To the Mom Who Doesn’t Have a Tribe
Lately I’ve heard chatter in the mom world from gals who feel as though they can’t find their tribe. Their people. The gals they feel comfortable hanging with. Their friends. Their support.
Which is a total bummer. It’s just not right to go through life without a group of mamas who have your back.
So I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve realized about building a tribe of mom friends. Grab a cup of coffee. Ready?
1. Sometimes it’s hard to find a tribe because that’s not actually what we’re looking for.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a tribe because in all honesty, we’re not actually looking for a tribe—we’re looking for a twin.
We want that person who lives the same life as us. Who believes like us and thinks like us. Who has kids the same age.
Y’all, that’s not a tribe. That’s a clone.
While you’re spending all your time searching out your doppelganger, there are a million potential tribe members passing you by.
2. “I can’t find my tribe” is sometimes a badge.
Brutal honesty? I see some people wear “I can’t find a tribe” or “I don’t fit in anywhere” as a badge.
As in my situation is so unique and my life/personality/color of socks so different than anyone else’s, there is no way that anyone could understand me or my life.
Ladies, I call BS.
We all go home and close the door behind us to sit in a house that no one sees. We’ve all got stuff. We’re all dealing with things. We all have situations that are different and hard and unique and special.
All of us. Author included.
But here’s the thing—we’re all more alike than we’d sometimes like to admit. And the problem with perpetuating this “I have no tribe” mentality is that you think you’re floating alone on a deflating raft in the middle of the ocean, when in reality you’re being stalked by an ocean liner full of women who are ready and willing and waiting to pull you aboard.
What if we all understood that we have something in common with 99.99% of people we meet?
What if we all used that as a starting point?
3. The hardest part in building our mom tribe? We put up walls.
Sometimes, the issue with building a tribe is that we shut down if someone doesn’t share our beliefs.
You’re not a homeschooler? Up goes one wall.
You vaccinated your kids? There’s another wall.
You’re not married? Hello, third wall.
You listen to metal/eat at McDonald’s/have an only child/don’t allow television/have no tech limits/wear skirts and a headscarf/have 7 tattoos? Now, you have four walls—and do you know what that puts you in?
I’m an introvert. I totally get all the jokes about it being too peopley out there.
I completely understand the fear of putting yourself out there because you might find out that other mom thinks you’re weird or wrong or not worthy (or whatever pit-of-your-stomach fear you have left over from high school).
But we don’t have to be the same to get along. We don’t have to be duplicates of each other to help each other out.
We just have to be respectful, kind adults.
I can tell you from experience that it is completely possible for a gal who chooses not to vaccinate her kids to be friends with someone who works as a public health nurse for the local county.
It’s also possible for a nice church girl to be friends with a Wiccan or an atheist.
It’s possible for a rural farmgirl to be friends with someone who lives, works, and plays smack dab in the middle of the big city.
It’s completely possible for an unschooler to be friends with a public school teacher.
A lot of things are possible when we relax the membership requirements for our mom tribe from “people who are just like me” to “people who are kind and supportive and awesome”.
And yes, I won’t ignore the very large elephant in the room that starts with mean and ends with girls. They exist. They will always exist. And I know it feels like they are powerful and mighty.
But they aren’t the whole school, y’all.
They just think they are.
Go forth and build your tribe of mom friends.
We need a tribe of friends, and all those friends can be beautifully and amazingly different. That’s completely okay.
Your tribe of mom friends is there to celebrate with you and laugh with you and cry with you and bring you chocolate and wine when you have one (or several) of Those Days.
We all need a tribe of mom friends. Have you started building yours?