Dear Tribe-Seeking Mama,
I see you reading all of the hype about mom tribes and mom squads, and I know you’ve been feeling pretty bad about it. For a while now, you have longed for a group of women who get you and your life. You scroll through the social media posts and think how awesome it would be if you, too, could have a group of women to take pictures with and hashtag as your people and affectionately dub as your “peeps.” There’s just something about a group of women who look alike, think alike, sound alike, dress alike, and act alike that makes you feel like they share an intimacy that you need to be a part of.
Motherhood can be challenging. Who can deny how impacting it is to have support, love, and encouragement from other mamas? When you see those mom squads together, they seem happy and fierce. Why isn’t your current season of life answering the longing in your heart for your own tribe? You want to be seen. You want to belong. You want to fit.
When you are a new mom in a group where everyone else shares obvious common ground, sometimes what you bring to the table feels small. They went to the same local high school and their mamas live across the street and have tea together on Tuesdays. Living in a city for years can still feel lonely when the mom cliques have been formed and entrance is guarded like a barricade. It can seem as if you are the odd woman out. All you want is an invitation to participate. You would gleefully say yes.
Sweet mama, I am here to encourage you right where you are. I have experienced all sides of friendship, and I can say assuredly you don’t need a tribe. You don’t need an exclusive group of moms to keep you sane and successful in mothering and in life. You don’t need a tribe to have a full, vibrant life of love and friendship, laughter, and support. You don’t need a tribe to feel comfortable being yourself. Like Amy March confidently told her sister Meg in search of scores of suitors, I say to all tribe-seeking mamas about friends: “You only need one if she is the right one.”
We need women in our lives to lift us up and support us during many trying days of motherhood. Just remember friendships come in many shapes and forms. If we look hard enough, good friends are all around us. Gathering with women who see life through the same lense as yourself will undoubtedly boost your esteem. However, it will expand your horizons and help you grow when you just engage with those around you. You may discover a mom you never considered before as the best friend you will ever have. Experiencing one good friend you can call in the middle of the night during an emergency will prove time after time more valuable than having a host of gals to take a road trip with. Every mama’s needs are different and every friendship — tribe or not — should be unique.
Four Quarters Over One Hundred Pennies