S03 Ep17 – The Need for a Motherhood Village w/ Co-Host Emily Shaw


01:24 – 03:15 = Topic Introduction and Context (The Motherhood Village)

03:16 – 08:05 = Discussion about what motherhood means

08:06 – 11:21 = Prescriptive Motherhood & The CLIQUE

11:22 – 15:48 = Benefits of being in a village

15:49 – 19:31 = What if a mother is alone and not in a village?

19:32 – 23:44 = Single women and their role in the village

23:45 – 31:43 = How do Men support women in a village?

31:44 – 33:01 = Truth Beauty and Goodness

33:02 – 33:10 = Closing

Mother’s supporting mothers – Observation – What do we think is going on here?

  • World is very good at doing things on our own. What sort of impact is this having on mothers.
  • Mothers aren’t an island. All human need relations – we need each other.
  • Mothers still need to be mothered, particularly in crisis.

Why do women even need a community ‘village’ around mothers?

  • A metaphor for the support that is needed – a support system and safety net with common goal of raising people up.
  • We’ve lost sight of that. Very isolated now. So no good influences on children. Raising questions of division in society?
  • Fostering isolation means how can we form ‘government’ in any way, in any crisis as society.

Village is not a clique

  • Mindful that village and home implies not everyone has the same role to play ie. Not every person in this community needs to be raising children using the same parenting style, or use the same methods for home making, or child education options, or even number of children – in fact, a village doesn’t even NEED to consist of ONLY biological mothers. 
  • Fruitful to have dialogue about the differences. Lovely to chat to people and receive varied insights from community members. Clique is only one path, or vision. 
  • Clique is a tendency in families (in Catholic families). Can be only the family, or a just particular people outside of that unit. Breeds mistrust, as it only one voice and singular way of life. Then family members and children will start questioning things? It breeds mistrust. Really isolated from reality. Become prescriptive, and no way to assimilate new into it. No way to grow or expand. They’re exclusive and not inviting or welcoming. 
  • Community allows more scope, and joy.

What are the benefits of being part of a village? 

  • Support
  • Being welcome. Being seen. 
  • Having support when transitioning into newborn phase.Spiritual support. Having a ‘prayer buddy’ – offering up the sufferings for the other. Some of the most challenging and fruitful communities come from living the tough life side by side Pool of wisdom – A village that surrounds women would benefit from also including generational wisdom
  • Benefiting from others strengths and availability.

What to do if a mother finds herself ‘alone’ without a village?

  • Observation – some women can find it hard to open up to other women, especially if there has been hurt in the past.
  • Women are much more observational about perception of people. Look into things more. 
  • Very hard to open up again if you have perceived rejection. The only way to heal is to open up again. Must allow some vulnerability and trust.
  • Little by little. Offer a bit of ourselves and see how it is received. Longer it is put off the harder it gets, because behaviour becomes our default.

Single women

  • Motherhood is beyond just biological motherhood
  • Step in to be the support
  • Apart of the village – not being kicked out.
  • A great opportunity for single women to gain something and to gift back something.
  • Helps single women to grow in the virtues of being a mother.
  • Single women have the flexibility.
  • Also provides conversation outside of home and mothering, other interests. 

Role of men in supporting women build and hold community

  • Acknowledge and champion this treasure for women?
  • Men need to encourage the women in their lives (Particularly husbands for their wives. But also this applies to brothers and sisters both spiritual and biological) to find community with other women.
  • Look after the kids so that mum can go and enjoy community with other women. Seeking out other like-minded families to connect with which will aid in building both masculine and feminine villages.
  • Encourage risk prayerfully, as women tend to be cautious. Men stereotypically tend to be the risk takers.

Read Emily’s blog Welcome To The Village – Australian Catholic Mums


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