We were never meant to do this alone.
Life with a baby can be so isolating.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have a strong support system in place before your baby’s born.
If you’re doubly lucky, they won’t ghost you now that you have a squalling infant strapped to your body.
Whether or not you have an established community, mama friends are vital.
Other mamas understand what it’s like to both love someone beyond words and be so touched-out you could scream. They’re there to celebrate the tiniest milestones and to support us through our sleep-deprived haze. When all we need is a few minutes to vent our frustrations, they’re a phone call away.
My tribe keeps me sane.
In this post, I offer five ways to find your tribe.
1) Take a Class
There are so many options these days: birth classes, baby music meetups, workouts designed around strollers. If classes feel out of reach financially, try Meetup or search for a local moms group.
Paying to socialize isn’t really my jam, but I received a gift card to our local yoga studio as a baby shower gift. I loved their prenatal and postpartum yoga classes, and it was a great way to meet local moms. Joining a circle of pregnant women each week was a powerful experience.
2) Take a Hike
Time outdoors, adult conversation, and exercise are all vital to my mental health. Hikes with other families provide all three.
See if your area has a HikeIt Baby branch — or start one yourself! It’s a great way to get active and connect with other families. If nothing else, it’s always good to get outside and talk to another (babywearing) grownup.
3) Get Online (and then Offline)
FaceBook can be a dangerous place.
It’s easy to get hooked on that soul-sucking, endless scroll.
But it can also be the perfect place to connect with like-minded parents.
One of the insidious dangers of social media the illusion of connection. It provides us with conversation without actually allowing for the soul-nourishing connection of face-to-face interaction.
So reach out!
Post in a local mom group or message a like-minded mama. Set a date, and follow through.
4) Story Time
Is a small room swarming with overstimulated toddlers and snotty plastic bobbles your idea of a good time? No? Well, hopefully your local library is less of a shitshow than mine. Check it out!
Really, though. If you have a toddler, the library is probably your best option for a free meetup. My local bookshop and the kids museum also host story times.
5) Be Brave
Strike up a conversation with another parent at the park.
If she’s your kind of weird, ask for her number and set up a play date. You know, for the kids. I’m pretty sure playing near other babies (or acknowledging each other long enough to leave a dental imprint) is good for their development.
Making new friends has never been easy for me, but I’ve gotten so much better at it since having my son. I went on a dozen lackluster (play)dates before I found my mom-date soulmate… and I’m so glad I did.
Have you found your tribe?