I used to miss the village and when I saw this article titled “I Miss the Village” I really felt the loss, the need to create my own village. When I uproot myself and arrive in a new place I find I have new clarity and a greater sense of purpose. So moving here, 3 years ago, has enabled me to build a strong web of people around me – my village. I can safely say that I no longer miss the village.
However, a few weeks ago, I landed in the deep end, caring for two teenagers, whilst their parents – my closest friends, who are more like family, went away to Africa for 10 days. I have to say, I wasn’t ready! I’ve known this family for over 8 years now and have seen their children grow up, whilst doing a lot of growing up myself, so I had an idea of what might be in store. Oh the conversations, the questions, the arguments, the laughter!
I learnt a lot that’s for sure, maybe you’ll resonate with my discoveries!
- The only times you get to be you and I mean truly you are: on a morning for about half an hour, after this, you start thinking “I need to go wake them up soon”, when you have a shower/climb into bed on an evening (after the bed time battle has ended). Occasionally you might get to be yourself if you go to the toilet, but you’ll probably end up having a conversation through the closed door. Even when you get to go to work, you’re a little bit more yourself but not completely as you have now taken on your professional role.
- Self care is almost impossible. I am a big advocate for self care and I like to think I’m quite good at asking for it, giving myself permission for it. Normally, when I’m on my period I don’t drink any caffeine or alcohol as I feel my body is doing quite a lot without adding more into the mix! However, when I realised my period and my new found parenthood would coincide, I forgave myself for the fact that my self care would now be: a large mug of coffee (maybe 2) on a morning and a very large glass of wine on an evening.
- Sitting down is lethal, don’t do it until you’ve finished everything! I sort of already knew this, but not the enormity of the importance of it. Inertia hits the moment you sit down.
I’m sure I learnt loads more, but those were the main points! I think the reason I struggled as so many parents do, is that we are doing this in isolation. We haven’t evolved emotionally yet, to cope with all of this and we shouldn’t have to! Parents, single parents, parents whose partner is away a lot, I salute you! We were designed to be doing this with a whole village around us!
Part of my role as Doula is to serve women through pregnancy and birth. However, I’m feeling more and more that I need to extend this to Life in general.
So here I am offering my Life Doula services to you all. I currently do a school run one afternoon a week for the daughter of one of my friends. I also recently, tended to another friend on her sick bed with a nasty bout of the flu – which her whole family caught, whilst her husband was away.
We can sit and drink tea, or busy ourselves in the kitchen cooking together, walking home from school, doing washing and hanging it out. Whether you have children or not, a partner or not, whether they’re at home or away. Let’s just do ‘life’ together. Have ‘those’ conversations with the children and with each other. Sound things out.
Some of my biggest life events have occurred in someone else’s kitchen, doing all of the above.
Be in touch, my door is open wide
Love and Light