No, we don’t live in that village, unfortunately. Otherwise, we’d invite you. Sorry!!!
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but … what does that even mean?!?! NPR has a whole post about it, but it seems it’s hard to track back the origins. Either way, I never knew what it REALLY meant, until now that we’re going through it. From having family available for us during pregnancy, until now that Little Girl is 7 months old, there seems to be more people involved in the upbringing of a child than you realize. Whether you’re a single parent or have a million family members, going at it alone is a recipe for disaster and more headaches than you really need. In this modern and connected world, there’s a lot of resources at our disposal that can lend a hand when we’re in need of help or advice.
That’s right, there’s an app for that! We had a pregnancy app that sent us notifications on what to expect, how big our baby was according to the due date, and even a forum where you’re conveniently grouped with people due to have their babies during the same months as you. Now we have an app that tracks diaper changes, feeding times, her height and weight, and it even syncs when either parent makes an addition or change.
Church life has always been important to us. They’ve prayed for us, and checked on us throughout pregnancy, up until now. They’re genuinely invested in our well-being. It does definitely help that it’s a small church, but we’ve felt right at home since the beginning. They have a nursery for babies and toddlers to spend time in so that parents can attend service. We’re not quite there yet, but it’s something we can count on for the future. They also organize a meal train for the first new parents during the first two weeks of being at home. Church members take turn bringing lunches and dinners to new parents so they can focus all their energy on the new baby.
I can pretty much guarantee there is a Facebook group for parents in your area. In the short time, we’ve been a part of this group, we’ve already been able to help somebody out with a fan when their A/C broke, and we scored a sweet Fisher Price kitchen from one of the members who no longer had any use for it. There’s all kinds of discussions, like in any other forum, and you can count on people being there for you if need be.
It’s a funny name in my opinion, but a very valuable resource. Nowadays everybody seems to be in support breastfeeding, when some years back it may not have been the case. Obviously, every family is different, and each family has their own reasons for doing things the way they do. A doctor can recommend whatever they want to recommend, but there’s nothing quite like another mother that is in the same situation, going through what you’re going through. Everybody’s experiences are quite different while raising a baby and getting feedback and advice from other mothers is exponentially greater than the random strangers you encounter dishing out unsolicited advice.
Sorry, their name isn’t as funny as La Leche League. I’m curious about their mission statement, which starts with:
“Babywearing International, Inc. (BWI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote babywearing as a universally accepted practice …”
I’m not quite sure where babywearing isn’t an accepted practice, but maybe you guys can enlighten me. At any rate, if there’s one thing that’s not one size fits all is babywearing carriers. There’s all kinds in all price ranges and they all claim to be the best. We’ve tried some of those called “best” and some recommended heavily by some mommy bloggers, and most didn’t seem to agree with Little Girl. Enter Babywearing International. For a $30 yearly fee, you can check-out different carriers so that you can try them out and see what works for you.
Last but not least, “It takes a village to raise a child” definitely includes family. Who’s going to be there on the other end of the phone (hopefully not snoozing), while we go on and on about our baby not sleeping for longer than five minutes? Who’s going to babysit when we’ve spent the last bit of energy remaining and we need a little break? Who’s going to bring us awesome presents during Christmas time every year? Family! (Did you get that, family?). Motherly advice is always welcomed (hopefully your moms are nice too!), and sister-in-laws that love their niece and want to babysit are a godsend.
We definitely couldn’t do this alone, and we’re grateful for all the resources available to us. I’ve sure I’ve left some out. Thanks especially to both our families for supporting us and loving Little Girl as much as we do.