I grew up with most of my world in a 5km radius. The beach (at 14km) was far away. But the world is changing. There is a big difference between being 5-10 minutes from someone, and having to plan to see them. You can't just pop in to say hi as you go on your way to something else. More than that, without strong ultra-local communities, our support networks get stretched to breaking point.
I have always wanted kids, but I know that if things work out, it is going to be hard work. Many of my friends have 'the crazy eye', desperately trying to get through the tougher parts of parenting. On the radio the other day, a 'pet whisperer' was talking about interaction between toddlers and dogs. She was saying not to force dogs to interact if they back off. It is their way of safely saying, 'this is just a bit too much'. The toddler first needs to learn to play nice, or else they require full time supervision when interacting with the pet. Sometimes parents, doing the supervising, feel like retreating like the dog.
I spoke of 'The five points of Yoga' to a friend - Proper Exercise, Breathing, Relaxation, Diet and Positive Thinking. He just laughed. It seems to become almost impossible to ensure people find the time to look after themselves first when they have kids. Even simple things are difficult without each other. Without time. We need to consciously make space and time, for each other.
The reality is that it is difficult for a Global Village to raise a child. It is easy for someone to take the kids for an hour when they live just round the corner. Long enough for a wide eyed parent to have a shower, or go for a run, or have a moments silence. In a global world, full of escape hatches, strong local glue is essential.