It Takes a Virtual Village

There are many reasons to pine for days past. Your kids walked out the front door on a summer morning and didn’t return until dusk, and that would be a normal day. Babies were easy, because there were rows of knees to bounce them and a dozen arms to cradle them. Everyone did a little for meals, and no one did too much. Life was grand.

Then the world sped up. Became more automated. We spend more time in cars, alone, with technology instead of people.

Progress has been made. Diseases have been eradicated. Rights have been conferred more equally.

But the village endures, but it now lives online. Groups of women gather by the thousands on Facebook groups and around popular forums to support each other around topics such as babywearing, breastfeeding, and appreciating the paradoxical “Longest Shortest Time.” When a woman was interrogated by intrusive co-workers about her breastfeeding intentions, hundreds rallied with encouraging notes. When visits from in-laws triggered anticipatory stress, a thread unfurled with ‘worst-of’ comments and digital guffaws. When moms reached their breaking point under the demands of work and family, we banded together generously and without hesitation. And it saves me.

Where do you find the support and encouragement you need as a parent? Where is your village?

Andrea Lee is a mom who’s winging it, just like everyone else. 

Tags: Community, together, social, support network, friends, neighbors, youth development, Mother, Mom, encouragement

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