If you have read any books or articles on being a mother, one thing usually comes up at some point…you need a tribe. Becoming a parent is hard, unpredictable, and chaotic. Having a group of other moms who know what you’re going through and will help you at the drop of a dime can be the best thing to happen to a new or veteran mom.
But for some reason, in my eight years of being a parent, I’ve just never found my people.
Before having my children I was perfectly happy with my small group of friends that changed every time we moved to a different state, and my long-distance family that we regularly saw at holidays and family events. It was fine for my husband and me to spend money on a trip 2-3 times a year to visit and then come back to our home we had made a 15-hour drive away.
Then our children came, and even though we had prided ourselves on being so self-sufficient for so many years, I realized I was lost in this new world of parenting, just beyond the walls of the village we had stood outside of for so long.
All the articles I read were right. Having a group of people close by would be so helpful. You need someone, besides your partner, you trust to help you through those hard times. Someone who can be there to pick up your older child from school because you have to run your toddler to the ER. A friend to drop off cough syrup and soup at your door when your whole family is too sick to leave the house. A mom who welcomes you with open arms in the middle of the day to hold your baby for 30 minutes so you can shower alone and feel like a person again.
It seemed like everywhere I looked in the early days after having my second child, all the moms were boasting about their tribes. They all were posting pictures of their weekly playdates, impromptu mom nights, and coordinated carpools for school drop-off. I couldn’t believe this kind of a world existed outside of sitcoms, and it still has me wondering some times…
Where is my village?
I started joining mom groups online and going to mommy and me playdates with my youngest. We went to storytimes at the library and mom fitness groups. Everyone I met at these gatherings was perfectly great in their own way, but I never felt any real click of friendship or any real connection besides us all having tiny humans.
It’s been eight years of being a mother and even though I do have some mom acquaintances and friends who are in different life stages than my family, I am coming to terms with not having a close-knit mom tribe like I see all over social media. Maybe it’s because I’m more introverted, or because I can come off as sarcastic and distant when you first meet me, but for whatever reason, I’m learning and coping with being okay as a “loner” mom.
And even though I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of those mom friends who all live on the same block and bring each other casseroles and have wine together on their porch on the weekends, I can say I am happy for them. I’m happy they have found a place to be lifted up by other women and feel like they belong.
You don’t need to feel sorry for me, or try to help me find more friends. I am happy with who I am, and I don’t plan on changing at all to fit in. I’m an adult, my personality is pretty stuck where it is, so if someday I find another mom close by who wants to stick around that will be great. But for now, I’m at peace with being on the outskirts of the village circle.