I recently read a blogpost that it made think about my motherhood experience in this country. I recommend you to read it, it was called When You’re the Mom with no village by Jay Miranda. I felt quite related to her feelings of solitude away from family. The phrase itself says “it takes a village to raise a child” and is basically talking about the support community that a child needs in order to grow and learn, being the community: family, friends, educators, etc.
But what about us, mums? Do we need a village as well? Back in Barcelona we used to have my family side on a 10 minute drive distance and my in-laws on a 30 minutes drive. Not too bad, right? It’s not only we had family close by, but for us, family equals friends, cause the relationship we have with them is so good that we love spending time together, having a good laugh and sharing moments. We also have good friends that we can hang out with so our life there was quite well-balanced except for our jobs and finances.
Moving to UK helped us settle our finances down and be more self-reliant but we lost all the other part of the equation. For quite a while I was and I felt like the mum with “no village”. We met people at church, we met people on other groups, some of them young parents like us, some of them older or younger than us and single, but we never got to “click” with them. I don’t know, it was maybe us, but so many times I wished I could hold a conversation with someone without actually trying to make an effort of bringing up topics, or being nice but it never happened. Well, being more accurate, it did happened with a few people, but apparently the feeling wasn’t reciprocate, so I was turned down! haha…
We are no longer without a village, more family have joined us in the UK, and even though they will live an hour away from us, I know it will be good for my children to visit with them regularly. Sam’s family are a hard-working loving people so it was a pleasure spending two weeks with “Tia Nati” (auntie Nati) and “Vovo” (grandma). J was so excited every day and her Portuguese skills increased significantly of just this exposure. Our little E used to fall asleep quite easily with his vovo, just like it happened with his yaya (my mum)…there’s something in a grandma’s body that seem to have this hypnotic effect when they hold a baby, LOL
I must admit though that for the first few days I couldn’t stop thinking on MY family, my mum and dad, my brothers, sister-in-law and my little cheeky super cute niece. I missed them more than ever and wished they would join us here as well. Something unlikely to happen…But I couldn’t be more grateful to God that is giving us the opportunity to have more family around. I wish I could tell you how to be the mum with a village, but unfortunately I don’t think my social skills have improved that much since then. My only advice, the one that I give to myself, is to keep trying, and among those many attempts someone will come your way, and you will have a village, you will be able to trust someone, to laugh with someone, to hold a conversation without making an effort.
What is your story? Do you have your own “village”?