11/5/2019

A village

A friend of mine had a baby in February. Both her and her partner have been off of work on maternity and paternity leave respectively — hers unpaid as she’s self employed, his is paid. Earlier today, she posted to social media how she realized they have had a blessing and a privilege in this time with their newborn, and how she was aware it would have to come to an end soon. It’s easier with two parents, she said. Though every baby should have three dedicated adults. That would make it manageable.

What strikes me is what I’ve come to see more and more clearly in my reading on trauma and grief: we aren’t wired for the nuclear family. We believe it is the natural order of things, but it’s not. We are actually wired for community, for a village. It’s in that environment that we would get the well-roundedness required to live full and healthy lives.

There’s been so much concern about the degradation of the family in our society, and little questioning if its actual structure. Perhaps we all need more dedicated humans in our lives. And to need each other.

Perhaps we need to see our families as more than blood.


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