It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

A lot of parents that practice attachment parenting or natural parenting point to the fact that this is the way children are often raised in traditional societies. This is true, to a great extent, but there is one big exception. In our society we seem to feel that practicing attachment parenting means that the parents alone are raising the child or sometimes even one parent alone (usually the mother) while the other one works long hours, goes off to war, or just runs away.

We parent alone. We raise our children alone. That is exhausting.

In traditional societies, it is true that people co-sleep, breastfeed much longer, and wear their babies all the time. But the village raises the child. There are grandparents, aunts, neighbours, and older children to share the parenting. In our society, if the mother cannot do it all, all of the time, we look down on her. Or, alternately, if she isn’t willing to just leave her baby with some stranger in order to get a break, we look down on her.
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