Chapter 2 – The Go-It-Alone Culture (On Needing People)

31 Jan

“Motherhood was meant to be experienced with other mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and a community of women sharing the load.  Please do not attempt to do this alone.”  -Sally Clarkson, pg 14

You may know this story.   Mike was out of town for a week and I stayed at home with the two littles.  Hazel was sleeping in our room, and at some odd stage she wasn’t falling asleep until 2am; Ambrose was waking at 5:30am. I was downright exhausted, and I felt so isolated.  I asked for help, but the people I asked couldn’t provide the physical support I needed.

I thought of the house I lived in.  It was built in 1875 and shared a driveway with the house next door.  Our backyard was pretty much a courtyard in which we shared a yard with the surrounding neighbors.  This house was built with community in mind.  Had I lived 60 years ago, I could have asked the other mothers in our neighborhood to watch my kiddos while I took a moment to gather myself or simply be there for companionship.

Today I no longer feel isolated.  I’ve rooted myself in a community of people who are able to help when I need it or even when I don’t.   They help because they want to and they can.  Recently an older couple with grown children came over to watch our kids while we went out to dinner and a movie.  This couple brought food for our kids and put them to bed.  Because they wanted to.

As I contemplate further the idea that motherhood is to be experienced in community I’m struck by how much of the New Testament assumes that Christians are living together in community.  There is so much in the Bible about how to communicate with one another, what to do when you are in disagreement, how we are to love one another, reprove one another, and share meals together.  Life wasn’t meant to be experienced in isolation.  Why would we expect any season of motherhood to be different?

Image

A sweet friend with whom I had the privilege to share the first years of motherhood.

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