It doesn’t matter if you’re a SAHM, WAHM, or WOHM*. Being a mother isn’t easy. Some days its roses and rays of sunshine. Other days, it’s exhausting and absolute hell. If you’re lacking a mom tribe, you can feel even worse, downright lonely.
Regardless if you have a fairy-tale partner who massages your aching back at the end of the day or cooks you a marvelous dinner after hearing about your toddler’s hellacious meltdown in the shoe aisle at Target, you still need a fellow mother (or 10) who truly understands and who can relate to a day in the life of a mother. A day where sometimes your only accomplishments are washing a load of laundry and checking the mail, thanks to your beautiful screaming baby who insists on taking refuge on your hip or nipple only.
Ya, feel me?
Bottom line, you need friends, Mama. Mom friends. Let me show you how I built my sanity saver, my mom tribe.
They have a conference for everything. Santa impersonators. A world toilet summit. A meeting of clowns. Literally everything. Of course, they would have conferences dedicated to the wonderful field of momdom. There are general mom conferences that cover mommyhood, as well as specialized conferences dedicated to working mothers or gay parenting. Either way, a conference, or special event, is an awesome opportunity to engage with other people who are on a similar journey. Most of these happenings also offer networking opportunities and platforms where attendees can ask questions and exchange tips. I attended the Mom Equipped- ME Conference this past spring and made several local mom friends who I now hang out with regularly. You can find these type of events on Facebook Local (a separate app than the regular Facebook app), the MeetUp app, or Eventbrite.
It’s as easy as searching “(insert your city here) mom group” in the search bar. Or, if you want something more specific, you can search, “Stay at home moms (insert your city here) or the reverse order. I found a few local mom groups that way. You submit a request to be added, typically answer a few questions to make sure you’re legit, and like that, you’re in. Some groups are more active than others with regards to meeting up. Others will just use the groups to seek advice, hawk the latest weight loss supplement, or to dispose of old baby goodies. Either way, these options are available to you. What’s cool is you can stealthily stalk the member’s Facebook pages or Meetup profiles to see if there are any that you think you would mesh with. Hey, if you’re going to hang around them with your kids, do you want to just befriend anyone?? Didn’t think so.
Seriously, many libraries offer the best indoor play areas and greatest selection of moms. (sound like I’m on the dating scene, ha!) “Greatest selection” meaning there are moms from all walks of life: a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures. I’ve met some amazing young mamas here who have joined me on my, “OMG, am I doing this right?!” moments. I shouldn’t have to convince you why the library is the hip place to see and be seen, but if I must, see here.
If you’re an avid church-going lover of God, then check with your church to see if they have a dedicated mom group. If your church doesn’t have one, look into starting one! If there isn’t a lot of interest (where are all the mommies at?!), some church groups have an open invitation to all moms, regardless if you’re part of their church family. MOPS, a faith-based organization, also helps moms of young children to connect with other mothers. You can search their mom groups here. Although these groups are affiliated with a church, most often they are meeting in the park, at a coffee-shop, living-room, or even via video-conferencing (because sometimes it’s just impossible to muster up enough energy to put on regular people clothes).
Running around the house wiping greasy handprints off the walls 34 times in a row is enough to drive any mom insane—or to the park! Your kiddo needs to blow off steam, and so do you. Besides meeting new moms there, being outside helps us mamas with a little thing called postpartum depression (read more about why it’s best for you and your child to be outdoors). If you’re too shy to strike up a conversation with another mother, it’s bound that your children will bring you together. I recently met an awesome mom, and her two daughters, at our neighborhood playground. And, guess what? I’m going to a big BBQ at her house next month. Bring on the steak, beer, and diaper talks!
Pictures of cute babies, messy faces, mom fails, and postpartum bodies striving for leanness, what’s a better platform to solicit a mom-to-mom conversation? Yes, it’s virtual, but I “know” and follow some amazing moms that I’ve been lucky to share awesome candid conversations with. Texting is the number one-way besties stay connected, how is this different? As we chug our overflowing mugs of coffee, some of my followers and I have been known to DM each other to crack up over how our kid just pooed liquid lava in the tub. Hey, you got to laugh at these things, right? Once you get to know some of your favorite followers, you may end up meeting them in person too.
Whether its Stroller Strides©, Baby Boot Camp, or a kiddie swim class at the local YMCA, mommy-and-me fitness classes can be found just about anywhere. Sweating mommies bonding over crunches, burpees (the bad kind, not the cloth ones), and excited babies will immediately develop a bond that can’t be dismissed easily. Plus, we all know how freaking difficult it is to lose this jiggly baby fat. You and your new fitness-oriented mom friend can help motivate each other to stay on track. Workout before wine. Got it?
How did you make mommy friends?
*[Quick Reference Tool:
SAHM = Stay At Home Mom; acronym doubles as a reference to listening to Baby Einstein on repeat, as you sweep up biscuit crumbs and wipe down juice covered walls, while you rush to stop the baby from climbing up a wooden chair that she hit her face on last week.
WAHM = Work at Home Mom; acronym doubles as a reference to the wee sound of a gnome asking “Mommy, what are you doing?” as he knocks 421 times on your home office door, while you try your damnedest to focus.
WOHM = Work Outside the Home Mom; acronym doubles to indicate that you will often think, “I don’t know how I survive on so little sleep and manage to get out the door on time, but somehow I am able to juggle all of these balls in the air.”