When I got pregnant, much of the advice I heard was to find your tribe. Build your village. Make some mom friends. As someone who already had friends, and many with kids, I didn’t really understand the importance of this idea.
Once my daughter was born, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember thinking, “Oh, I get it now”. Finding a group of moms with kids similar in age to yours can be truly invaluable to the parenting process. Having other people who are experiencing the same milestones and challenges as you is helpful beyond measure when you have questions, need advice, or just want someone to validate your struggle. To anyone considering embarking on the journey of motherhood without a mom group, I urge you to reconsider.
I devoted my maternity leave to befriending all the new moms I could find. I joined a new moms group, I posted on my neighborhood message board, and I attended a variety of postnatal exercise classes.
I met a LOT of moms.
It’s kind of remarkable how being thrust into motherhood has a way of bonding women together. I saw a post online a while back that said, “I see you have created a human. I too have done this. – Me trying to make mom friends” and I feel like that pretty much sums it up.
That said, I didn’t just want mom friends, I wanted friends who are moms.
The distinction is really what the friendship hinges on. Are we friends because of our kids or are we friends because of us?
It was important for me to recognize that becoming a mom didn’t mean I stopped being a person in my own right. Talking about our babies was an obvious ice breaker, but I didn’t want it to be the only thing that bonded us together. So I made a point to ask questions about them. I learned what they did for work. I learned about their hobbies, where they grew up, how they met their spouses, if they had any siblings, etc. You get the idea…
These questions sparked deeper, longer conversations that evolved over time into genuine, supportive, wonderful friendships. When we get together, do we talk about our kids a lot? Absolutely. Is it the only thing we talk about? Definitely not. It’s fun to be able to tell stories about your kid to someone who will appreciate them and to talk about your experience in the role of a mother It’s also nice to ask for career advice or solve a puzzle room together or swap seeds for gardening.
Before I became a mom myself, I really didn’t understand how moms I knew could talk about their kids so much. Now I get it; they become your world. But the weird part is, your other worlds don’t disappear. So it’s nice to find people in the same position, just trying to figure out how to juggle all of their worlds at once.