I’m back with another parenting advice question in this week’s Are You There, Moms? It’s Me, Idiot. I’m Julia and I’ll be your idiot today. My question has to do with the community built around raising your kid: are you of the it takes a village mentality or going at it alone?
When I think about having children one far away day, I always imagine that my spawn will have many active adults and role models in their lives, if for no better reason than the fact that I was lucky have to been exposed to a lot of different people who were really close to me as a child. My parents had/have a collection of weirdo friends who all had a hand in raising my sister and I, and it gave us a broader world view than just my parents could have offered. But that’s a key aspect–these were my parents’ friends and not family, and I only saw my one set of living grandparents every few years. I know that my parents wished they had had a set of grandparents close by to help out, and so while I think we had the perfect community, I think they may have wanted more help.
In my conception of the community built around raising my future kids, all of my cool friends will be involved in whatever ways they want to be. I just don’t know enough about the world to be a kid’s sole source of information, and I’ve never functioned too well as a total lone wolf (although, my future impregnator is an awesome lone wolf, so if we have to live in Antarctica or the The Inland Empire or something we’ll be fine). This community in my head of course assumes that we’ll all have kids around the same time and want to be involved in each other’s kids’ lives, but given the fact that we menstruate collectively and don’t switch tampon brands without consulting each other, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be an involved group.
So, as parents, talk to me about this. What role do grandparents, aunts and uncles, god parents, and friends play in your life? If you have a community involved in raising your kids, how’s it working out? I would imagine that some people’s voices can be a bit overwhelming, and it’s not all giant picnics and someone else teaching your kid to drive a stick shift as I would imagine.
Image: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret