May 2, 2012

Postcard from a Small Town

This post is inspired by Mondays with Mac: Postcards from Parenthood Blog Carnival to give advice to new parents!  

Hi from Small Town Anywhere!

I'm from a small town.  Actually town isn't the right word.  I think where I grew up could accurately be described as a hamlet.  Yep, that small!  More cows than people I always said!

Small town living may not seem like it is for everyone.  You may have the same thoughts about parenting right now as well!  Caught you didn't I?  That's exactly what you are thinking.  Let me assure are WRONG!

A few personal reflections on small town living.  There are some definite comparisons that can be drawn to parenting!

Secrets?  You get 'em?  Not any more!  In a small town, your business is out there.  It is talked about reverently (!) at the church social.  Little old ladies fuss about it over afternoon tea.  Oh yes, the "party lines" are buzzing with all the latest gossip about YOU!! 

Being a parent feels a little like that!  Everybody knows your business and worst of all has an opinion that they will share with you at any given moment.  You may feel useless, unworthy, wrong ALL THE TIME!  But do not fear my little mama friend as that is far from the truth.  The best advice I can give is to stand tall, be polite, but follow your instincts.  It's true. Lots of people have raised little ones.  But no one has raised yours.  You are the only expert when it comes to your own child. Who cares if grandma at the end of the block spread the word that you took wee Sammy off the breast at 3 months?  You don't...that is your decision & one you don't have to justify to anyone!

Small town residents are involved, very involved.  People are expected to contribute & help out in whatever way they can.  Not only that, but typically people WANT to contribute & help out.  Go figure!!  A small town doesn't run itself, it takes the efforts of the residents to build a thriving community.  You know those church suppers that happen periodically throughout the summer?  There was always great anticipation when it was time for "the lists" to be distributed.  I remember my Mom receiving her list of expected contributions.  I'm not talking a $5 generic contribution to support the event.  The "list" was handwritten & about 5 inches long!  It included things like "6 pies, 2 cabbages shredded for coleslaw, one large jar of mayonnaise, 4 jars of pickles, 1 jar of pickled beets, contribution to the "sale table", contribution to the "fish pond" and $10".  Wow!!!  There was never any question, my Mom just got it all together because that is what she did to help out.

Parenting kind of works the same way.  Yes, you are making the decisions on child rearing, providing as much love & support as you can, but let's face it!  At some point you will need a break.  Yes YOU!  Super Mom who will try to juggle it all; the kids, husband, house, pets, work, etc, etc.  Take advantage of that community around you.  They WANT to help.  Grandma would love to babysit.  Aunt Jean would love to pick up that forgotten can of formula at the grocery store.  Your best friend is there to mop your tears or when you need to vent.  It is important to realize that help is not over is exactly what is needed from time to time!

Small town living can really help reduce the stress of the everyday, hectic-ness that is life! Less hustle, less noise (except for maybe the natural noise of nature), no congested traffic filled streets to deal with.  Heck in my town there was only 1 Stop sign.  Two cars stopped at the sign in front of the local mini-mall (inside joke) was considered a traffic jam!  It can be so much more peaceful and really help you focus on what is important in life.

Guess what?  When the kiddies arrive you will feel exactly that way.  Your #1 priority will now be keeping that wee one safe, loved & comforted 24/7.  Hey, now that's not to say that your life will be stress free (I just don't believe that exists, there is always some type of stress).  However, it will be different.  

Small town or big you will build a life that is suited for you & your family.  You will do the same with parenting.  Be happy, make your own decisions & stand by them, engage your community & focus on what's really important.  YOU WILL SHINE - like all those stars in the clear small town sky!!!

Mondays with Mac


  1. Such wise words! It is so very true that nobody else has raised your babies! And I always try to say yes when people offer their help... it usually means they will offer again :)

  2. Great advice!!! I'll take all the help I can get! Here's my Postcard link: