What happened to community spirit?

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

I'm in a bad mood.

We're moving house in a few days time and my friends and neighbours are just ignoring it, and no one is offering to help eg with minding the kids or inviting us over for dinner or just showing some interest.

Some of these people I have helped in many ways over the years, and I just can't believe how they aren't there for me now.

I know they're busy, we all are, but where is their community spirit?


Medic - posted on 05/25/2012




We do moving parties like Dove.....its called hey I have food.....beer......and we can all hang out....bring your trucks and friends and lets get this shit done.

Tracey - posted on 05/24/2012




Maybe they don't think you need any help. Have you asked anyone for help or are you assuming they won't help you?


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[deleted account]

Hey - good news - yesterday we went to our new house to get the key to the shed and the neighbour came out and introduced herself. She said "oh we have a tradition to have a party welcoming new people to the street, we look forward to having one for you!"

How nice is that?! Sounds like there might be a better spirit in our new place.

[deleted account]

@ Jakki - yeah there are friends and family who will help but in terms of neighbors being friends it's rare unless you knew the neighbor in another capacity beforehand. Othwerwise most neighbors keep to themselves

[deleted account]

PS My daughter has just done a speech at school on "Community Spirit", and as part of her research she asked a woman we know who is amazing and totally believes in it. This is what she answered in response to my daughter's questions:

"What does community spirit mean (to me)?

Community spirit is generated when you value and care for the community as a whole rather than just considering your own individual interests in isolation. Cooperating and connecting with one another helps to create strong, healthy, cohesive communities that, in turn, meet the needs of all the individuals who live there.

Why do I volunteer in the community?

I volunteer my time energy and skills in the community because I recognise and value the importance of connected communities. I genuinely care about all aspects of my community environment and feel like an integral part of it. It feels natural to me. Actively contributing to and participating in my community is empowering and allows me to have a voice and a role in shaping it. It is fulfilling, meaningful and energising. I think people often feel like they don’t’ have time to give because they are overwhelmed in trying to stay on top of their own lives. However our own lives only exists in relation to others and when the community you live in is healthy and connected it supports and enhances your own life – you gain as much as you give. It is a sustainable cycle."

[deleted account]

What kind of a friend is that?! Gah! I'm glad you got some new friends.

That's the thing with community spirit - people offer help, people accept help, it's all part of being in a community, it all feels natural and easy.

Kelina - posted on 05/25/2012




lol we managed that once. The whole moving party. The funny thing is, the two people who showed up to that are the same two people who have been willing to let me bribe them with hotdogs and chocolate to help with reno's and babysitting. I try not to ask for help very often, and to help out other people as often as possible. Unfortunately this often results in the few times I am desperate enough to have to ask for help, I wind up breaking down when everyone I call tells me no for some reason or another. Last time I cried for ten minutes when B told me she didn't want to help because I couldn't keep my house clean. the reason I was exhausted and overwhelmed? I'd spent the entire day before at another friends house helping her clean because she was tired and overwhelmed-with B. Luckily I've recently managed to make some new friends lol.

[deleted account]

Hi Dove - yes I want to hear more about where you live, it sounds great that people have a moving party. We used to do that sort of thing before we had kids and everybody retreated into their nuclear families. Like go over and help paint somebody's new house, then you all hang out and have a BBQ afterwards. I LOVE that kind of vibe.

And Kelina - I know what you mean about the reno's taking a year (nb that's renovations for non-Aussies) - and now you're having a baby??? Good luck. Bloody hell - I'd drop you over a meal if you were nearby!

I think you defintely do run out of people's goodwill after a few times of asking. I always try to build up "credit" with friends when things are quiet so I don't feel bad asking when I really need it.

Rachael - just out of interest, when you say there's no community spirit, what about amongst your friends and family, do people help each other much?

Kelina - posted on 05/24/2012




Lol Jakki if you find it let me know. Hell, I'd be happy with family common sense. I went into preterm labor yesterday and wound up in the hospital. I've found plenty of moms who I barely know are willing to pitch in and lend a hand when needed. Yet not one family member who has offered to help. I think it's awesome that someone finally offered to give you a hand, I'm another person who has a hard time asking for help but when it's offered it's much easier to just say yes. Dove I wish I knew more people like the ones you know! Usually when I do end up asking for help I get big fat no's. It's one of the reasons our reno's have taken us over a year and still aren't complete.

[deleted account]

Thanks guys for your comments - it's really interesting to hear some different angles on this.

I was hanging around the school this morning when not one but TWO mums came up and asked about the move and then said "can I help in any way?" I was so touched I almost cried!

Jaime - posted on 05/24/2012




I think your first mistake is assuming that just because you've helped these people in the past, they should want to help you now. Expecting a return on a favour you've done in the past will almost always end in your disappointment. Waiting for them to offer to help you when you know you need help is a bit silly to be honest.. Ask them. It's that simple. Maybe they're busy, but maybe they have some free time to help you out too. You won't know until you ask them. Good luck and I hope the move goes quickly for you :)

[deleted account]

I haven't actually asked them - I feel like they should offer to help. It's embarrassing to ask. It doesn't take a genius to see that we'd need help.

I should say that several people were really nice and offered to help while we were in process of selling our old house back in March/April. Maybe those people feel they've already helped once and that's enough. There's just a whole lot of other people who I haven't heard from, even though they drive past our house and can see the SOLD sign.

I would help any one of them if they were moving, but it's a big fat silence.

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