it takes a village to keep parents sane

June 4, 2010 at 8:54 am 7 comments

We’ve been getting a tiny taste of communal living while our house is being remodeled. Being tucked into the back yard of Suresh and Romy’s house means that when a late evening impromptu planting session occurs the children prick up their ears and run down the stairs to join in. Henry dog moves between two kitchens gathering crumbs from any less-than-tidy eaters, and I have only to run across ten feet of grass to borrow a movie, an ingredient for dinner, or a laugh.

In short, it’s rad.

Nathan and I were joking that it takes a village not to raise a child but to keep the parents sane. Two people can do a good job raising children that are well adjusted, empathic, intelligent and kind, but it isn’t as easy, or as much fun. The last few months in this back yard have been heaven for our girls. They have a larger, loving net that surrounds them. More playmates, but more importantly, more parents.

Under these circumstances I can’t help but daydream about permanent communal living. A farm, somehow miraculously in town, with a few family homes gathered around a large garden plot. Chickens, goats, dogs, a jungle gym, heck, maybe a communal yoga room. Can you imagine several like-minded moms and how easy making dinner might be? Or getting out for a solo run? Can you imagine several papas tossing children in the air? Or how tricked out the homestead would be?

My heart soars when I imagine this kind of living. I yearn for more connection to the people I love, to this grassy brown earth, and to the pure spirits of animals. I’m not sure how I’m going to get there but I feel myself moving in that direction.


Entry filed under: parenting principles. Tags: , .

big, little, and the deep valley between big mama in da house

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kris laroche  |  June 4, 2010 at 11:06 am


  • 2. Joanna  |  June 4, 2010 at 11:54 am

    amen. keep me in mind when the time comes 🙂

  • 3. 6512 and growing  |  June 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I totally agree!

  • 4. ilex  |  June 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    So, so true… I was lucky enough to grow up in a sort of mini-village, and I desperately want one for my kids now!

  • 5. fillydesigns  |  June 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm


  • 6. Lauren  |  June 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    sounds heavenly!!!

  • 7. angela  |  June 6, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    perfect! moving in that direction, too. oh, i can’t wait. wouldn’t it be awesome if our culture would move back to these small communities all over, how supported the mamas and papas would be and how the kids would thrive!


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