Thursday, November 13, 2014

O is for Others

On Sunday, I attended my cousin's fiancee's baby shower. It was full of family and friends and fun shower games. My aunt always puts on great baby showers. One of the games we played was the A through Z of baby necessities. You were supposed to list something you need for a baby that started with each letter of the alphabet. When we finished, we passed our papers to someone else and if they saw anything that they thought was questionable on the paper, they brought it up to the whole group. We then raised our hands if we thought it should not be counted.

For the letter O, I put "others". Others. As in other people. I was voted down. I was told it should not be counted because, according to my aunt, she didn't need anyone. She raised her baby by herself while her husband was deployed.

Let me tell you what's wrong with that. My aunt did not raise her baby by herself. She lived away from the rest of her family at the time, but I'm quite sure she called them up on the phone from time to time for advice. I'm quite sure she talked to her mother, who had raised a very large family. I'm quite sure that, even though her husband was on deployment, she was able to talk to him or write to him. She thought about him and he thought about her. She was not "on her own".

I see this theme going with single mothers. They talk about doing it "on their own". Sure, I will give you that there are some women who truly are out there without any friends or family around. But that's my point. They are really struggling to get by, aren't they? They can't do it on their own. What about the baby sitter who watches their child while they are working to put food on the table? What about the teacher who teaches their child when she gets old enough to go to school? No one can do it on their own. If they think that they can, they are sorely mistaken. We are social individuals and we need each other to thrive. So don't ever let anyone tell you that you don't need others to help your child grow and thrive. You are the most important part of your child's life, but don't discount the contribution of others. Don't ever take it for granted.