#MommyTalks – It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

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The other day I was asking M’s paediatrician if I was doing the right thing sending her to the crèche. If that was making her prone to frequent bouts of fever and cough. Was I exposing her to the outside world too soon? That’s when he said something which healed the wounded and guilty mother in me. Well, at least, for a while.

 

Sending her to the crèche was good he said. She would learn something new every day and as far as the fever and cough are concerned, there was nothing to worry about. She would have gotten those even if you had kept her at home. Such a relief I must say. I could have just hugged him but that wouldn’t have been appropriate, right?

 

It’s very easy to fall into the parenting guilt trap. One of M’s earlier paediatrician went so far as to say that I should have kept her at home, at least, till she was 1. It’s something I have heard often but hearing it from your child’s doctor shakes something within you. But that day, I felt the sweet release of guilt. And it was wonderful.

 

Parenting isn’t easy. It’s perhaps the toughest job out there. To top it all, my way of parenting might not be yours. But as parents, we need to form a tribe to support each other instead of finding fault with each other’s methods. Well, as far as possible.

 

Working or a stay-at-home mother?

 

Working or not, every mother does her best. Keeping a child at the crèche or at home doesn’t reflect how much or how less a mother loves her child.

 

My mother was a stay-at-home mother. In fact, you could say she still is because in spite of being miles apart and being all grown up, we still need and bother her throughout the day. We saw first hand how hard she worked. So, I know it’s a fallacy that one mother works or cares more than the other.

 

I chose to be a working mother without meaning any disrespect to one who chooses to stay at home.

 

Being a mother is a 24X7 job. That’s why we need and must take all the support we can. We need a village, our own village. Instead of bickering as to who is superior, we need to help each other as much as we can, as mothers, as women. If possible, we need to be each other’s village. As a working mum, I found mine at the creche.

 

A couple of weeks back when my daughter turned 1 we had a small cake cutting ceremony at her crèche. It was when all the kids had gathered along with the wonderful caretakers that I realised how grateful I am to these women. They are the ones who give me the chance to be a working mum. It takes a village to raise a child and they are a part of mine. 

 

They don’t know how much they help mothers like me. I have seen them take care of my daughter. The amount of love they shower on her and the patience is truly overwhelming. Honestly, I ended up learning so much from them.

 

Today when it is hard to trust anyone let alone someone with your baby, these women have not only kept up my trust but have doted on my daughter as well. While you hear scary tales of day care staff committing atrocities on small children every other day, I have been lucky enough to have found women who actually care.

 

Touchwood.

 

And what I love most, you know? Women helping other women out, a symbiotic relationship. A support system made up of women. It’s wonderful.

 

It is not easy keeping your child away from you during the day, five days a week. I have been called names or people, women actually, have insinuated that I should have found happiness or completeness in seeing my daughter grow instead of leaving her in the care of others. How could I leave my baby in the care of someone else?

 

But you know what? I do see my daughter grow. Every single day. The only difference is that I entrust her with professionals who are trained to take care of children. I do this to find some time to work on achieving my own goals. It’s just my choice. I take the help of my village. How can that be wrong?

 

Initially, I too was sceptical about leaving her in the crèche. But so far they haven’t given me a reason to worry. It is extremely hard to even today leave M each morning, after six months of doing it every day. A part of me often raises that finger of blame and shame at my reflection for doing so. That’s when the care M receives at the crèche works as a calming agent.

 

I’m sure M will understand why I did what I did. And that’s what matters the most. I’m sure she’ll be loved as much as a child who stays at home.

 

I chose to be a working mum and decided to expand my village outside of my family. It’s all about choices after all, isn’t it? It’s a relief that for now that village has helped me immensely and kept up my trust. But I have not outsourced being a mother to my child. Never will.

 

Tell me, do you have a village to help raise your kids?

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15 thoughts on “#MommyTalks – It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

  1. I was lucky Naba I had my support system at home with my parents doing the looking after. I have been both a stay at home and working mom. Both have their good and not so good sides. Wishing you a very happy 2017.

  2. When I knew I was about to be a single mom of 4 I networked my closest family and friends together – those I would trust – and between all of us we had it covered. Most times it does take a village. – Happy New Year!
    #WriteTribeFacebook

  3. I know what you mean, Naba. It does take so many people to help you raise a child. It takes time to reconcile to the fact that there will be some who will not agree with the choices you make. Initially it hurt. But now l care no longer. I do what l wish to do in my own way – – it may be flawed. Luckily l’ve found support from my loved ones and also from so many mothers especially online. I am sure you and M will do just fine.

  4. Nailed it girl !!! i think its not easy for both working or stay at home mothers.. they face their own challenges!!

  5. It’s tough raising a child and definitely it doesn’t take just one person to do so. Unfortunately very often the entire load and of course guilt too is place on the mother. She is expected to be responsible for every small thing the child requires. However, the truth the child needs much more than justva mother. Can understand what u must be going through. All I can say is no guilt. Ur little one would meet more people at the crèche and the exposure she would get is immense.

  6. As you know I have been a working mother till about two years ago. And so I completely understand the need for a support system. Be it parents, in-laws, caretakers or creches. Parenting is a non-stop class and we learn and unlearn almost every hour. Like you said, we must try and help each other as much as possible instead of finding fault in each other’s way of handling parenting. A Very Happy New Year to you, S and M. Stay blessed.

  7. Hugs to you naba as I know its not easy leaving your daughter in the creche but believe me its for the best. She will be fine and we moms have this habit of feeling guilty all the time..working or not working. I run this activity center in which I have to be out in the evenings to see all the after school classes and for that also I feel guilty sometimes. My girls are big now..so, what I have learnt is that Its ok to just go with the flow and be a happy mommy as only a happy mommy can raise a happy family. 🙂

  8. I think each mom has her own comfort zone, and a set of unique circumstances. Given that each of us have to find what keeps her happy. There really is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ here. If each of us understood that, life would be easy. I am glad you have a good women looking out for M and I’m sure she will grow up into a happy self-assured child just like her mom :-).

  9. You deserve accolades for all you have been doing and keeping guilt at a distance. It is true every mother needs a village to raise her child whether working or stay-at-home. I still need my parents for advices with respect to Dhruv and I call them as and when I need anything.

  10. Yes, it takes a village to raise a child…..can we ever grow up in isolation….? Although I am a stay-at-home mom, my village is my neighbors and their kids – we are living each day in proximity with each other, learning through each others’ experiences and mistakes. Working moms or those at home – both work hard to make sure their kids’ interests are best taken care of. And you rightly pointed out the bit about women helping women – that mutual nurturing is crucial for both parties involved.

  11. It indeed takes a village to raise a child. You child wil be exposed to so many varied personalities so early in your life. It ought to do her good, I believe. Kudos to you for balancing all this.

  12. Women must reach out for all the help they need cos like you I believe that even mother need to grow and flourish. I am glad you were able to show guilt the door. Never do that to yourself, Naba. That path is dangerous and a vicious circle.

  13. I believe every one should choose what they belief is the best choice for their child. I think far too many are being judged by others, too oppinated people. I chose myself to be a working mum. Now, my kids are all grown up though… I think it is good to have different people around a child, so I belief a village is a good thing …. more grownups to support, nurture and teach about life… great written piece, naba:-) All the best

  14. I am sure she will be fine. You are the best mom for her .And working mons are no different from SAHM.I am so glad you have a great crèche. I few up in a creche .My mom was working too .I have no observable issues except I am a tad too independent. Mill do great

  15. Such a valid post. It does take a village to raise a child. One ought to help the other, in every way they can. Best Wishes. Cheers.

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