I grew up in a kibbutz in Israel, and I only got to see my parents a few hours a day. I wish they understood how much I needed them around.
- My parents moved from New York City to a
- There I was placed in a children's group and only saw my parents a few hours a day.
I was a mother myself before I thought about — really thought about — how spending my first years on a kibbutz in Israel affected my whole life.
These days many kibbutzim have been privatized, but back when I was growing up, they were intentional, socialist communities often based on agriculture like Kibbutz Lahav, the one where I lived.
My father and mother were New Yorkers by birth but wanted fresh starts for themselves far away from their childhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn respectively.
On our kibbutz in the Negev desert, my father worked the fields planting wheat, and my mother was in charge of the kitchen that served three meals a day to the 200 plus-person community.
The kibbutz was my safe place when I was young
Before I understood or even had an inkling that people leave — even people who are supposed to take care of you, the kibbutz was my Eden.
My father brought me out for walks on his shoulders, and we visited the kibbutz horses in the farm area, and I got to pet geese and hold downy newborn goats, their velvet ears flopping around their dazed faces. I walked the paved sunlit paths in any direction I chose — often by myself because I was safe alone.
And every afternoon I joined my parents on the lawn in front of our home to sit with our friends and have cookies, fruit, and tea while a gentle breeze blew across the hillside, even in the summer. Afternoons on the lawn were my favorite time, near my mother who chatted happily with the other women while I played with my friends.
I saw my parents only a couple of hours a day
On the kibbutz in those days, babies spent the first six weeks in their parents' flat and were then moved to the Beit Tinokot, the children's house. The kibbutz children's house system was part of an early-20th-century model designed to enable women to be equal partners with men, to liberate them from having to stay home doing domestic chores.
Kibbutz life was designed to maximize productivity in its working adults during the day and give parents plenty of time off from child-rearing in the evenings when they gathered together, unencumbered.
Apart from the few hours a day we kids spent with our parents, we were in the children's house in sleeping rooms with children our age with whom we shared meals, clothing, nap times, and toys. We traveled as a group, like a litter of pups, and kibbutz women assigned to our group, not our moms and dads, took care of us.
During my earliest years, being apart from my parents was natural, and I didn't have a chance to fully attach the way small children usually do. Maybe if we had stayed on the kibbutz, my parents might not have gotten divorced, my mother might not have left to follow a guru. Maybe had I not been raised communally, each of my parents would have understood how much I needed them — not just anyone, them — and they would have stayed.
As someone who has fought hard to understand attachment and build connection, especially in my own life now that I'm a mother, I don't think anything can ever replace the love and nurturing all children want from their parents, to feel they are the center of their caregiver's world.
In my experience, that part can never be replaced by communal life.
- TCS, Wipro & Infosys saw a massive selloff after Walmart & Target’s revenues fell — explaining the domino effect
- Flipkart claims to be the second biggest ‘buy now, pay later’ player ahead of Paytm, Amazon
- Avantha Group promoter denied interim bail on his arrest for alleged misuse of ₹515 crore loan
- Zoho's ManageEngine to hire 1,000 people this year as part of expansion plans
- Goa has the highest car ownership in India, check out the states with highest and lowest car ownership
- Delhivery IPO allotment
- Reliance Retail
- Indian Rupee
- Reliance JIO
- Best Deal on Smartphones
- Unacademy offline Classes
- Hubble Space
- 5G Phones Under Rs. 20000
- Disney+hotstar Subscribers
- Reliance Industries
- Venus Pipes Tubes IPO
- Matheesha Pathirana
- Adani Green
- Paradeep Phosphates balance sheet
- Spam Calls in India
- Whatsapp Reaction