Archive for the ‘Media comment’ Category

Long time no speak …

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

First up, an apology – it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here.  Life has been a bit stressful lately, which for me means that inspiration hasn’t been landing in my lap!

However … a few weeks ago there was a fantastic article in the Melbourne Age.  I don’t usually get the daily papers, but my neighbour was away and had ‘bequeathed’ me her newspapers rather than cancel, so I got into the habit for a week or two of reading the Age each morning.   The article which caught my eye was about Alice Morrel who is the founder of ‘The Mother Movement’  – a fantastic organisation whose goal is to empower mothers – many unsupported – at home and in the community. 

Alice Morell, founder of the Mother Movement.

Alice Morell – founder of The Mother Movement

I look at how many of my girlfriends stuggled – without family backup – when they had their children and left the workforce.  Quite a few have had their children later in life and were living in different states or countries from their family and long-term friends, and would tell me they felt very isolated once at home with a new bub.  Add a few ‘baby-blues’ issues into the mix, a million new tasks related to being a mother, no one well known and reliable enough to babysit for an hour or two, and it all got very difficult.

I won’t cover all of the great ideas that Alice Morell has instigated via The Mother Movement, only the one that really struck a chord with me – it’s called “Street Gangs” and is based on the concept that “it takes a village to raise a child”.    Street Gangs are neighbourhood networks of mothers who give each other practical support.  They pool their skills and support - a little bit like a barter system – one mother provides a business plan and the recipient cooks a family meal in return.  People look after each others children.   To quote the article:  “My friend lives in a street wherer the Street Gang splits the nights of the week between them and one mother cooks for everyone else one night a week.  So each mother only cooks one night a week – you go around and get your food from the neighbour and take it back to your home all the other nights”.

This really resonated with me in the way I was bought up in Christchurch NZ – we knew all the neighbours by name, knew who we could trust, who would lend a hand; and they all kept an eye on us when we were out playing in the street.  Yes, I am talking of 35 years ago, but it surprises me that today some people don’t take the time to introduce themselves to their neighbours when they move into a new home.

So to summarise, Street Gang mothers not only provides support and assistance to each other, but the situation is also beneficial to their children who develop a sense of community – they know and speak with the adults who live in their street, they play with the local children.    It’s easy to set up – you can use facebook, but Morell says the most effective way is a letterbox drop – and you can go to The Mother Movement website and download and print out a flyer. 

The tenet of The Mother Movement is not judgemental, nor is it about parenting advice.  It is purely about action and change.  .

Here’s a link to the aticle:  http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/mothers-doing-it-tough-20140601-39cm1.html   It’s definitely worth a read.   I would love to hear what you think of the interview and her programs and if you can build them into your life?

 

cheers

Julie