I want to go back in time and hand a younger version of myself a copy of this book.
All mothers should read this.
Title: Mothers of the Village
Author: C.J. Schneider
Description: C.J. Schneider found herself in the middle of a perfect storm after giving birth to her third child and moving to a new neighborhood. Conditions for misery and postpartum depression were ideal: she was isolated, lonely, and exhausted with three young children at home. As she started talking with other mothers, she realized that she was not alone in her experience of feeling alone.
In her unique voice, Schneider intelligently and compassionately offers practical advice on how to create the essential community that mothers need. Given the many examples of communal mothering from the past and around the world, as well as modern examples of communities in which mothers are thriving, the research is clear: since the beginning of womankind, mothering has been a communal effort.
Mothers of the Village affirms that as mothers connect with each other and learn to work with each other, despite the challenges, they may find a piece of themselves that they have felt missing all along. (From Amazon)
What I Liked:
C.J. Schneider. I loved her.
Instantly relatable. Highly informative without being condescending. A captivating storyteller. I really appreciated her candid discussion of her experience with postpartum depression.
I haven’t really spoken much about it to many people, but I had a terrible time after my first baby was born. I was miserable, didn’t eat, hated myself, had horrible thoughts, and was barely making it through each day. I’m certain I had postpartum depression. I wish that I had had a village to help me.
I had family, friends and my church, but I didn’t ask them for help like I should have. I felt like I should have been able to handle things on my own. But as Schneider points out, historically I would have had a dozen helpers within arm’s reach. We aren’t meant to handle things on our own.
I loved how Schneider gave concrete examples of how to ask for help. She explained that asking for assistance is crucial to your well being, and used examples from her own life to illustrate this.
The example I loved the most was when she wrote about combining our activities to maximize our efficiency. Need to do laundry but also need to not go stir crazy stuck in your house with tiny maniacs? Invite a friend over and fold laundry together!
This book offers a bucket load of specific ways to make your life as a mother easier, and to help you help others.
What I Didn’t Like:
While I enjoyed the studies, journals, anecdotes and books that she cited, at times I felt as though they were too long. I wanted to hear more from her!
The section labeled “Churches, Synagogues, Mosques – Take Your Pick” was a missed opportunity. In this portion of the book Schneider writes of a Cycling Mamas group she joined at a local church. This section was interesting, but didn’t really have much to do with churches, synagogues or mosques – places where those with similar beliefs can come together and build a village.
This kid is my kid
This kid is your kid
From an Iroquois village
To those hippie communes
From Northern Alberta
To the Scottish Highlands
This kid was raised by you and me
Where to find it:
This book is released on March 15th! You should really read it. Your future self will thank you.
Buy it here and help support Quillable (with my handy-dandy affiliate link)