FINDING YOUR MOM TRIBE
Being a new mom can be the loneliest time of your life. (At the same time, with young kids, you may never be alone.) You are trying to navigate a whole new world, likely not getting nearly enough sleep or time to recharge, and you are learning new skills by the hour. Finding a mom tribe to be by your side is crucial.
WHAT IS A MOM TRIBE?
A mom tribe is a group of other moms, who are your soul sisters. They can commiserate with you on all the struggles that come with being a mom. They have been, or currently are, in your same shoes and completely get the complexities (and awesomeness) that come along with being a new mom. They don’t judge you. They support you. They are your besties.
WHY HAVING A MOM TRIBE IS THE BEST
1) You get to have adult conversations. (But at the same time, they also completely understand why it’s almost impossible to finish a conversation with young kids around.)
2) They get where you are in life.
3) They don’t care that you haven’t showered or folded your laundry or have a sink full of dishes.
4) Their children are instant playmates for your children.
5) They bring you up when you feel low.
6) They treat your children as if they are their own.
7) They help you keep your sense of identity.
HOW TO FIND YOUR MOM TRIBE
1) GET YOURSELF OUT THERE
Your tribe isn’t going to show up on your doorstep on their own. You need to do some work. Here are some examples of where you can find your tribe.
- Join a class for mothers (e.g. prenatal yoga, mommy and me yoga, Mom’s club, work-out class, post-baby support group, lactation group, etc…)
- Put yourself out there on social media. Find local mom’s groups and engage in the conversations.
- Attend your local library’s free children events (e.g. story time, crafts, etc…)
- Start a conversation with others at the gym.
- Ask a co-worker to grab lunch with you.
2) MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
It can be awkward to ask someone to hang out for the first time, but if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. (And if they say no, you probably don’t want them in your tribe anyway.) If you are too nervous to ask them to hang out right away, ask them if they would like to connect on social media. Engage and comment on their posts until you feel comfortable reaching out to plan a date.
3) SHOP AROUND
Think about all the people you come across in life. It’s impossible and unrealistic to think that you will be besties with every one of them. Don’t let this hold you back in reaching out to others. But know that just like dating, you may need to “shop around” to separate those who may be just acquaintances, to those who are your soul sisters, your mom tribe.
4) LOOK FOR OTHERS WHO ARE LIKE MINDED (BUT DON’T BE TOO PICKY)
It’s funny how incredibly different the girls in my tribe are from each other. We have a lot of the same underlying values but are very different at the same time. If you set your mind too narrow in what you are looking for in a friend (or try to find a clone of yourself), you will never find anyone. Decide what traits are an absolute must for you and forget the rest. Know that not one person can meet all your needs.
5) LEAVE JUDGEMENT BEHIND
It’s very easy to judge a book by its cover. Try to get back to a place when you were a child… you didn’t care what someone looked like, what their political affiliation is, what religion they practiced; if they were fun to play with and treated you nicely, they were considered your friend.
6) MAKE TIME TO FIND FRIENDS
I’ve heard from countless new mothers that they are too busy to find new friends. I get it, I really do. Especially when you are a new mom and your world completely changes overnight, you may not be sleeping, and you may not be feeling particularly outgoing. The good news is that there are so many places to make new friends where you can take you child with you. And, the moment when you connect with another mother and realize that you are not alone in your lack of sleep and lack of time to do anything, it’s worth everything.
7) RECONNECT WITH OLD FRIENDS
Finding your mom tribe doesn’t mean you need to find all new friends. Think about those who you may have lost connection with. Reach out to them to reconnect.
Step out of your comfort zone and meet someone new. Say hello to someone new. Put yourself out there on social media. Ask someone to get together.
The funny thing is when you talk to other moms, most of them are always open to finding new friends. You’re not going to be successful unless you try.
ABOUT MY MOM TRIBE
In my days post-college but pre-babies I would frequently say to my husband, “Do you know how many best friends I have out there that I haven’t met yet?”
For me, there was an awkward few years of feeling lost in who my tribe was – coming from being a part of a sorority in college (where you did everything with your tribe), to the early years of working when so many friends scattered across the country and you were left with the occasional girl’s weekend and phone/text catch-ups.
I was very adamant that I would not go through motherhood alone. Early on in my pregnancy, I joined a prenatal yoga class. I left like a lost puppy at first, wondering how many classes it would take for me to meet someone, or even if I’d ever meet someone who would one day be my friend. I was very lucky and though putting myself out there was uncomfortable, I’m glad I did because I eventually found a group of girls that I can call my soul sisters. Since we’ve met, we’ve supported each other in countless ways without hesitation. They are a constant source of empowerment, encouragement, laughter, and love. I am forever grateful for these girls who I am proud to call my mom tribe.
(And I can’t forget about the lovely ladies not pictured here including my college besties (turned sisters) and those who have stuck around since my high school days! Multiple mom tribes are even better than one!)
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