A Different Village

I dream of a different village.
One where dads kiss boo boos as often as moms, and where it’s understood that moms are as capable of designing nuclear reactors as they are of making bread.
One where every boss understands that there are some jobs that only a mom can do and also that sometimes dad should leave early to pick up the sick child at school.
A world where we all agree that our daughters as well as our sons need to see mothers do so much more than bake bread, care for children, and socialize with other women. They need to see us use our minds and not just wear down our bodies.
Motherhood can be cripplingly isolating. Regression to a time when women were viewed as unworthy, incapable of, and unnecessary for any other contributions to society is not the answer. Expanding the “village” to include men and to recognize the vast potential of women in all facets of society by providing the support, flexibility, and opportunity is. Demanding more of fathers is. Raising the level of discourse on systemic gender inequality and discrimination is.

So today, I won’t invite you over for tea or bread. Today, I’ll meet you in the board room. Please feel free to bring your daughter.

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4 Responses to A Different Village

  1. Amanda C says:

    The original post was written by someone that made the choice to be a stay at home mom, appealing to other stay at home moms. I don’t think the intent is to set us completely back, but to admit that it’s a lonely occupation in today’s society. When you work in a boardroom you get to see other adults…adults that aren’t married to you.

    We don’t get that. We see other moms at the park, often the same ones all the time, but neither party is willing to go over and make friends, because we’re conditioned not to. So, we both just continue in our lives wishing that we were brave enough to take our kids to meet their children and to strike up a friendship. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our occupation, we do. But, it does get lonely and it is hard to feel like you don’t have anyone to relate to on a daily basis.

    I get a lot of joy out of baking bread and hanging my clothes on the line.

    And, the only other member of my “village” that regularly brings their kids over is a stay at home dad, who puts most mommies to shame.

    And, we live in a tiny conservative town.

    • anmllwyr says:

      Thanks Amanda. All thoughts and perspectives are welcome here. I was just offering another perspective. I fully understand where the writer was coming from. Even moms who work outside the home can (and often do) feel isated as mothers. I often feel like I can’t even mention my kids at work, let along get any sort of understanding about the uniques struggles and pressures that moms face. So for me, part of the village needs to include aocietal changes that will help ALL moms feel less isolated and more supported as mothers. I really appreciate your thoughtful reply. Thanks for reading my blog!

      • Amanda C says:

        I understand that, and agree that we need changes across the board. Things have changed so much, even since I was a kid, and I’m only twenty-five. I was raised by a single mother in a town smaller than the one I live in now, and even though she and most of the other mothers in town worked we had a bit of that village atmosphere. We were safe to play outside alone because they all knew that as long as we were in sight of someone in town we’d be taken care of and be reprimanded if serious mischief ensued, and no one was afraid to intervene. If our parents didn’t get home in time for the bus we knew we were welcome to wait at anyone’s home, and they ours. If there was a need for an emergency babysitter, someone always stepped in, no questions asked. Heck, if you didn’t have enough food to eat someone would throw a block party…usually my mother, so no one felt like it was just for them.

        We don’t have that any more. And that’s really depressing. Even in the town I live in now, we have less than 1,000 people, and majority of those are rural I have one guy that I can relate to, and we didn’t even meet because we were both looking for someone to share the stay at home experience with, he went to high school with my husband, and his kids and my foster daughter were the same age. I can’t entirely relate on the work issue because I haven’t worked outside of the home since right after college, though I did run daycare from my home. But, I can remember nights of sleeping in the nurse’s station, or going home with one of my mom’s co-workers, it seems like everything has changed on how much people are willing to contribute to others. Must be part of the me-attitude we have so ingrained in us.

  2. anmllwyr says:

    Sorry for all my typos! I sent that reply on the go this morning. I totally agree. It’s very depressing, but forums like this will hopefully start to drive change back towards a more communal and supportive environment for all moms.

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