Monday, October 27, 2008

Mother's Helper

Along with our society's assumption that a woman will only have one or two children has come the idea that a woman can/should/must handle everything alone following birth. Those women in Colonial days had it right! When a woman was expecting a baby, her sisters, friends, and neighbors gathered around her to assist. First they supported a woman through her labor. (While today the concept of birth at home without a medical doctor is viewed as unusual at best and dangerous at worst, just a few years ago, this was the norm!) Then after the baby was born, the women stayed around helping to care for the mother, care for her other children, cook her meals, clean for her, gather things from her garden. Once a postpartum women had fully recovered, she was quick to return the favor. No one was expected to handle it all single handedly. People often lived in extended families (no nursing homes!) so women worked together within the home to handle the duties of the entire household.

When Ben was 10 days old, Brian had to go back to work so my sister, Kati, came to stay with me for a week. She was my Colonial woman! Having an extra set of hands was invaluable! She played games, held Ben, made cookies with the kids, washed dishes, folded laundry, read stories, changed diapers, worked on colors with Owen, got little ones dressed, helped us on an outing to ballet class and the library. The list goes on! If only I could employ her services full time! Even once a week! She even taught me a lesson, but that's another blog post!


  1. How wonderful! Sisters must be fabulous!

  2. That is truly a blessings. I do not have anyone in my life who will do that, so I will be going through it alone once hubby goes back to work. I am terrified... but have to trust the Lord He will give me the strenght I need.

    You are blessed and baby is so cute!



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