Author: C. J. Schneider
Sometimes we think we are “Super Women”—or that we should be: “I don’t need help. I should be able to do this.” Or, “What is my problem? Look around, everyone else is doing just fine. I just need to get my act together.” Or, “I really need help, but I don’t know who to ask.” Or, “I’m so lonely. I wish I could talk to someone who is going through the same things.”
Most of us experience difficult circumstances at one time or another in our lives, and our need for support can be literally like needing air to breathe. But even in good circumstances, we still need others! This book teaches us that needing others is not shameful, but wise. In our transient and digital world, sometimes it is hard to identify this need, let alone know how to fill it. Enter this book: Mothers of the Village.
The text is a historical, multicultural, and scientific exploration of mothering communities. C.J. (who is also a Power of Moms author) begins this book with her own story of battling postpartum depression and loneliness. Then she explains, from several viewpoints, the various mothering communities which have been in existence, the “whys” behind them, and gives examples and inspiration for finding a support group and offering one to others.
What I liked most:
This book made me think. It made me think about how much help I have received and its true (but often overlooked) value. It also helped me to see opportunities to help others.
It made me reflect on something that happened with my Learning Circle just last week: one of our members had an unexpected C-section and was trying to take care of five children ages 6 and under. Understandably, she couldn’t do what she was used to doing, and as the first few weeks went by, she felt more and more discouraged. When our group was made aware of the need, eight of us went to her home, did laundry, dishes, cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed and put fresh sheets on the beds. Several friends took home additional laundry to wash and fold at their own homes. My friend shed happy, grateful tears, and the rest of us felt honored to have helped.
This is what a mothering community looks like: we learn from each other, inspire each other, and help each other when the going gets tough. When I think of what my friend would have continued to have gone through had we not had that community in place, my heart gets heavy for those who are mothering alone. This book teaches how to form or find a community like this for yourself.
How this helped me to be a better mother:
A motherhood community is something that I have to admit I haven’t given much thought to and often take for granted. I am fortunate to be a part of several mothering communities, including my marvelous Learning Circle. But this book, Mothers of the Village challenged me to think more about them and realize the strength and help that I have gained from having wonderful women as mentors, life savers and friends. They are a powerful and significant part of my life. Motherhood, and life in general would be much harder without them.
We all need each other. No one can, or even should, do it alone.
QUESTION: What mothering communities are you currently a part of?
CHALLENGE: If the answer to the above question was none, then take some time to research what communities are available in your area or think about starting your own. Your first step could be as simple as inviting another mother to have a play date at a park!
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Edited by Aubrey Degn and Sarah Monson