Motherhood is hard and no one really tells it as it is. Your sleep is never the same. Your pre-pregnancy clothes won’t fit as they did before children (or at least mine don’t). Your car smells like vomit as a result of old McDonald’s fries being stuck between the hard to get gaps of your car seats. You find it hard to relate to your single-non-mother friends. The conversations about which dance club you should visit on the weekend or if you should party all night without sleep…just aren’t as fun as they once were. Your bedtime shifts from 2 am to 9 pm.
The truth is that a mom’s world and a non-mom’s world can be polar opposites. A mom’s world involves : baby cord banking, the five dollar difference between Huggies or Kirkland diapers, staying up late, no sleep, 40% holiday sales at Baby Gap, deciding whether to enroll your child in a Montessori or Reggio or Waldorf or Public school, Honda Pilots with three rows or Toyota Highlanders with two rows, the after school soccer unfairness, weekend trips to the Discovery Cube, IEP’s or 504plans, and the list goes on and on.
These conversations aren’t exciting or relatable to everyone just moms. So is it possible to be as fulfilled with your mom friendships as you were before you had children?
The answer is: Yes! If you can have these three moms in your new tribe.
Mom #1: The Mentor
The first mom to have in your tribe is what I call, “The Mentor”. She’s a mom who is a few “light years” ahead of you and has many mom lessons under her belt. She has one or many kids and has experienced nirvana (5+ hours of sleep per night).
This mom will be your go-to mom when you’re crawling through the trenches of mom valley. She’ll be your listening ears, hold space for your breakdowns, and hold your hand while making hard mom decisions. The mentor mom is resourceful, understanding, and full of advice. The best place to find this mom is at your child’s school PTA, school club, or through your own circle.
Mom #2: The Mirror Mom
The second mom to have in your tribe is a mom who has a child the same age as your child. She is you and you are her. The mirror mom will be your ally and relate to you on many levels; whether it be your children’s growth spurt, behavioral or school problems, and possibly physical changes too.
The best place to find this mom is at the pick-up gate of your child’s school or by simply letting your child’s best friend direct you to her. The mirror mom is compassionate, understanding, and will also remind you of important school news and dates.
Mom#3: The Newbie Mom
The third mom is what I call, “ The Newbie”. She is a mom who is pregnant or in the beginning stages of mommyhood. The newbie might experience fewer hours of sleep and adult interaction than you. This mom in your tribe is not there for you; you are there for her to share your wisdom and simply to pay it forward. In your journey, you will acquire knowledge, patience, humor, and lessons.
This mom will find you and you’ll be fulfilled in this relationship by giving to her.
The Beauty of Mom Tribes
One thing to remember is that mom friendships are cyclical. One moment you’re the confused newbie mom standing in front of the baby formula aisle and the next, you’re the mentor mom driving the soccer carpool van with six overly excited kids cutting through the residential streets to make it to practice on time. Then when your child moves on to a new school or transitions from child to teen, and the cycle begins all over again.
In my experience, mom tribes are beautiful, rewarding, and fulfilling, when every member gives to one another. I think Aristotle said it best, “The perfect friendship is the one of virtue and good, in which friends love each other for their own sake, and they wish good things for each other”. This is the key element in all friendships and can be your guide in seeking the best mom tribe too.