Mom Tribe. It may sound cliche, but the truth is that you don’t understand the value of mom friends until you become a mom. Sure, one or two of my friends from my pre-baby days still call to check in and follow along on Instagram, but more often then not, these days, those friendships look like this: initiate making plans at least a week in advance to try to be hip and stay out past 9 pm, hire a sitter only to get cancelled on at the last minute by my kid-less friends and wish that I had devoted my night to Netflix and wine to begin with.
The farther into my motherhood journey I get, the more I can see my friends without kids in the rear view mirror, as I drive away.
Not that there is anything wrong with that or any hard feelings, but for whatever reason, it seems like women have a hard time maintaining friendships when their lives aren’t exactly in sync. Engagements, marriage, and, of course, babies mean we are all in very different places in our lives then we were when those friendships were formed as single girls out on the town. It quickly becomes clear which relationships have staying power and which fizzle. When you become a fiancé, a wife, and a mama, your priorities no longer revolve around dancing on tables and closing bars down. Couple being in different chapters with the fact that I can only take so many last minute cancellations and I’m made to feel like my life is no longer exciting, or that what I’m doing is no longer as important to you as your other “kid-less” friends are, and it’s time to reevaluate.
Enter, the mom tribe.
These are the ladies who get it. They get you. They get struggle. They get the tantrums. They get the sleepless nights and the days you consider putting on yoga pants “getting dressed for the day.”
They get it because they are right there in the trenches of mamahood with you.
I was lucky enough to meet a group of a few moms on Facebook, of all places, and the first time we met we realized that all of our kiddos were born within 6 weeks of each other. It was love at first meeting, as we basically went from complete strangers to sharing stories and asking questions and realizing that we were not alone as first time mamas. That fight you had with your husband about how to latch the car seat? That happened to me last week. And you walked around for half of the day thinking you looked great until you noticed the smear of spit up on your shirt? I, too, have 15 unidentified stains on my shirt as we speak.
When I was pregnant, I would read stories about moms feeling “lonely” and was always confused… How could someone possibly be lonely when they are with a baby all day long? Until you are at home, alone, with an 8 pound bundle of joy who cries round the clock and you haven’t strung more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep together in weeks, you don’t really understand what lonely is. In those first few months of motherhood, those hard, hard months, when I was feeling lonely, I would reach out to my pre-baby friends and try to explain what was going on: “He hasn’t stopped crying for 2 hours, help!” I would often get something along the lines of “Dang girl that sucks!” As a response… I have entries in my mom-diary from those days, where I felt completely alone in the entire world.
So yes, to some, the mom tribe may sound cliche, but for me, it was a lifesaver.
If you are a mama, new or not, and you are feeling even the least bit alone or lost in your journey, you’re not! Making friends is hard, especially as a grown up, but just go for it – go to story time, or the park, or the mall, basically anywhere that there could be other kiddos and just dive in (click here for more great ideas on places to meet new mom friends). Because the truth is we all feel pretty alone at one point or another in this journey of raising littles, but having a group of strong, compassionate, incredible women who understand what you’re going through is one of the great perks of this job.
May I add, there are so many wonderful mom meetup groups in the area that will take some of the awkwardness out of meeting others and developing friendships! From groups on meetup.com, the multiple MOMS Club chapters to Hike it Baby and lots in between, there are wonderful options to try out and they are all mostly comprised of first time moms!