Jess of Bringing Up Baby posted about raising your child in a community today and this is something that has been on my heart for a while now. We plan to raise our boys surrounded by as many good people as possible and here are a few reasons why:
- We don’t have all the answers. Sure, we have Google at our fingertips, but sometimes it means more to hear about something from someone you know and trust who has experience with it. Surrounding our children with people from different backgrounds and perspectives gives them the opportunity to learn life lessons directly from those who lived them. This can provide them with value that we as their parents may not have.
- It adds color to their world. We want them to experience all the world has to offer, to hear many different perspectives, ideas, stories. They can grow up seeing that life can be lived in many different ways, different from how their parents do it, and how this is something beautiful, not scary. The more they see of the gray world as they grow, the less daunting it will be when they enter adulthood.
- They won’t always confide in us. It is a rare thing for a child to always confide in their parents as they grow older. By surrounding them with loving adults they can trust, it gives them opportunities to ask them questions and advice with a lower perceived risk. [Read as: I really don’t want to end up on Teen Mom.]
- It allows mama and papa periodic respites from the craziness that can be raising a family. As a parent and as a couple, sometimes we need breaks where we can sit down and take a deep breath. Sending the boys off with our parents or the next door neighbors for an evening can allow us to center ourselves or focus a little on each other. Our relationship needs those little breaks so we can feel connected and re-engergized. And we’re blessed to have so many around us willing to take our kids off of our hands for a few hours (or days).
- We won’t always be on this earth. God forbid anything happens to us any time soon, but whenever it does, our boys will have a large social network to lean on for support. They will have other people in their lives that can love and support them unconditionally, as we do now. Many people will be there to pick them back up.
I refuse to put pressure on myself to be the be all, end all for my children. It’s not realistic. They are my #1 priority, but for me part of that means taking good care of myself and my marriage. The stronger those two are, the better I feel and act as a mama. And in order to do that I need support from others. It took me over 25 years to fully realize, but help is NOT a bad thing. In fact, it can be positive for all parties involved.
All that being said, can we start building that Tumblr commune now? Times a wastin’!
[This is what works for us. It is in no way a dig at any other parenting style. Live and let live.]