On a good day, parenting looks like a hallmark card, the kids rosy and well fed, smiles and laughter around the table.
On most days, parenting is about dealing with piles of dirty laundry, kids of varying ages vying for attention, getting things stuck up their noses, school boxes to be packed, tears to be wiped, potty to be cleaned and homework to be completed. On the truly bad days, it is a lot of screaming and crying, and people looking disapprovingly and judging on what poor parents we are, and suggesting we should be better at our parenting.
Is 'Parenting' something to do?
We speak of parenting as an activity to be done perfectly, and all on our own, but as the saying goes, ‘it takes a village to bring up a child.’
Parenting was never meant to be a job for just the one or two people responsible for bringing a child into the world. It takes the labour of an entire community to bring up a human being. Without this essential support, parents are left emotionally, physically and mentally drained and the children don't necessarily know how to belong in the community. It was all well and good when people lived in small communities where everyone knew each other and child support was not a special service - everyone pitched in for each other.
In the urban jungle where more and more of us live, and where we don't know who are our neighbours, parenting as a village is something else altogether.
How you can create the village:
With some conscious effort, you don't have to be a stranger in an urban jungle trying to get by. You can make your own village:
If you are dealing with chronic sleeplessness, anxiety and depression or something just doesn’t feel right, talk it out - meet with a doctor, counsellor, or both.
1. Spiritual Parenting by Gopika Kapoor
2. What Do You Really Want for your Children by Wayne W. Dyer
3. Don’t have a village? How to create one.
4. In the absence of a village, mothers suffer most.
5. When the parenting village doesn’t exist.
Ajanta, Mahesh and other InnerSight counsellors and guest contributors are happy to share their thoughts here.