Often as moms, we are surrounded by negativity. Memes that say things like, “I love being around my kids as long as they aren’t sick, or tired, or hungry, or whiny” abound on the Internet. People who aren’t parents talk about how annoying children are, and even other parents tell us how terrible their children are and how we should be prepared for our children to turn into demons any moment. Your own parents will regale you with stories of your childhood antics and they will tell you it is time to pay for your raising. If you listen to all these other people, then raising children will seem like a herculean task! If you don’t know how to defend yourself against this kind of negativity, it can be completely intimidating.
I have a surefire solution to counteract this negativity though. You must find your Mama Tribe! What is a Mama Tribe, you ask? It is a group of women who are fighting the good fight with you. Over all they have the same beliefs as you when it comes to parenting but they aren’t going to put you down for being different. They will give you advice but they won’t push. They won’t make you feel dumb or give you mommy guilt. They will build you back up when someone else tells you something is wrong with your child. They will answer your most TMI questions that you couldn’t even bring yourself to ask your doctor. They will defend you ’til the end, just as you would defend them. They will get you out of the house for play dates on the days your child is actually acting like a demon.
Now I admit it can be hard to find your Mama Tribe. The girls you went to high school or college with may not have the same ideals as you. Maybe they aren’t as informed as you. Maybe they’ve decided they know everything. For whatever reason, just because they have kids doesn’t mean your long time bestie is going to be the best addition to your Mama Tribe. This doesn’t mean you can’t be friends anymore of course. It just means you may not go to them with every parenting issue.
I found my Mama Tribe by total accident. I went to an event called The Big Latch On OKC to normalize breastfeeding, and from there got added to a group of like-minded moms on Facebook, and next thing you know I have weekly play dates with group of women I can turn to with everything from questions about breastmilk and the color of baby poop to support when the rest of the parenting world is getting me down.
If you haven’t found your Mama Tribe yet, then it is time you seek them out! (Sadly they won’t just gravitate to your living room!) The first step is to decide what your ideals, convictions, and general parenting style are. Crunchy? Evolutionary? Modern? Old School? Do you work full time? Part time? Exclusively pump? Did you adopt? Are you homeschooling? Then seek out your support group – they will help you keep your sanity! Great places to seek out other moms are OKC Moms Blog events, The Green Bambino events and classes, The Changing Table events and classes, your local Le Leche League, The YMCA, or just strike up a conversation with that mom standing next to you at the Zoo, the Science Museum Oklahoma, or Gymboree. You never know, they might be the perfect addition to your Mama Tribe.