You can’t do it all-Neighborhoods as Extended Families.

“…we once lived in small enough communities where people could help each other. Families were together… Parents have always needed help—but our generation decided that women should somehow do everything.” Michelle Obama

“You can’t do it all, it’s impossible… we have to reengineer support

Michelle and Opray

It takes a Village to raise a Family!

I was in the market checkout line and was immediately drawn to Oprah and Michelle Obama on the cover; the 1st White House interview with Michelle Obama.

One of the conversation points that really caught my attention was this part about growing up in an extended family;

Oprah: What you mentioned earlier is key: We have to ask for help. You can’t do it all. It’s impossible.

Michelle Obama: That’s a conversation I’d love for us to have as a society. How do we set expectations that are attainable?…

Oprah: And how do we change the perception of what women should be able to handle? Parents have always needed help—but our generation decided that women should somehow do everything. Yet for thousands and thousands of years, parents had kids so that the kids could help them!

Michelle Obama: And we once lived in small enough communities where people could help each other. Families were together. That’s how I grew up. My grandmother lived around the corner, my grandfather lived two blocks away, they each lived with aunts and uncles. My paternal grandparents lived maybe ten blocks away. It was rare to see a family where one person was trying to cook, clean, watch the kids, do it all. You always had a community. But nowadays people have to move away from their community just to find a job. And then they’re leaving their support base. So we have to acknowledge that that’s going on and ask what it does to the family structure and what it means in terms of how we have to reengineer support.

 

Re-engineering support. What if neighborhoods acted more like extended family?? What’s your experience of living in an extended family?

Share your ideas of what works or useful  lessons learned! Hey, let’s make sustainable real!

oh yeah, here’s the interview


 

 

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