Becoming the Happiest Mom: Find Your Tribe

I was raised in Jamaica by a village of loving family and friends. I lived in a house with my Mama, my older brother, my Mama's mother, aunt, brother and an older cousin.  In addition, almost everyone in our small village was considered a "cousin".  Mothers had a lot of help. It wasn't unusual for a mother to leave our village to find work in "town", while leaving her kids behind with a relative.  There was no stigma to it; in many cases it was considered an act of love.

I expected that I would find my own village when I had children. I had a wonderful network of friends when I lived in Washington, DC but when I moved to Florida over a year ago, I had to rebuild my circle of friends. It has been challenging, therefore I identify with the Happiest Mom's suggestion that every mother needs to find and establish her own tribe.  Meagan describes it a "someone who pulls for you in tough times and stir the margarita mix
when you want to have fun."

If you are fortunate enough to have the support of family, realize that you are blessed. Even if you have support from family, it is also important to have a loving, caring, fun group of friends that can help you be your best, both as a parent and as a person. Sometimes, we are so busy with our own schedules and routines that we shy away from establishing new relationships and opening our hearts and lives to those outside of our current circle.  If you haven't do so already, take a break from the laundry, housekeeping, and school projects to add someone new to your tribe; both your lives will be so much richer.

Meagan suggests that every mom should have the following friends:
  • The right-where-you-are buddy. Someone who is going through the same phases as you are and you can compare notes and help each other through the good and tough times.
  • The child-free friend who is still into celebrity gossip and the latest fashion. It is sometimes great to talk to someone who still reads Cosmopolitan magazine and has great dating and partying stories.
  • I would also suggest the sister/mom friend. She is the person that you can call at midnight, you can show up at her house without a good reason, and you can leave your kids with her while you run to the supermarket.
Haven't found your tribe as yet? Here are a few tips for building friendships:

  • Go to those sometimes dreaded kids birthday parties. We all hate having 3 of them in one weekend and the last minute rush to find the perfect gift but your reward is adult conversation and new friendships.
  • Don't be afraid to invite moms to your house because the house is not perfect, our house is not perfect either.
  • If you can find other kids who play well with your kids, organize a playdate because group parenting is so much easier.
  • "Date" outside your comfort zone.  Reach out to a wide variety of moms (1 child, multiple kids, different ethnic backgrounds, child with a special need, mom who works outside the home, stay at home moms). We can all benefit from each other's experiences.
  • The best advice from "Find your Tribe" - The best way to make a good friend is to be one.

Do you have a tribe, a village of supporters or even a mom who has been instrumental in support your journey as a mom? Show them some love and brag about them here.