When I look around I think I’ve got a village.
My neighbourhood is open and friendly. We all know each other. We stop and talk on the street. Our kids walk to school together and play on the streets on weekends.
There is a community, a sense of connectedness.
In the park, as we push our kids on the swings, we chat to each other and watch our children kick balls on grass.
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I’m lucky. I know others don’t have that. Others whose communities are closed doors and drawn down blinds. Where kids are ferried along in cars their eyes glued to iPads.
But even with this, even with this friendliness why is it so damn hard to ask for help?
Why are we all still sitting in our homes surrounded by crayons and half cut out egg cartons and unfolded piles of washing listening to ABC Kids rather than calling on the network of other women nearby for conversation, for advice, for good old fashioned gossip – for help.
Why are we searching through babysitter ads on Gumtree rather than asking the other stay at home mum next door?
Why are we such silos?
A school mum pointed this out to me last week. There we all were sitting on the sidelines watching our children’s soccer training.
12 parents for each of the 12 kids …and lots of little siblings.
Nearly every single child had a parent or nanny there, waiting, checking their phone, mentally calculating up their schedule. What was next? Who. What. Where.
Look at us all she said. We all troop out every week and stand here. I don’t now why we don’t co-ordinate it better and car pool. One of us looks after the little ones and another comes here. Take it in turns.