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A well-known proverb suggests, “It takes a village to raise a child”. So my question is…does it?

They say it takes a village to raise a child. A whole village!

I wish I had a village surrounding me or even one other family member, but we took the leap and emigrated 2 years ago, which means it’s now just us.

How can we become a village, just the two of us? And are we enough for our kids?

I do have a very loving and supportive husband but he works long hours and occasionally 7 days a week. He switches immediately into “Daddy mode” when he is home before the kids go to bed, but that still leaves me with 10-11 hours a day of just me and our two young boys aged 3 and 1 years old.

I also have a very strong bond with family and friends back home so can always pick up the phone and talk things over (bearing in mind the time difference) and have made some great friends “down-under” who save my sanity on a weekly basis.

Yet I can’t help but reminisce about my past and my childhood. I have vivid memories of all those who helped raise me – parents, grandparents, step-parents, a sister, my aunties and amazing friends. All helped shape me to become who I am today.  Would I be any less of a person if I hadn’t of had all those influences in my life? I don’t know.



I remember what I have been taught and I am trying to be the village for my kids. I bake cakes and cookies as my nan patiently did with me, I wait on them hand and foot and love them, bath them, teach them and stroke their foreheads when they are ill, like my mother did for me.

I show them the humour in life like my grandad taught me and kiss them a million times each day on behalf of their aunties and uncles and cousins who I know adore them and would love to be right by their side.

I spoil them like I know grandparents would and let them get away with a cheeky ice cream now and then and messy faces. I play fight with them like a dad does and admire their childish spirits like only a mother could.

And then I am a wife. By the time the kids are asleep I’m already in my pjs thinking about sleep.

My husband accepts me and loves me even though my patience has now run out and I may say the odd horrible comment or snap unnecessarily.

The dishes pile high and I suggest they can wait until morning even though I hate waking to a dirty kitchen.

I feel guilty I can’t be more “wifey”, I feel guilty my first born doesn’t get as much attention as he used to. I feel guilty my second born has never had as much attention as the first.

My husband tells me that I’m the children’s world and it makes me stop and think. To all parents trying to be a village, we needn’t.

Why try and be a village when no matter what, we are already more to our children than you could possibly imagine.

We are, right now, their whole entire world.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • We can only do the best we can and that is enough.

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  • Yes, I think it takes a village to raise a child. We have very limited family support. I feel it now, more than ever, as my kids are entering their teenage years. As much as we have friends and other audits around us, nothing could compare to having extended family closer to us. It would be awesome to know there was a whole group of people that support your value set, can validate your parenting decisions and offer your children the opportunity to build relationships with like minded but different people. I feel sad at times that they don’t have the rich tapestry of family interactions that I grew up with.

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  • I moved from Victoria, Australia to Western Australia. Could just have been the other side of the world. It was to me when we started our family. I had friends, I had support but it wasn’t having mum close by or grandma. But by surrounding myself with lots of close friends, some of these close friends became Aunties, Uncles and grandparents to my children. When I really needed my Mum I called although there was a 3 hr time difference, I don’t think she would have cared if I called late. We do have villages around us, they may not always be blood relatives but they are there. The pseudo grandparents, the pseudo aunts and uncles, cousins etc. We do survive and it isn’t just a village that helps our children. Its our attitude to the isolation of moving so far away from a familiar base and how we use that isolation that makes the difference. My children are now adults and two of them are now parents. We are now far away from them again but the phone is always close by, but they are well rounded and grounded, even tho they lived in a separate environment from their blood relatives. The time you put into raising them is what counts. Village helps but it isn’t always what you think. I spent a lot of time with my kids, playing on the floor, playing dolls and cars, doing puzzles, playing with lego, watching cartoons on TV, Snuggles at night when the monster came in their dreams, and so on. We are all the start of a village and its the love that we surround our family with that helps them grow and become part of a village, as they and you extend your lives to include others, that’s how you build a village. I loved your article as I can so relate.

