Last week, a friend from Chicago came to visit us in DC. Both our husbands were traveling Monday-Thursday. So, instead of parenting alone, we did it together. Granted, we doubled the number of kids, but it was still more manageable than if either of us had been on our own.
We live in a world very different from when our parents raised us. A lot of people live away from family so they don’t have familial support in raising their children. We often pay for sitters instead of leaving the kids with Pops or Gaga (grandparents). We tend to make good friends in our ‘new’ cities but don’t always lean on them to help in the caregiving of our children, even when we’re in a bind.
Women, generations ago, used to cook together, clean together, watch each other’s kids when errands needed to be run, etc. Women at home used to work in a communistic environment. They weren’t raising their children as individually as we do today.
Last week, I reaped the benefits of communal living. It was nice. Parenting can be very isolating when you’re home, however, this week was anything but isolating. I had a companion the whole time. It makes a difference when one person can cook while the other watches the kids, or when one person can read to the children while the other mom puts one down. Also having another mom present, helps you stay calmer longer and allows for extra help when a tantrum arises.
Everything is better when you do it with a friend. Whether we live near or far, what matters is the time you spend together. This week, think of someone who’s been a good friend and let them know how. Write them a letter, send them a random bouquet of flowers or chocolates, or just pick up the phone and say so.
We are all blessed to have friends! I hope you have a great week.