Fair goers

Community makes the world go round

As I get older and get to know myself better I see that a sense of community is integral to my happiness. One of my favourite authors, Brené Brown, talks about “the need to belong” and how universal it is.

Instgram CommunityAs I mentioned in my post about loneliness as a new parent, we moved into a new area right before Leo was born, so we hadn’t had a chance to build up a local support network. In fact we didn’t meet our neighbours on either side until he was several months old. Once I had made friends and some new babies were born and other families moved into the street I felt like we were ‘home’.

Summertime is always lovely for getting to know people because we are all out of doors more. The photo above is from a very happy era on our street where the kids were toddlers and they played out the front until dusk.

Having a baby/kid is a great way of meeting new people. There’s mothers’ groups and playgroups, and when they are older there’s preschools and primary schools.

Any time I spend doing something that builds community gives back ten-fold. When I think of what community means, I think of:

  • Stepping out your front door and having someone to say “hi” to
  • Your kid playing with a neighbour’s kid
  • Helping someone with their pram going down the stairs
  • Giving a nod of solidarity and compassion when you see a parent with a tantruming toddler
  • Starting a meal train, or dropping some food off to a family when they’ve just had a baby or are having a tough time
  • Using collective buying power to start a food co-op
  • Hosting a soup swap or a Mama Bake group
  • Having a street Christmas party. Easter egg hunt or other celebration
  • Holding a garage sale with other families
  • Doing a local team sport or exercise class
  • Doing your shopping locally
  • Walking or catching public transport instead of driving – you invariably meet someone
  • Looking out for the kids and elderly people on your street/in your block of units
  • Joining an online community that nourishes you
  • Signing a petition

8073188798_99aa5c62de_zWhen Leo was two, we held a fair in our backyard. Everyone pulled together to make food and craft to sell and together we raised $1,400 for charity.

It was one of my favourite days ever, and it’s Leo’s first memory.

The feeling of belonging to a community, or communities, makes me a kinder and happier parent because it makes me a kinder and happier person.

What does community mean to you? Please leave a comment below!

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Beth

Beth

Co-writer/Co-illustrator

2 thoughts on “Community makes the world go round”

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