Wednesday, January 25, 2017

If it takes a village, then where's my tribe??

I have a newborn daughter. She is almost 3 months old. I have decided she is beautiful and adorable and also that having an infant is the hardest frickin thing in the world. I do not believe that raising a child was ever meant to be a one-woman show, or even a two-person job for that matter. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and in our independent isolated society I would like to know where is my  village?? I want to sit around the local watering hole and have the village women take turns passing Shiloh around so that I can finish a load of laundry. Or have the evening meal prepared by the other dozen women in my tribe so that I can feed my baby for the fourteenth time that day. Then when my husband comes back from the day's kill, fulfilled by manly bonding and a sense of supreme achievement, he will have the energy to take entertain Shiloh for a bit while Mom, heaven forbid, takes a flippin' nap.

But in our isolated society where I don't even ask the neighbors for a cup of sugar anymore, I feel like  we are conditioned to believe that asking people for help is not only a sign of complete weakness, but an utter imposition upon those we are asking. Instead we should just shell out the money for a daycare we can't afford and leave our offspring with strangers. Or we an just tote them around with us in our fancy carrier and then get dirty looks from people when they start to cry. Sorry, people, newborns cry. They just do.

I'm starting to appreciate the cultures that keep the whole family under one roof. Sure, the six cars in the drive way is excessive, and I may not be a fan of their cultural music, but at least they have the humility to seek help from those around them. Us white people are just fooling ourselves to think we can do everything on our own strength and resources.

I suppose that, ideally, this is where the church body would come in. As church planters (which is just code for 'our church meets in our living room') we have attracted younger members who want to learn from us (as if we know what we're doing). What we lack are the wise sages and the matriarchs who have had been there, done that a dozen times over. In our situation we are the pastors, and so we really have no one pastoring us. Although we did get a card from a neighboring church congratulating us on our baby Grace (in case you didn't pick up, her name is Shiloh).

I'm not sure how a change in attitude is going to fix this one. I'm already stripped of any pride and am completely willing to ask for help , I'm just not always sure where to find it. SO until then, thank God  for take-out a baby-sitters.