Many of the parenthood sayings have been around for generations for a reason: they’re true. One I’ve been thinking about lately is: “It takes a village.”
We live in San Francisco. William’s grandparents live in New Jersey and Southern California, respectively. My twin brothers are are across the country – Nashville – and the world – London. My brother-in-law is in Oakland, and we also have family near Mendocino. Many of our closest friends are far flung as well, from Perth, Australia to Manhattan along with Dallas, San Diego, and Los Angeles. The close friends that we have in the Bay Area have young children, too, so even pre-Pandemic, getting together meant coordinating nap times and feeding schedules. Easier said than done.
This past week, our daycare was closed for its belated “summer break.” I had to have Mohs surgery to remove some skin cancer on Monday, so Sunday night my husband and I looked at our calendars and sent invites for our most important meetings. We cobbled a loose schedule together for the week, but we were pretty much in survival mode and on our own. My husband wore the baby for the calls that he could take on walks; I led Zoom calls while giving him a bottle and thankfully my recovery from surgery was quick. William spent a lot of time in which we have jokingly started calling “the pen,” pictured below, which is basically a corner of our living room.
The pandemic and wildfires in San Francisco have made what can already be an isolating time – early parenthood – even more isolating. I have an amazing network of women spanning my closest friends, fellow moms at my company, former coworkers, my baby group, and more, but this week really made me think about “our village” and how there isn’t a replacement for someone being there physically to hold your baby when you need an extra set of hands.