When I was little, my mom had to leave me with my grandparents for like 4 years, off and on. She came to the states with my dad here, like most immigrants, looking for a better opportunity for my dad, herself, and me.
And we def found more accessibility here. More opportunity.
Anyways, my time with my grandparents, I remember it very fondly. In the morning I would get eggs with my grandma from the chicken coup and my grandfather would talk to me and play me and talk to me about God, the bible, etc. He was a baptist pastor. We spent a lot of time at the church.
My mom would stay with us for two months then she'd have to leave again, for about 2 months.
My aunts, uncles, cousins were always around. There was always a trip we had to go on. It was fun. It was def the same values my mom had.
Finally, the opportunity arose that my mom could take me with her and off with her I went to the states. How I missed my family. My grandparents especially. I cried and cried. They tried to give me toys and I thought, "I don't want your plastic american toys! I want my chicken coup and my grandma and grandpa!"
I mean, that is how I felt as a child. And here we are. Now, I'm married with a kid of my own. There was certainly opportunity. I became a citizen, graudated in engineering, etc. And, don't get me wrong, I love this country, my country and all the opportunities it has afforded me and now my son.
But I don't have the village I had in my home country. My son doesn't have that village. My mom is working to cover her bills. I have the choice of so many other american moms: go to work or stay home with my kid. In my home country, there was a third choice: the village.
My son could have be with his grandparents (but my mom is working) or with his uncle and aunts (they are in Vzla) but if they were here, they would probably be always working.
The states have a lot of opportunity and a lot of material things that in places like my home country, could never be attainable. But its hard to find a village with people that have enough time to spend together, so that the children can be raised in it among everybody
Its probable that I am making it more idealistic than it really is and or was...
what do you all think?
by areyouatrollMay 20, 2013 at 10:16 AMI agree. Everyone here minds their own business and works 24/7
by fraujonesMay 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM
It depends on where you live. I live in small town in a rural area. There is a strong sense of community here. I am a working mom and I am lucky to have my mom help with child care. My sister and I also watch each other's kids. I feel like we have "the village." I'm sorry you are missing yours :(
by supercarpMay 20, 2013 at 10:20 AM
You are right. Churches used to give that "village" here, but they are falling by the wayside because of their tendency to be judgmental on the wrong things.
by Anonymous 2May 20, 2013 at 10:21 AMI don't have family, but I've still got a village.
by AHmom103May 20, 2013 at 10:23 AM
Well, the thing is, if you want the material stuff, you have to work for it. That's the downside that a lot of people moving to this country don't realize for some reason. In order to fully take advantage of all this country has to offer, you have to work.
by charligirl33May 20, 2013 at 10:25 AM
I was thinking about the "it takes a village" thing the other day. I live in a large city. The kind of place that people think nobody knows their neighbors, etc. Where you are just on your own.
To my surprise, it's NOT like that here. My daughter attend a small parochial private school. She's in girl scouts, various sports and other extracurricular activities. What I love about this school is the "village"mentality that they encourage.
If something comes up with work, I know there are 10 parents that will entertain my girl for me. When I ended up in the hospital for a few days, my dad had my daughter. They ended up with more food than they could handle from school moms bringing it by. When a mom with 5 children can't be at all the games for each of her kids , she knows someone will step in, give a kid a ride, take pictures, cheer them on and take them for ice cream if they did well.
We depend on each other to help us raise our kids. We depend on the support, the shared learning from different cultures and experiences.
My daughter and I lived in a small rural town for years. We never had this kind of "village" there. But moving to the big bad city have it to us.
by Anonymous 3May 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM
I am in a "village", figuratively and literally. But I had to work hard to find my niche and having little ones sort of forced my hand. We don't have family here and we aren't religious, but I put my shyness aside and became "outgoing". I went to the library, made friends with the librarians, and with their assistance, I started a book club. I found a pediatrician in our community who told me about a mother's group with similar aged kids, and I joined. I went to the small, independently owned businesses instead of the Walmart and chatted with the business owners. I volunteered to help with community events and attended town meetings. Now, DH and I feel we truely are part of a close knit community.
Because there's more education, money, and opportunity here, family's more often end up moving away, I think. However, that isn't always true, not is family the only "village" available. I grew up in a babysitting co-op, and I still have those friends who have become family in my life. My son has grown up with his grandparents very close by, along with aunts, uncles, and cousins. There are close families here. There is community here. Daycare is available and convenient so it's used more, but not always out of necessity.
It may be hard to find but it's not impossible here. My parents live in a different state but my in laws are here. We rely heavily on one of my sil's. We trade off watching each others kids. Then there's our neighborhood. We are pretty tight here and I know if I'm in need I have 5 other families I can call on.