Not Every Mom Has A 'Tribe.' And That's Okay.
There’s always a lot of chatter about “finding your tribe.” The other moms who get you. Your people. Your group of moms with whom you feel comfortable commiserating.
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.
There are a few reasons why a mom may never find her tribe. Some moms aren’t looking for a tribe, but what they’re really searching for is 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 basket, you’re letting a whole pack of moms pass you by.
Or maybe you put up walls that prevent you from finding a solid group of mom friends.
You homeschool? Wall.
You don’t vaccinate your kids? Wall.
You let your kids watch how much T.V.? Wall.
Essentially, moms box themselves in so it’s virtually impossible to find any mom that makes the cut.
As I get older, I am becoming more and more introverted and I do feel like going out sometimes is just too peopley. My idea of a great Friday night is watching Food Network in my sweatpants with a bowl of popcorn. Alone.
I also completely understand the 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.
I am happy for them, and completely at peace with the fact that I don’t have that. I’m on the outskirts of a lot of social circles.
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). But 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 weird. But that’s okay.
As a mom who loves 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. But they’re few and far between - not to mention geographically far away - so do I have a tribe? I don’t have that group of mom friends that gets together for wine nights or game nights that giggle like middle school girls. No, I don’t have a tribe.
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.
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). 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 daughter. 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 - they aren’t moms. And they may live 1500 miles away. But they are my people, and they will listen and they will let me vent and they support me.
Perhaps one day when my kids are older and I hesitantly join the PTA, I’ll meet other moms who are the parents of my kids and we will bond and have that instant connection. And that will be great. But in the meantime, I’m done searching for a tribe.