It takes a village to raise a child, and today’s parents constantly lament the disappearance of their village.
Modern parents have no one to turn to for help. They’re saddled with the massive responsibility of feeding, raising, and caring for their kids alone. And it’s rough out there.
There Once Was a Village
In a time not too long ago, there used to be a village. The village consisted of grandmas, aunts, neighbors, community organizations, and other groups that would split the labor of childrearing.
Grandma would watch the kids while mom and dad worked. The church would have a rotating schedule of moms watching the kids for the day. Neighbors watched all the kids as they ran from yard to yard, gleefully enjoying the freedom inherent in childhood.
The village is gone.
Where Did the Village Go?
Why don’t people help each other out anymore? Why did our little village of people who’d always be there to help disappear?
The harsh truth that no one wants to admit is that the village disappeared because it depended on women’s unpaid labor from the community.
Grandma babysat. A rotating group of moms signed up for daycare. The neighborhood mothers watched all the kids.
The community’s men rarely contributed to the village.
Women Must Do Even More
Modern women don’t have time to form a village. They work outside the home to support the family and do the bulk of the work at home because their husbands don’t help.
In the meantime, the bar rose for parenthood. If your kids aren’t in ten activities by the time they’re six, you’re a terrible parent. Kids no longer roam the neighborhoods and rely on only their mothers for all their emotional, social, and physical needs.
Women are exhausted, but it’s not just that. They’re also starting to wise up to all the unpaid labor they’ve provided to society throughout the centuries and decided they don’t want to do it anymore.
Women Working Isn’t the Problem
Some claim “allowing” women to work caused the problem and think forcing women back into domestic servitude is the solution.
Of course, those folks only look at how they’d personally benefit from a system that subjugates half the population.
Women need the ability to work outside the home. They need the autonomy to make their own choices for themselves, their lives, and their families. Most importantly, they need the ability to take care of themselves financially should they find themselves widowed or trapped in an abusive relationship.
Everyone should have the freedom to live life on their own terms.
Society is the Problem
The problem is a society that values work more than families, profit over people, and individualism over community.
We could easily create a village with our tax dollars but choose not to because we don’t value community.
To start, we could pay women for domestic labor with a UBI. Offering women a way to support themselves and their families while reestablishing the village we all took for granted would go a long way. We could also put our tax dollars toward building the community by creating government-funded daycares, community events, and safe spaces for children.
We don’t do any of these things because we don’t value it.
We don’t value domestic labor. Our society deems “women’s work” useless, easy, and something individuals must handle on their own. That the work includes the essential task of raising the next generation doesn’t seem to matter – if you can’t put a dollar amount on it, it’s not work.
It’s time for a paradigm shift. Society must decide what’s more critical – ever-increasing profits or a thriving community.