Some call it a village, tribe, community of parenting. Whatever you call it, it is pure gold.
This weekend/early week a few of the Alberta Mamas went on a camping trip for two nights without any of the husbands. Just a group of mamas and their babies. Of course have all spent time together before with and without our children, but not really camping together, going through bedtime routines and meals and so on.
We were able to get into this beautiful groove of what I’m calling collective parenting.
We all watched out for each others kids.
Around the fire, untied shoes, going to the park with an older kid and making sure life jackets were on in the pool. We were able to turn our backs or rest briefly knowing there was someone else there to keep our children safe.
We feed each other’s kids.
Before we left we agreed we would just bring whatever of our own food and make something for our own families. No need for big pre planned meals to make for everyone. But in the morning if a kid was up before mama, we fed them, if mama was busy at lunch, we fed them, if mama didn’t bring s’mores stuff, we fed them.
We let each other sleep in/nap.
I feel like this is a fight that can happen when camping with your spouse. Someone gets to nap or relax and the other (okay mostly the mamas I think) feel like we don’t get a chance to sit down and enjoy. We are busy making memories for our kids, right?. When there is a collective understanding of knowing what it feels like needing to sleep in or nap, we all get it and help.
We discipline each others kids.
This MAY be controversial and of course like big discipline was left to the mama. However, but telling each others kids to share, take a small kid to the park, finish eating their dinner or pick up toys they left laying around is fair game. Feeling trusted to do this and trusting another parent to do this is probably one of the highest forms of respect. For me at least. Knowing that we are all parenting collectively to make our kids better.
*I’m not crying I just have something in my eye*
I can’t tell you how to obtain this collective/tribe/village of parenting to be honest. BUT what I can tell you is love them hard when you do find them. And trust them. Trust them to do help you, you don’t have to do it alone.
It doesn’t have to be camping either. Parks, playdates, school pick ups, birthday parties and so on.
We are so fearful of being judged as a parent in today’s world that we feel like we have to be super parents. Do it all, be it all, never show the ugly side of parenting. (Here’s a secret: WE ALL HAVE AN UGLY PARENT SIDE).
Trust those around you to help you. And love them hard.