Why Finding Your Mom Tribe is So Important
Community. Tribe. Posse. Gang. Gaggle. You name it, as humans there is an innate drive in us to want to belong to something. Finding our place and being comfortable in that space helps us define our worthiness and to feel safe in our decisions. Finding the people who get your snarky jokes, share your love of sci-fi, or revel in your choice of music is what we, especially women, long for from an early age.
It wasn’t until I had kids though that I realized a new kind of community was needed in my life. One beyond the usual group of friends. The people I found were partners in crime. Women who understood what it meant to go all night wondering if your baby was still breathing. A confidant to compare mommy guilt stories, swap breastfeeding tricks, or offer words of encouragement. I am part of a tribe of moms.
It helps living in the Information Age of social media, Mommy Facebook Groups, Meetups, blogs, podcasts and everything in between. I can hop online, ask a question about everyday things like, “is this rash doctor appointment worthy?” or “why is my breastmilk a green color?”. I can solicit support from experienced moms, women who are going through exactly what I’m going through, and offer my own advice and support when appropriate. I don’t know these women and they don’t know me, but we are called together to help a sista out, and it’s amazing.
In the “real world” offline, I have an amazing support system of moms and friends from our church. Our tribe is strong. We nurture it. We love each other. Not only are we gathering together each week for Bible study or for services on Sunday, but we are doing life together. Trips to the Farmer’s Market, grilling burgers on a Sunday, bringing meals when a new baby is born. We compare stories, whine (and wiiiiiine) and gripe about life’s hiccups, and celebrate each other’s wins. I probably text a girlfriend of mine more in one day than I do my husband in an entire week. Little thoughts like, “I think my baby has multi-personalities. What have you observed?” to “This sweet chunky monkey made me reevaluate my purpose in life today - then he puked on me. How is your Monday going?”
I don’t know what I would do without my mom tribe when I was postpartum. Just knowing that a sympathetic ear was a text, phone call, or visit away made the days more bearable. Some close by who either just went through what I was going through or knew exactly how I was feeling was a comfort beyond words. Only moms know what it means to gaze down into the eyes of your baby and feel love, pain, frustration and elation all at once. To want to scream and snuggle in the same 30 seconds it took you to walk down the hallway at 2 in the morning towards a screaming munchkin. Moms know.
I also have the unique experience of being pregnant at the same time as my sister and my sister-in-law. To be able to just look each other from across the room and know EXACTLY what was going on has been and continues to be reassuring. Our babies are 3-6 months apart now and we are all going through it together. At each stage we are comparing notes, sending warnings about what’s coming next and loving on each other along the way.
I feel at this time I need to give a major shout out to my amazing husband. He was incredible throughout what was a very tiring and stressful time and he was my rock. He didn’t try to fix the situation when I was crying for no reason. He listened to me when I rambled on about sleep training methods and why every person on the mommy blog I was obsessed with that day was either a genius or crazy. He is my best friend and partner and I love us. But moms, you know, nothing beats a mommy friend who has got your back - literally - to let you know when you have spit-up running down it and isn’t afraid to wipe it up with her own shirt. Love you hubby, but my mom tribe is sending up smoke signals, gotta run.
I also need to acknowledge and applaud my friends that do not have children. They are wonderful. I know I can lean on them for whatever is thrown my way. Sometimes they are just what the doctored ordered to snap me out of a funk, or to talk about anything other than kids and playdates and diaper prices. They for sure have a special place in my heart. #ThanksBesties
The powerful bond between moms is a primal and unique connection that I recommend every mother have in their life! It’s true what they say, that it “takes a village”. It was probably a mom who coined this term. It’s the greatest feeling in the world knowing we will all be together as our babies grow up. These kids will have an onslaught of “aunties” to catch them when they fall, and what more can you ask for?
I encourage you to find your tribe. Through church, daycare, school, the internet,, yoga class, wherever. If you don’t have your tribe I implore you to put some effort into finding a community of moms. You put time and effort into choosing healthy food options, maintenance on your car, time with the kids. Put time into the people you surround yourself with who will support you as only a mom can.
Make sure during #MotherlovinFebruary to tell your mommy friends that you do have that they are doing a great job! Encourage them to be their very best. Just a simple reminder that you are there can really make a difference.
Don’t go through motherhood without having at least one mommy friend by your side. Keep up the great work momma, you are doing great!