I talk a lot about "village building". This is because I deeply feel having a "village" is a critical part to having a better postpartum experience (and hint…also to enjoying life with young children too). I also feel this is what society is lacking on a bigger scale too - human connection, community, interconnectedness.
The problem many mothers face is that we are actually taught and encouraged to believe that independence, selflessness and martyrdom are what we should be shooting for.
And guess what happens? We buy into that idea. We put on the super hero cape and take on the load of mothering our babies and small children all on our own. We’re high fived instead of helped by society. "Wow, I don’t know how you do it all!" But inevitably - maybe it takes a few weeks at home with your small newborn or maybe it takes a few years slogging through the relentless tasks of parenting young children - we start to crack under the weight of it all.
We crack because we aren’t meant to do it all ourselves.
We. Are. Not.
I learned about the concept of "alloparenting" from my doula teacher Julia Jones.
In traditional village based, hunter gatherer societies (which is how humans have lived for the vast majority of human existence) a baby would have an average of 14 different adult caregivers.
A baby was seen as a shared responsibility amongst the the village.
Now all of that responsibility is place onto one person. And that's a lot.
It’s easy to get resentful and angry when we think about the idea of a "village raising a child" when it seems like there is no obvious village around us now. I deeply understand this. When my first child was born - I lived across the country from my family, had no close friends nearby - I felt really alone. Here’s the thing I’ve since learned though - your modern village is what you create intentionally. Over the past few years, I’ve decided to rebel against this idea and form my own village of support.
I moved across the country to live hear family.
I now live in an multigenerational household where we divide household tasks amongst three adults.
My children have multiple caregivers, including teachers, extra curricular activity coaches and a babysitter.
I have many people that support me emotionally including a therapist, parenting coach, business coaches, colleagues, friends and close family members. I live and have experienced what I talk about on my platforms and what I teach to the clients that I work with.
Intentionally creating a circle of support makes all the difference.
With warmth, light and love,
P.S. - I’d love to hear about your village of support and what you feel is missing in yours heading into your birth and postpartum.
Send me a message and I'd love to see if I can help!