No "Mom Tribe." No Worries.
Every mom goes through it at least once in their life. Call it a crisis. Call it a dilemma. Call it simply being an introvert. Call it being too busy. But every mom seems to struggle when it comes to finding their “tribe.”
There’s always a lot of chatter going around about “finding your tribe.” The other moms who get you. Your "people." Your group of moms with whom you feel comfortable commiserating. The moms who will drink wine with you during playdates. You know... those mom friends.
BUT News Flash. There are moms who never find their Mom Tribe. And, there are moms who don’t want a tribe. Yep. Believe it or not, there are moms who go through life without ever finding their Mom Tribe. And sometimes, it’s on purpose.
I'm Just Not That Into You...
There are a few reasons why a mom may never find her tribe. Some of these moms aren’t actually looking for a tribe: they’re searching for their clone. A mom who feels the same way, raises their children with the same principles, and a mom who basically lives the same life. So, by putting all your eggs in one "clone basket," you’re letting a whole pack of potential mom friends pass you by.
Or, maybe you let stereotypes get in the way that prevent you from finding a solid group of mom friends (aka - don't be the judgey mom).
You homeschool? No thanks.
You don’t vaccinate your kids? Pass.
You let your kids watch how much T.V.? Disgraceful...
Essentially, moms shoot themselves in the foot in so it’s virtually impossible to find any mom that makes the cut.
As I get older, I am becoming more and more aware of who I want to spend time with and I do feel like going out sometimes is just too peopley. My idea of a great Friday night is watching Hallmark movies in my old baggy sweatpants with a bowl of popcorn & glass of wine. Alone.
It's Nothing Personal
That being said, I also completely understand the need for meaningful relationships moms build with one another. I love seeing groups of women come together and support one another. I think it’s fantastic when moms find “their people” and encourage each other. If you want to be besties with other moms at carpool, go girlfriend. If you have a walking group with other new moms, I'll cheer you on (from afar... very afar).
I am happy for them, and completely at peace with the fact that I don’t have that. But this isn't where you should feel bad for me. I have friends. I have a huge network of creatives that I work with and chat with regularly. I have my core group of girlfriends. But that’s different than having a mom tribe.
And it’s not for total lack of trying - I’ve woken up early to go to library storytimes. I’ve gone to indoor playrooms for toddlers. I follow community family events and kid-friendly events (but rarely go). It's just that the connections I made never flourished, for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because I really didn’t want to have a tribe, or maybe it’s because I am too sarcastic or that I don't feed my kids organic snacks. Or maybe it’s because I don’t click with these moms and we don’t have enough in common.
But that’s okay.
As a mom who likes being home and working from home, I am accepting the fact that I don’t have (or need) a tribe. Do I have mom friends? Yes, I do. We occasionally get together for playdates and discuss the trials our toddlers are putting us through, and I have good friends that get me. I have a few mom friends (who are less than conveniently located), and I have a really solid group of girlfriends who I can fully rely on (and who love my daughter like their own).
There are downsides, naturally. If I need a sanity break from parenting, I don’t have group I can turn to to watch the kids for an hour or two. I don’t have a group of women who will motivate me to walk or exercise a few times a week. And I don’t have massive playdates or group trips with other children and their moms.
It's Me, Not You
So I’ve reached the point where I can fully accept that I don’t have a “tribe”. I’ve spent enough time being jealous of moms who do, and I’ve spent enough time complaining and whining to my dear husband about not having any mom friends. I’m okay with momming on my own and doing my own thing with my girls. In fact, because we do our own thing, we’ve gotten to do some pretty cool things at our own pace.
I like my situation, and I like that I don’t have to follow a long stream of group text messages about where the next playdate is going to be. I can be independent and I can be myself and it’s okay if I don’t fit into the boundaries of a “Mom Tribe.”
When the momming gets rough, I have women I can call upon - they aren’t all moms. And they may live 500 miles away. But they are my people, and they will listen and they will let me vent and they support me. I also have some local girlfriends who are always down to grab coffee (or a cocktail) and just gossip about life and let me feel human again.
Perhaps one day when my kids are older and I hesitantly join the PTA, I’ll meet other moms who are the parents of other kids and we will bond and have that instant connection. And that will be cool. But in the meantime, I’m done searching for a tribe.