Some random thoughts on parenting

Saturday, January 30, 2010
I've been reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp and one of the things he discussed really resonated with me. I am prone to the "must handle everything by myself" syndrome of parenting, and rarely ask for help or leave Lincoln with anyone other than Lucas if I need to run an errand. It has seemed hard at times, but I always told myself "Self--you only have one child! People have multiple children and are able to manage by themselves just fine. Suck it up!" But then I read this book and it made me think. Dr. Karp brought up the fact that we are NOT meant to raise children alone. That bit of wisdom that "It takes a village to raise a child"--until fairly recently in history, that was still a way of life! We may live hundreds of miles away from our family, but that is a relatively new phenomenon. People used to stay in or near the town where there families lived. I'm not meaning that was a hard and fast rule of life, but it was the way things were for a LOT of people up until the somewhat recent past (say, early 20th century or so). Up until then, new moms and dads had relatives surrounding them, helping them care for baby, cooking meals, babysitting, cousins would play together, etc.

I think now, many of us new moms are so focused on being independent parents that we don't reach out. Sure, I don't have the option to call my mom to watch Lincoln when I need to run an errand, but I think I could have done a better job of asking for support instead of trying to do everything myself. Lincoln is very attached to Lucas and me--and I love that--but I think it is also important that he build relationships with extended family/friends/other adults. We do participate in play groups and he has stayed with a good friend a few times on his own--and he's been fine. And when we have gone to visit family, they have watched him while Lucas and I have gone out to a movie or dinner. And that is great. But it is still different from the "it takes a village" thought in that he hasn't really established a standing "relationship" from being watched every so often. (of course, grandparents are different--we do our best to keep their relationship with him fresh through Skype, saying nite-nite to their pictures, talking on the phone, etc.).

I think all this rambling is trying to say that I would like to start building more relationships for Lincoln outside of our little 3 person home. As much for me as for him! We can all use support and I think that has been hard to accept...but now that I see it not so much as giving up independence as building a community, I think it will be easier. And Lincoln loves being around people--so I think he will love it. So--if you are already a part of our community, I guess you can count on us reaching out a bit more in the future...hope you're up for that : ) I mean, how could you resist this face:


*if you read all this, you deserve a medal. late night ramblings....always fun : )

6 comments:

  1. I'm proud of you for coming to this realization. Although I knew this in my heart, you had to find it for yourself. You are an awesome mother, Lucas is a terrific dad and Lincoln is blessed to have you two as his parents, but people really do want to help. Don't be afraid to ask for help or to take it when it is offered. I wish we lived closer.....
    All my love,
    Mom/Grandma

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  2. I think this is a really great topic that we often overlook as parents.

    I was very lucky to be raised in the home where my mom grew up and lived there with my parents, sister and grandparents. We also lived within 20 minutes of almost all my aunt and uncles. I do not have a single memory of going to the grocery store when I was small, most likely because I never went I am sure I was home playing with my grandparents.

    We also never went to play dates because their was always some cousin over to play.

    I think forming bonds with friends and neighbors is so important these days with everyone having family spread around the world. Great blog post.

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  3. I ditto what your mom said. I also noticed the new header and like it.

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  4. oh how I wish I was closer to come snatch him away...hmmmm...maybe have to make plans for this:)

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  5. Love the new header as well, it makes me hope that Spring will come quickly.
    We're in the same boat here. We've been in the burgh now for four years and I became a stay at home mom when we moved here, before that I ALWAYS worked at least full time. Before we moved here we were surrounded(literally) with family and good friends. Here we are an island. We have some ummmm...trust issues, I guess you could say when it comes to people watching our children, so we NEVER, EVER, EVER have a babysitter or someone over to watch them. If it's not grandparents (or other family) then it doesn't happen.
    We've reached the same conclusion here, and we've resolved to try to find more ways to branch out this year. Praying it goes well for you!

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  6. I've been reading the same book, and thinking the same thing. Lincoln is adorable!

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