After reading this -> In the absence of the village, mother struggle most <- the grateful and thankful tank for the village that raised me, is overflowing.
The village dwellers that raised me shared the burden of correcting, disciplining and impacting knowledge to the stubborn child who was going astray alongside my mother, because during that time a child was for the community not just their parents. I was caned by strangers, slapped by travelers and helped with my homework by the older kids in the neighborhood. I called every elder woman Mama, Aunty or Nyabo, and the elder men Mzee or Uncle, because that is how you showed or expressed respect to those who were older than you, those had seen many presidents than you.
But that will not be the same with our children, we as mothers – I am afraid are going to be under so much pressure as we try to make up for what them villages provided us, and as our priorities become distorted and unclear due to the different conflicting needs from us and our babies, the end result might be Brangeline Exit. (I can’t believe they are divorcing because of their different parenting skills. I thought love conquers all?! )
In the above article Beth Berry says,
“Our children’s natural way of being is compromised, as most neighborhoods and communities no longer contain packs of roaming children with whom to explore, create, and nurture their curiosity.”
Surely where are the parks? Where are the children’s compounds where they can mingle and talk baby with each other? We have lost all those things that made our communities public and enjoyable for our children, the things that nurtured our growth and development to urbanization and development. These two things have no consideration or regard for parenthood and children wealth.
Schools where some of these skills were being nurtured are now being destroyed to build malls and hotels, not parks and play grounds. No one is investing in the children’s development except their parents and mainly mothers. Fathers have also become neglect, leaving the whole burden to mothers to gloom and develop a well behaved person out of their babies. Some fail, others prosper but the burden shouldn’t fall on them alone but the community at large.
Responsibility shared is pride and honor gained. The community that nurtured me is so proud of the person I have become. I am the daughter of the hill, their daughter.
Perhaps most tragically of all, the absence of the village is distorting many mothers’ sense of self. It’s causing us to feel that our inadequacies are to blame for our struggles, which further perpetuates the feeling that we must do even more to make up for them.
The above should be the case, we need to return to the systems that worked, the systems that made us possible. We need our villages back and the communities that cared about each other back to run the system.