Monday, October 24, 2011

Raising a child without a village

We’ve all heard the phrase it takes a village to raise a child. Having support when raising a child is crucial, and I know many people who rely on a village to assist in raising their family. It could be their immediate family, extended family, spouse, parents, or friends. These are the people that have your whole back, who are there for you and your family. You here about all the wonderful benefits of having a village, but what happens this village doesn't exist for you and your family? 

I read a lot of posts talking about the wonderful support people have in their lives, and I sink down in my seat. It’s no secret I’m a single parent, but beyond myself I’m the only one around consistently caring for my child. The dynamics of my immediate family have changed, and though I wish it weren’t the case, they are no longer a phone call away. I was frustrated last weekend because I wanted to go for a run Saturday morning…and had no one to call. Sure, I could hire a sitter, but that’d swallow more of the money I don’t have. Maybe it’s my pride; I don’t love asking for help. Part of me expects the people who claim to care for my daughter and I to step up and make more of an effort to be part of her life.

While it would be great to get out once in awhile, that’s not my reason for desiring a village. I view a village as a safety net. You know the trust fall we did back in high school. I want to close my eyes, fall back, and know I won’t hit the ground. Trusting in united hands to support not only me, but my daughter as well.

Have I tried to build up my village? Of course. But, something is missing. Something big. I am doing my best, but I wonder how great I’d be doing if I had a village behind me.