola was first born, I was on the lookout for post-partum depression since I am susceptible to some low level depression in general.  Surprisingly, none came.  In fact, I was more grounded in my current purpose in life which was very surprising.  What I have encountered lately is that the last couple of weeks have been the closest thing to depression I have experienced since Viola was born, and I think it makes more sense.  I have been a food source for a whole year, the sole caretaker for Vi since she has been born, and since my husband and my families are far away, we have had little help from the outside world.  I began daydreaming about a part-time job on nights and weekends just to do something ELSE for awhile.

Another friend of mine was very wise in saying that the phrase “It takes a Village” goes deeper than just a friendly acknowledgement that parenting is hard.  She cleverly pointed out that before our “modern” society developed, we were all closer together in villages or towns, just a hut/house away from our family, if not in the same home altogether.  A nap wasn’t something I would need to covet all day long–I would have many hands to take the baby and tell me to “Go!  Just go! She’ll be fine!!”  Instead, we have obsessive and exhausted moms wondering “why oh why can’t I do this”?  Its because we weren’t meant to do it alone.  That’s comforting, and somewhat depressing since we have supposedly evolved to  a more sophisticated way of living.  Personally, I think the shattering of Community Living destroys so much of what we were made to do, and tests what we weren’t meant to endure.

I don’t offer a solution to this, just an encouraging word to moms/dads/caregivers everywhere who feel inadequate.  The truth is, YES its true.  We are inadequate, and that’s why it takes a village.  If you’re getting through each day with minimal bloodshed, pat yourself on the back!  You’ve done the work of an entire community.

This post is dedicated to my lovely mom friend, Andrea!


3 responses »

  1. So true, Quinn! I often think of how we were “meant” to live in terms of the elderly being cared for, but it also works in the younger direction! I couldn’t agree more. Although my parents live in town, we barely get the benefit of them watching Theo due to their own problems, so Jenny and I very much empathize!

  2. And this is why we need to all be back in the same city like we were in college! Thanks Quinn, I love you dearly and if I was closer i would be there in a heart beat!! Jobs take us all so far away, I’ve read recently about super-commuters, people who live in one city and work in another. All because they found a job but could not afford to move to the new location?!?! My own Dad does this every week, he spends Sunday night through thursday in one city and then flies home on the “weekends.” There is definitely something to be said for living in a true community!

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