We’ve all heard the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” For many moms, that means physical help like daycare, or a nanny, or a family member close by. For some, it means having help from a spouse or partner at the end of the day. But for ALL of us moms, it means emotional support. We all need a tribe of women who have been through it before us and have made it out alive. My journey to find my mom tribe is probably similar to most of yours, and some of you are just beginning to create your village. So here are a few tips and ideas to help you find your tribe, and become part of a tribe the next new mom is going to need.
- Know that when you become a parent you are going to lose some friends and some friends will become much closer. Some friends fit perfectly into your pre-parenting life, and just don’t make sense when you have a new baby to take care of. This lesson will be a hard one, so make peace when you’re ready and know new friends are right around the corner. Two of my closest friends before I became a mom are now distant acquaintances, and while this was extremely upsetting to me at the time, I realized that those friendships were only meant to be part of my life for so long and that they needed to end in order to make room for new friends.
- Don’t be shy! There is nothing moms love more than someone ASKING them for advice instead of receiving unsolicited advice. When you ask another mom a question, you’re not only getting a real life experience answer, you are giving that mama a boost of confidence that she is doing something right. It’s a win-win for everyone, and a connection has been made. I probably texted my sister in law a hundred times each day during my pregnancy and during the first few months with a newborn, and she still speaks to me. So even if it was annoying to her, I know she also secretly loved it.
- Find a church home. When you have a baby, churches love to bring food to new families, and church food is always the best food you will ever eat. Church is also a great place to meet other families that have similar beliefs and ideas to you. We had been attending a church for a while when our daughter was born and we were blown away by the generosity of other families and moms there, and some of those women have become my closest friends today! But really, church food.
- Look online! There are COUNTLESS mom groups you can find online. From Facebook groups, to MOPS groups, to playdate groups, C-section recovery groups, postpartum depression groups, fitness groups, crafting groups, and so on and so on. I spent countless late night and early morning hours surfing the Internet while I nursed my newborn and enjoyed every blog and story I read from moms who had been in my shoes. The support I felt from other moms online inspired me to become a writer for Columbus Mom’s Blog!
- Create an opportunity to support other moms. For me, this looked like creating a weekly park get-together. It has been fun to get outside with some other moms and push our babies in strollers, and watch our kiddos run around on the playground while we all swap mom stories.
- BONUS: Get pregnant at the same time as your best friend. If you happen to have a close friend (or sister!) who is pregnant at the same time as you, you are in for daily texting of cravings, affirmations, fears, and annoyances that you share. My best friend was due 10 weeks ahead of me, and I am so thankful to have had someone going through the same thing as me! So if you can plan it out this way, I highly recommend it.
Finding a mom tribe isn’t something I ever thought about before becoming a mom, but I quickly realized it was something I needed. I hope that this list helps you to create the perfect tribe for yourself and for your family.