I’ve read a lot of posts as of late that have spoken directly to the melancholy feelings of mamas and how much they miss ‘the village’ of days gone by. The village being that beautiful place where mothers would spend their days loving, nurturing, and nourishing their babes together. Where they walked the regularly lonely road of motherhood arm in arm, sharing laughter, tears, meals and the rest of the workload together.
Often when I read these posts I’d agree from behind my computer screen “yea, me too”. We’ve made a relatively small effort to get to know our neighbors (we’re working on it) but I don’t even know if I’d be comfortable asking for a cup of sugar let alone sharing the highs and lows of parenthood (currently they parent a boxer and a small loud fluffy thing, so that might be the other barrier). But seriously, it doesn’t take a PHD in Sociology to realize our society is more connected than ever before, but in the same breath, has never been more isolated. We know every lovely gift you receive from your significant other, every delicious brunch you eat (guilty) and all your #squadgoals but often we miss the real life, color outside the line moments that make us mamas collectively ask “Am I doing this right?”
Sigh…the village., we miss you.
Of course, I do have my real friends that that are on this journey with me. The ones I feel like I am constantly asking/texting “what did you do when…” or “Finn has this little mark on her leg…” or my personal favorite “when is it socially acceptable to sell my baby?…” after hours of non-stop teething crankiness. The ones that have cooked for me, cleaned for me and snuggled my baby girl have all played a roll in my little itty bitty village. Yes, they are a beautiful part of this season but I’ve realized they aren’t the only piece of my village anymore.
I recently stumbled upon an illuminating thought; I was working on a post about some of my most beloved pieces of baby gear and suddenly I noticed a pattern, almost every piece of baby stuff I adored and was gushing about, I had learned about through other mama blogs. So many of my tips, tricks and venting moments have been credited to my online networks. Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, I didn’t even know these women but they had provided me with so much sanity, laughter and relatable moments. It hit me in that moment…
The internet is the new village.
In almost any industry, business or organism, it’s a well known fact that if you’re not moving forward and continue to rely on growth/success/development of the past, you’re often stalled or cease to exist or in the case of living things – die. You’re not thinking forward., you’re not growing and adapting. (My husband has informed me that this is an actual theory called “The Paradox of Success”, so feel free to Google that in all your spare time. ) I’ve been a part of communities/work places where this was the mentality. We like to talk about things that used to work, saw results etc. and continue to dwell on the glory days, almost to a point of “well weren’t those the days…” as if nothing good can come from now. Spoiler alert – Focusing on what is gone will cause you to miss what is here.
The realities of real live community living (Seriously, my biggest dream. I’d be all sister wifey if I could be – minus have to actually share my husband) where we sit on the front porch together mending socks and spanking each other’s children when they misbehave (Too far? Maybe, but I was spanked and I turned out all right. Mostly.) are a distant, idyllic memory in this fast paced, constantly connected on-the-go society.
Behold, the new village. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, we all know there will always be those harsh, faceless critics who can sit behind their screens and critique every choice and decision you make and let’s be honest, before the internet, that’s what book clubs and happy hour were for (I kid, but you get it – there will always be nay-sayers.). A huge part of me starting this blog was the transparency of life. I want to strive to be someone that you know the ups, but there’s never a charade that there’s no downs. Marriage is hard, children are challenging and I want to like kale but I also love Mcdonald’s. I’m not the first person to preach vulnerability and transparency on social media but I think it needs to be remembered. This is the new village, support and share with one another. Make the Internet great again. (I couldn’t resist.)
But seriously, use that keyboard to bring encouragement to someone else’s day.