Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The State of The Mama Rant

Dear Village Members:

Remember those days when my belly bulged to the point of suffering, the way you – all of you – stared at me, felt sorry for me, and longed to help me and those baby girls inside of me. It’s impossible to minimize the importance of pregnancy, of carrying two human beings in my body. You held doors for me, switched chairs for me, made sure I was feeling well, eating well and drinking well.

We’re so excited, you said.

Oh, we can’t wait to meet them, you continued.

Whatever you need, just say it and we’ll be there.

The African Proverb that it takes a village to raise a child isn’t literal, is it?

Instead, American families live parallel lives often never really connecting. A family could be floundering, might be breaking down, could be on the brink and where’s the village? The village is busy looking away, surfing the Internet, shopping at Wally World, praying.

Where are the doers of the village? The ones who know what it’s like to want to break down and cry from exhaustion? Where are the ones who just want to spend a half hour entertaining two of the cutest little girls in the world while their Mama cooks their meal or their parents walk hand-in-hand around the block for the first time in more than 18 months? Where are the ones who want to watch them splash around in the sprinkler, wearing nothing but elephant towels and diapers?

I am a lone villager in this camp five days a week. Are children so old news that we don't need to watch the amazing adventure of their growth in person? Are monthly e-mail photos really enough?

Where are the ones who believe in that African Proverb?

I’m so busy, you say.

Perhaps.

But, maybe you’ve heard of another saying, the one that suggests that human beings tend to always make time for what is important.

Who's important to you today?

Find a way to get to them, and hug them. Or, at least send them a real card through the village donkey.

5 comments:

MorningSong said...

I feel like you are reading my mind! :) I am mommy to two little ones, they are 18 months apart.

I did have ONE good experience recently. I was out running errands, etc and went to the mall for lunch. The food court is a God-send! My day was progressively spirally downward when lunch just added to my peril! I had to leave my kids and stroller so I could try to carry 2 highchairs to our table and so many things went awful from this point on that I don't dare bore you with them. In the end a lady came over to offer me help - it was THAT bad!! She brought me to tears b/c up until then I felt we were invisible. You know, the kind of invisible where people see you are having a bad day and it is too much to bear so they just look away!

It was refreshing for someone to finally ask me if I needed help. Too bad it was a stranger! But still I didn't feel invisible in my journey of mothering my 2 angels for one day!

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Oh, yes! I think that in the mothering thing we Americans prize our individuality too much. When I was working for pay and got sick, I would take a day off and people would cover for me. As a mama, I have to have my husband take a day off and have his people cover for him.

I could actually rant quite a bit about this...

I am visiting friends soon and volunteered to take night duty on their child, since I'm already used to waking at night with my own. :) I think it helps to volunteer our services when we can too.

bella said...

Thank-you for this reminder.
The isolation becomes so "normal", expected, that to think of others coming and sharing the work or even just joining in the work so as to not be doing it alone, it makes me cry.

lesleysmeshly said...

Great post, right when I needed to read it. I am in the isolation funk and am trying to claw my way out.

Candace & Anna said...

I too feel the isolation of being a SAH Mommy. All of my friends work so I don't have anyone to get together with to help or not. I have one that lived beside me for a while and we would help each other out so that was nice but she has since moved and I am once again on my own. To bad the real world isn't like the bloggy world. I am sure any number of us would be willing to help each other out. Maybe that should be our real task find a Mommy at the park or somewhere to get to know and start helping each other.