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Generation of the vanishing village

defile de mode

What does it look like if you don’t have a village?

Not having a village is…

The most recent date night with your spouse is the first in more than 18 months because the cost of dinner at a typical steak house plus the cost of a baby sitter for two kids under five is more money than you make in a day.

It is taking all your sick days as soon as you accumulate them because kids get sick…ALL.THE.TIME so when you are actually sick you have no choice but to go to work and spread around the germ love because taking an unpaid day is not an option from your employer or from your budget.

It’s never taking a true family vacation because you only get two weeks’ vacation each full calendar year. Sure you would love to use those vacation days for a family beach trip, but those days are scattered around the school year for when the kids are off for in-service days, President’s day, and half-day closures that seem to occur at random for no known reason. There goes the family vacation time, because you certainly cannot schedule a week off to relax and recharge with your family when your PTO time is up.

Not having a village is…

Sitting in a meeting hearing the words, “You do a great job and we’d love to promote you but we are afraid of who will do the work when you are off on all the parental leave you take.” Wait you mean when I take my ALLOTTED paid time off, those days?? Yes, those days, the days your company allots you to take off but actually would prefer you didn’t.

It’s taking off a few hours for your kids’ doctor’s appointments then skipping your own lunch all week to make up the time.

It’s paying half your salary in after-school care and summer care because you have zero family around to help pick up your child at 3:00 and you can’t find a job that ends before 5:00…and you need a job, staying home and part time are not options.

Not having a village is…

Asking for time off even when you don’t have any to take, going unpaid, and your boss saying, “My kids were little once, so I understand,” you hear the words but at the same time you see the frustration in your boss’s face that you will be missing work…again.

It’s never having time to get the laundry put away or the floor mopped or the windows cleaned because your kids are never at anyone else’s home but your own, so you get the necessities done, but the extra is never an option.

It’s mothers asking for Mother’s Day “off as a mom” because there is no village for her to refresh and recharge any other day of the year.

Villages are becoming scarce, the “helping hand” is becoming nonexistent. People of the generation who raised us don’t understand why raising kids is so darn hard for millennial parents.

It’s hard because the village of aunts, uncles, retired grandparents, and friends and neighbors with doors always open are becoming non-existent.

It’s hard because the saying has always been, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but what if the only village we have is the party of two in our own home, the village of mom and dad?

We are getting it done and finding laughter and joy in the process but that doesn’t mean it is not so darn hard to be the generation of the vanishing village.

*These are experiences from my life and those around me in my generation, if you have a village of people around you to help, next time they extend a hand give them a hug and a thank you for being apart of your village.*

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