I don't believe it takes a village to raise a child. I believe it takes a family. An extended family.
In certain parts of the world, we'd share a compound with mom, dad, our siblings and their family. My sister-in-law would nurse Peter while I walk a mile to draw water. (I'm not kidding, folks.) Nana would pitch in with the kids while we worked in the fields. Older cousins would chase the little ones around while we pound grain for dinner. You get the idea.
Childcare is far from new and, I increasingly believe, a near requisite for sane motherhood. Yet, like so many in the US, I live too far from my family for regular help. My son's determination to sleep from 11-1 has temporarily ruled out any sort of Mother's Day Out.
I find myself lonely and exhausted at the end of most days. Sometimes 12 hours will pass when the only conversation I have is like the one we had in the car this afternoon:
"Yes, I see the cement truck."
"Yes, you saw a cement truck. Peter saw a cement truck."
"Here is your water. Please do not take your shoes off."
"No, Peter, keep your shoes on. Shoes on. Obey."
"Shoes on. Shoes off."
"Keep your shoes on. Thank you."
I nod my head.
"Yes, I see the crane truck."
"Peter, I see the crane truck. What color was the crane truck?"
"Daddy will be home soon."
"Yes, daddy is at work."
All this being said, I'm not checking into the mental ward just yet. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. More later.