Growing up, I watched as my mother bounced us from relative’s house to relative’s house. So she could pursue her education and live out the extent of the American dream.
Now as an adult, a mom, and a woman pursuing her career as a temporary licensed professional counselor, I often wonder.
“Where’s my village?”
Because let’s face it. There are many families out there struggling to find help. The family system I and others may have grown up with no longer function the way they once did.
Elders such as grandparents were illiterate and didn’t work. They couldn’t work for a company even if they had wanted too. And so therefore, they often resorted to the work they always knew. Farming. Gardening. Both of which allowed them the capability of watching their grandchildren while tending to their crops and animals.
But times have changed.
The more the Hmong ethnic group (like other ethnicities that immigrate to the U.S.) assimilate to the American culture, the less we will be able to rely on our elders for babysitting.
So what can mom’s who don’t have a village do instead when they’re feeling overwhelmed and just need a moment to breathe?
1. Have a baby bag prepped and ready to go for the days you just need to leave your house.
2. Create a list of places you could go to with your kids. Places you could let them run around while you take a moment for yourself.
Here’s some places I found that are free in the Johnson County area.
Central Resource Library on 9875 W. 87th St., Overland Park, Kansas.
They have an amazing area for children of all ages to play. There’s magnetic blocks. Wooden boards on the walls. And chairs surrounding the entire area.
The Explorer Room at Matt Ross Community Center on 8101 Marty St., Overland Park, Kansas.
It’s located inside of Matt Ross Community Center. But you don’t have to be a member to use it. And it’s open when the community center is open. It’s also free.
They also allow parents to climb the tower with their children.
3. What if you’re feeling too overwhelmed to leave the house? Your kids won’t stop crying. And you don’t think you could gather enough energy to leave?
And if that feels like it’s too much then open a window.
Stick your head outside of the window.
Use your five senses.
Ask yourself, “What do I see?”
Then list what you see around you.
Next, ask yourself, “What do I hear?”
Then listen to what you hear coming from inside the house or outside the house. And list them.
Third, ask yourself, “What do I feel?”
Use your hands to touch surfaces around you. And describe what the surfaces feel like.
Fourth, ask yourself, “What do I taste?”
Are you eating or drinking anything? Is there a taste in your mouth? Or do you taste nothing?
And then lastly, ask yourself, “What do I smell?”
Describe the scent that you smell coming from inside your house or outside of your house.
The activity may not physically remove you from your current situation. But it’ll allow you the opportunity to decompress. And to regulate your emotions. So you can fill your cup of tea and tend to your children and environment with a clearer state of mind.
Eriko’s passion is assisting with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, Infertility, New Parents, Life Transitions, and Refugee and Immigration Challenges, she is also experienced working with Depression, and Anxiety.