How often do you hear this from mom friends…or from your very own lips?
“I just need a break.”
But here’s a thing. Getting a break is kind of a new idea. Even needing a break is kind of a new idea. We have more leisure; our expectations for quality of life are higher than previous generations. We often come to equate quality of life with down time. Our forbears were a lot more sturdy and perhaps had the expectation that life was going to take work. And it was tiring.
And that wasn’t BAD. It just WAS.
But they had something else, too, that I think we overlook when we compare the pros and cons of “today” to “back in the day.”
They had community. Usually. And so many of us do not have a village. Even when I was a little girl, my small world felt like a village. The neighbourhood was comprised of families, mostly intact, mostly in the same socio-economic sphere. Mostly with little kids. When the school aged kids went off to school in the morning, moms often had coffee together.
Family life was not as insular as it is now.
That’s a kind of village. In an ideal world, I think, moms and dads and aunties and, grandparents, cousins and friends are all in pretty close proximity, have similar ideals, would spend time working and leisuring (I just made that up) together.
What happens is that we get our jobs done, and our need to be social all at the same time, and so do the children, when you have a village. But something more happens, too. We all develop a better sense of what is normal. In child-rearing, in mental health, in marriage matters, in personal growth. It makes joy more possible.
It seems like we are all don’t know if we are normal.
So, life is harder than it should be, it’s harder to find joy, it’s harder to raise children, it’s harder to be married – when we are all floundering around not knowing if everything is okay. OF COURSE we would all need a break from that.
Where do we find the joy in that?
But. 1. most of us don’t live in villages, and 2. most of us need to get a break. Life will be better if we address both of those concerns, then, because they are two sides of the same coin.
So I don’t need to burden you or this post with more info. But if you are struggling with alone-ness, lack-of-village-ness, you might want to peruse those posts.
Next post, however, I’ll address some ways that we can create some mom time.
This is where I am. Creating some mom time.