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For those of us living in the west, finding friendships with other moms can be a whole thing. Like, a whole thing that doesn’t really happen. Unlike most cultures, ours seems to think a new momma will be fine if left mostly alone in her house to recuperate with a brand new tiny person and all of the emotional upheaval. Yeah...not so much. Women aren't meant to fly solo through postpartum but this is how we do, and it leads to all kinds of problems for new moms, their families, and society as a whole. So this is it: if culture isn't going to do it for us, we must pave the way by making connection happen. And so we will, because we are women and we make things happen. :) Below are a six great options for finding your tribe. But before we get into it, let’s get to the secret sauce of success:
Never, ever, EVER give up.
If you find that one group of ladies isn’t a fit, keep trying. Look for other connections. Call places. Show up. It’s ok if you can’t one day or another. But definitely, whatever you do—keep reaching out. If you can’t go but you need people to come- ask. If you must get out of the house this minute but have no babysitting options- reach out. Community is just that important. And thankfully, there are options on and off line that can allow you a solid amount of flexibility, no matter your schedule and timeframe. Here are a few of those options.
Lean hard on your people if you’ve got them. If not, how about a friends family? Your spouse’s family? A created family of tight-knit friends? If possible, plug into a family unit, whether your own or someone else’s. The rule here: stay away from the people who thrive on family drama. For all of the reasons.
Even for the non-churchgoing among you, church groups are a great place to find your tribe, because lots of moms go to church, and lots of churches have moms groups. Don’t let the church part scare you—these are women just like you, walking through it. There will very likely be less judgement than you expect. If you attend a church that doesn’t offer any kind of moms group—now isn’t really the time to head up that initiative. Go ahead and reach out to other churches and plug into a moms group there.
MOPS. So many friends rave about Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS for short), and they are everywhere. Not just for Mothers of Preschoolers, MOPS is for moms of anyone who is pre-school. That includes your infant. Definitely check it out!
Mommy & Me Yoga or Fitness Classes
The fitness part + the baby part = multiple levels of connection. Take it further and invite that mom you’re connecting with out for coffee, or out for a playdate. You could even create a get-together for the whole class, if that’s more comfortable. And bonus- the fitness aspect hikes enorphines and calms stress.
On that note:
Fit4Mom includes Stroller Strides, Body Back, and the pregnancy focused Fit4Baby. Helping moms find their tribe is part of the purpose of Fit4Moms, and many women go with the desire and expectation for meeting other moms and creating community- a perfect possibility.
You guys. This website is just everything when it comes to meeting other moms. Thankful to the brilliant mamas who started a site specifically dedicated to helping moms find other mothers in their area who they’ll very likely get along with, using specific algorithms. Think of it as match.com for moms. Check out this free service and find your people.
More than just breastfeeding support- LLL meetings are gatherings of women who are walking a similar journey, who understand where you're coming from and need connection just as much as you. Don't be intimidated if your local LLL meetings is held in a hospital or health clinic-you can definitely find your tribe (and get some great breastfeeding help while you're at it!)
Meetup.com is exactly that- a site that helps people of similar interests get together. Search for moms meetups in your area, or even specific parenting styles (Attachment Parenting meetups are a popular one). If there’s nothing yet, it takes just a couple of minutes to create a meetup and get a community together.
MPC is our very own (very awesome) online community of moms rallying around each other through postpartum and beyond. You are invited to join a private Facebook group of like-minded women. This growing, beautiful community of women is about encouragement, laughter, and camaraderie. Questions are answered, stories are shared, gifts are given, events and meetups are created… it’s a great world. And here’s the beauty: you can be in your PJ’s at 3am and still be getting the connection and encouragement you need. Interested? Join here.
No new mom should ever experience the smothering, defeating loneliness caused by a lack of support after birth. Use the links and resources above- (and definitely join the Circle!)- to connect to vibrant communities of moms walking a similar road. And no matter what, keep on connecting. Don’t give up. You are incredibly valuable, and your participation in a community is a gift to you and to the women you find.
Have you found your tribe? Tell us about it!