The Bible doesn’t spend a lot of time on ordinary female relationships among generations and families. We don’t hear of grandmothers holding new babies and helping new mothers learn to nurse. We don’t read about mothers helping their daughters through postpartum recovery. We don’t see a middle-aged woman learning the ways of menopause from someone who has been through it.
When I think about generations of women coming together in parenting, my first thought is of two women, one much older than the other, both expecting children who would change the world: Mary and Elizabeth.
When I had a baby in July 2019, I couldn’t have known that the very next year, a global pandemic would remove my access to the majority of my village. As a new mom, even as I have struggled and felt alone, there have also been opportunities to connect in unexpected ways, with unexpected people: those with and without children, those young and inexperienced, those older and more experienced, the lonely, the depressed, those related by blood and those who are not.
Like our biblical ancestors, I hope we will learn to bookend each other, to draw strength from the well of our community.
This message is an excerpt from “Family matters: It takes a village” by Cara Strickland in the May 2021 issue of Gather magazine.
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