We all know the old saying "It takes a village to raise a child", and years ago I sacked virtually all my village.
I didn't want the mainstream school village to help raise my child, NO way. I also didn't have a good family unit of my own to help me. I had in laws interstate. I had some friends who were just out to use me for my village skills but not be there for us. So my village was reduced to myself, my son's father and a few friends that I could count on one hand. Maybe it was more like farm than a village?
Things were better with my little farm. Did I even need a village? Honestly do we? I was doing a damn good job raising my boy with very little help and he was thriving.
I forgot about the need for a village. For quite a number of years. Ignorant bliss maybe. Then I read something about a village raising a child and I sat and thought about where we were at now, a few years down the track.
Shock horror - I realised I have a village! Well kind of, sort of, I think? How did that happen?
Who are they? and Where are they?
Well my little farm is still here, but around me (in my connected online world) are lots of other little farms (no, not Farmville on Facebook!). It seems that dirt road we took, the one 'off the beaten track', was perfect for lots of others with little farms of their own. Like minded people, many who'd been on similar journeys, many who'd been either kicked out of their villages or run screaming like us. We all have lots of work to do on our farms and maybe not a lot of time to socialise, but a message 'over the social media fence' brings a smile to your face and you know they are just down the virtual road if you need them.
You see in the world of social media, not only do people make friends online, but they can make themselves a village, in my case maybe it's a Farmers Market? The women I have met through online groups for Homeschoolers, for mothers of children on the Autism Spectrum, for many other areas of my life, have been kindred spirits. They are women like me raising their children without supportive family. They are women like me making the same decisions about schooling and travelling on the path as me. They GET me, they get my situation because they live it too. I see many of them, although some are too far away for visits. We don't need to live in each others pockets and visit weekly. We like and comment on each others lives when we get a chance. It's more that emotional support you get from each other that makes the virtual village the amazing place it is.
You see most of us like our little small unit farms for our day to day lives, but we love to connect at the farmers market with each other too.
Over the coming months I have decided I am going to share some interviews with my fellow farmers. Not that I have told them yet, so fingers crossed they agree to let me publish some of their pearls of wisdom. So look out for my "Meet My Village" interview style posts. Get to know a little about the amazing people I surround myself with!