Motherhood is a pretty exclusive club. There is one rule you have to follow in order to get into the club, but it’s actually quite simple. Rule 1: become a mom. Doesn’t matter how, just the fact that you do. Once you’ve done that, boom. You’re in. Once you’re in the club your life is forever changed because you gain the most luxurious occupational title in the world: “Mom.”
Being a member of the mom club is kind of obvious. Most of the time a woman can display a “look” that says “Hey, I’m a mom” and there’s no denying her membership. For me that look is messy hair with 3 days of dry shampoo and a shirt that may or may not have toddler junk on it (we won’t define junk.) But for others it’s the baby carrier in tote, the massive diaper bag, the minivan full of kids, or the older woman with the sweet, caring gesture to hand you a sucker from the pew behind yours when a certain toddler is being loud in church. You know she’s obviously been there. She’s got to be a mom. Then sometimes women have all of their ducks in a row and look like they’re runway ready even with a toddler in hand. That’s not me but hey, you go girl.
All those different ways we display that we’re members of the mom world make us unique as moms and that’s part of the beauty of motherhood. That unique nature we all encompass means one mom might be good at something another might struggle with, and that is okay. In fact, it’s even better. Where I lack another woman might excel. I know this to be true for a lot of things in my life… but let’s save a chat about my lack of dinner cooking skills for another time. While I’m not the best cook I have found that Jennifer ends up sharing secrets to her hostess skills just about every time I’m at her house. We sharpen one another in areas we need it most and cooking dinner is definitely on my top 3. That’s what women should do: help lift each other up.
You might not have a friend living in your neighborhood who’s as easily accessible as I’m blessed to have, so you may be thinking “Where am I gonna find that woman who’s going to lift me up??” Well. It’s easy.
When you’re a mom you get to be around other moms whether you like it or not. Your kid needs a playdate? Go hang out with the other moms at the park. Your kid can attend a story time at the library and you can sit next to other moms while singing silly songs. Your teen can join a summer baseball league and where do you find yourself? Sitting on the sidelines next to other moms in the scorching heat all summer long.
Even if you’re not out and about physically, the social media world is more than willing to help you find some mom friends. Women I went to high school with are now becoming mothers and although we may not live near each other or get to see each other frequently, we still text about pregnancies, newborn life, and new mom survival tips. I was blessed to have women who knew my husband from college and law school email me massive lists of things I would need in my days at the hospital post-delivery and after coming home because they had just been there themselves. Those lists were life saving and I knew that when I was out of the newborn woods I would in turn pass the baton of information to another mom-to-be when the time came. I realized then, even in the earliest hours of being a mom, sitting in the hospital room struggling to figure out this nursing gig, that I would cling to those who have walked the path of motherhood before me. They would help me through this new phase in life. Nothing against my husband, as supportive as he is, he’s never given birth before.
I realized then, even in the earliest hours of being a mom, sitting in the hospital room struggling to figure out this nursing gig, that I would cling to those who have walked the path of motherhood before me.
Moms are everywhere and almost 99% of the time they are eagerly searching for a mom friend just like you. Being in the same stages of life means you get to have friends for your children but the bonus is that you also get to have a friend for yourself. You will text each other for advice, want updates on each other’s kiddos, attend dance parties at the library together (it’s a thing!), and always keep each other close at heart even when your motherly duties keep you busy at home. Those friends will become part of your mom tribe and honey, let me tell you, you need that mom tribe.
I tell you all of the above not to give you a how-to on motherhood. Trust me, there’s no how-to or guidebook for that and when you become a mom you get to figure out most of the process on your own. But as a mom, you don’t have to do it alone. Your mom tribe is the key to your success as well as sanity as a mom. Find those girls and cling to them through the good times, the bad, and even the oh-so-gross ones.
Keep up the good work, mommas. We’re rooting for you and those in your tribe are, too.
Half of the Raising Y'all duo at raisingyall.com