Welcome To The Village

 
‘It takes a village to raise a child’ – African proverb

 
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We’re all familiar with the above quote and its implications but the reality is that for many of us in this contemporary society the village is no longer a concept that features prominently in our social structures. Part of this, I believe, is that we have constructed a modern idea of what motherhood is and it’s far from realistic.

The idea goes a little bit like this:

She is a university graduate who, when she starts a family, is obviously overqualified for this menial role and does everything with aplomb. She keeps not only a clean and tidy house, but also one that could easily win interior design awards. But, not content with merely domesticity she also has her own successful blog which, from advertisements and product reviews she generates an income of note, pins her amazing creations on Pinterest where they are quickly pinned by her followers and, just as an aside, she raises well-adjusted and academically gifted children.

She is a one woman show who doesn’t need a supporting cast.

Except, of course, that she does.

You see, in reality she can’t keep on top of the housework, her blog has not been updated in months and she only really had a handful of people ever visit it, and scrolling through Pinterest leaves her with feelings of inadequacy. Her children are far from well-behaved and quite frankly, she’s beginning to wonder if she’s an ineffective parent altogether.

We’ve all been there.

But the truth is, that we don’t have to stay there. We are not a one woman show and we really need a supporting cast. In fact we need more than that, we need a village.

We, especially women, crave emotional connections. We need conversations and community. We are relational beings and often the hardest moments in life are those times that we feel alone.

Young Catholic Mums, for many of us, has created a network where we can get in contact with other mums in similar situations. And this online presence is fantastic, but what if we could use YCM as a springboard to relationships that are a little more tangible? Ones that see us meeting face to face, not just viewing each other’s profile pictures?

 The YCM village initiative

The idea is simple; let’s create a village for young Catholic mothers all around Australia. Let’s give ourselves the support and community that is necessary for raising children today.

Our world is a fractured one that lacks love, empathy and understanding. We no longer know our neighbours and it’s not safe to let our children play in the street. We keep to ourselves and immerse ourselves in technology which makes us more connected but leaves us feeling more alone.

A village is the opposite of all of those things. It fosters support, love and compassion. It is a feeling of family, of belonging, that is not necessarily reliant on biological relationships but a unity of purpose and quality friendships.

Who among us doesn’t desire to have a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves, something that affirms us in our role of mothers and aids us in countless ways throughout our parenting journey?

So then, what can we – you – do to help create, and become part of a village? You can:

Link your existing mother’s group to YCM

If you already attend a mother’s group in your area, link it to YCM by advertising it on the website and posting any upcoming activities for mums in your area. Utilise the online resources to facilitate discussions at your group. Create a network through your mother’s group so that mums can ask the group for help and nominate a good organiser to network the participants and spur them into action when help is needed. For example organising meals, house cleaning or babysitting for stressed out mums or new mothers.

Start a mother’s group

If you don’t yet have a mothers group in your area, why not start one? You can always start small and build from there and you can use YCM for resources, help initiating a mothers group and you can advertise your meetings online as well.

Join our online discussion group

The YCM private discussion group is a great forum already utilised by many, and questions can be posted anonymously if you’re a little shy about certain subjects.

Comment and participate regularly online

A village is only effective if we all participate and share the love and support. The overwhelming support for YCM has been staggering and it can only get better from here on in!

Post articles

You don’t have to be a talented writer to contribute. We all have our own unique voices and we are all too willing to help you massage your thoughts into an interesting post.

These are just a few ideas of how we can bring back the village. If you have any ideas please share them below!


Read more about the village initiative..

 

Filed Under: Just For MumPersonal Growth

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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  1. Regina says:

    A wonderful initiative!!!! Definitely willing to contribute in any way.

  2. Carmel says:

    Sounds great, unless you live in the completely fervent Catholic starved state of Canberra! Every week I get my “wish I were in Melbourne” blues….But really I am so happy for all the Mums who can access parts of the village, and very grateful for the online presence at least. Keep up the good work!

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