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  • Most definitely. I’m lucky enough to have my parents super close to me. Could not imagine life without them here to help when I get stuck.

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  • You are not your children’s whole world and have not been their whole world since the day of their birth. Think about all the people who have been in your lives since. First of all the midwife who helped you to birth the babies. then all the others who have been involved with your little family. You sound homesick and you talk about it just being you and the children for 10-11 hours. why are you not going out to make friends with people. You went to Australia for a new life not to bury yourself in a laundry basket. You have two young children who need the stimulation of seeing other people and getting new experiences. This is the job of a parent to organise. Go out meet people make friends, or do you live in a cave somewhere on a remote mountain. you have a phone and probably also the internet as you posted on here. Find out about what goes on in your area and join in. You are the one who has the job of teaching your children to socialise this is how you do it. find a toddler or nursery group for the three year old. You will find the parents that belong to the toddlers. Find out about other social groups. You are the adult you have the responsibility of caring for your children but that does not mean picking up after them, it means teaching them to do it for themselves, yes it takes longer so factor the clear up time into the playtime. The job of a parent is not to do everything for a child but to teach them how to do, while also learning from them. Get out and see people, socialise and have the children socialise, it will not be long before they are both at school. Your village is just outside your front door, unless you live on a Sheep Ranch.


    • You have so misjudged this article and jumped on the defence. This was written last year, I say in the article I meet up with parents on a weekly basis – the article is questioning whether those surrounding you can be your village rather than just family and whether without the support and words of wisdom from different generations, would the children be missing out on anything.

      My husband implies we are their world because we are their main immediate support and relatives and are passing on the teachings we learnt from our family and friends rather than relying immediately on others. We don’t have the “family village” around so are trying to fill that void to a certain extent.

      It in no way suggests I stay at home like a hobbit. It implies that sometimes days are long and it can be challenging filling up all the hours. Classes only take up a short part of the day.

      It is the view of someone having moved the other side of the world making a go of things and contemplating decisions. It is an analytical thought provoking piece that is meant to help people questions themselves, society and old “sayings” not a piece for someone to attack the author in haste.

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  • In today’s world many people are far away from their families. I am very fortunate to be very close to my family but my village is much more widespread than that and includes my neghbours and friends.

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  • We left our family in NZ and moved to OZ with our three sons. They are now teenagers. We have just spent the last 7 years in a small country town that became our village – that helped raise our kids. My middle son just won a competition writing about the village that helped raise him – http://www.abc.net.au/heywire/stories/2015/12/4364254.htm Yes like you for a while my husband and I were our children’s entire village but allowing others to be apart of that village has had some real benefits.

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  • So very true, we are away from family also and try and be everyone sometimes. We have some great friends and neighbours who help to be the village as does school.

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  • My parents & in-laws are involved in my child’s life with looking after her whilst my husband & I are at work etc and would be absolutely lost without my parents who have given us endless help. I come from an Italian family and we definitely live by this motto.

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  • As a mum of three children 5yo and under, I can SO relate to much of what you have shared here. But I happened to attend a parenting seminar last night where this very proverb was raised, and have to agree that it does take a village to raise a child. And that village might consist of teachers, church family, and other ‘significant’ others who aren’t necessarily blood relatives or immediate neighbours, but who we do have to partner with as parents to get the most out of life’s opportunities for our children.

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  • I agree too, and absoluteIy think it does.

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  • It’s so true – we can’t be a villiage!

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  • If anyone know where that Village is then please let me know. I have been looking for it for a while. :-). I agree with you that you don’t have to be the village. But I do believe that “it take a village to raise a child”. Village in the form of friends, extended families, teachers, good neighbours etc.

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  • yep it is nice when you can have someone to tell you “i understand”

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  • Beautifully put. We are their world righ now. But I’m big on adopting Aunties and uncles for them, a village always helps.


    • I am an “adopted” Auntie and I hope I have a good relationship and positive influence on them

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