Lately, I've seen quite a few videos of new parents complaining that they entered parenthood expecting a "the village" to come their aid, only to find that, in fact, the village doesn't exist.
Now, I know that this is true for many people. They find themselves in a situation where their lives have become a bit isolated (if they moved to another city, away from friends or family, for example), or maybe they are the first of their close friend group to have children, so the people around them don't really know how to support them.
Yes, this is a tough way to enter parenting, but I have to ask a question: Were they an active part of the village before they needed it?
I think this is a trap we all fall into - we only care about a problem when it affects us - but this is a situation that could have been improved if we engaged with it before and after it's an issue for us.
It's like insurance. You can't call an insurance company after you got into a fender bender and ask them to pay for the damage. You've got to put in the investment before to get the benefits.
(I say this as a general idea of how insurance should work, obviously)
So before you complain that the village doesn't exist for you, ask yourself what you have done to give the support before you needed it. Were you actively helping the parents and parents to be in your social circles? If no...is it really fair for you to expect that for yourself?
All is not lost though! We always have an opportunity to give support to the parents around us. That could be practical, like bringing a meal or offering some babysitting time, or it could be emotional, like taking an opportunity to tell a dad that he's doing a good job.
There may not have been a village when you needed it, but we can ensure that is for the next parent who does. How are you actively supporting other moms and dads?