I readily admit every time I stepped into a new group of moms, whether fitness or spiritually related, I hoped I would magically connect with at least a few of the fellow moms and that soon we’d be group texting and supporting each other through middle of the night feedings. Embarrassingly, maybe I even envisioned myself being similar to Cady in Mean Girls since I was new to motherhood and to living in downtown Indianapolis. I’m not sure what the mom version of “Get in loser, we’re going shopping,” is, but ten months in, and I’m pretty sure nobody has said it to me.
I quickly realized after family left and my husband started his post-residency fellowship (the reason we moved with a 2 week old), that I needed to get out of the house and interact with other adults if I was going to thrive in my new routine. I’m an introvert, but being a Stay at Home Mom is much more isolating and lonely than I anticipated. The first time I ran into Target solo after having my daughter, I’m positive I didn’t stop smiling because I realized the world was indeed still spinning outside of our little sleep deprived and half-packed home. Since that quick, delightful time at Target, I’ve pushed my anxious self into situations that have not always been as easy or enjoyable as a trip to Target in the name of needing local friends.
I have spent quite a bit of time searching for groups and saying yes to anything that had any sort of potential to meet new mom friends, like Baby Boot Camp, a Monon Trail stroller group, MOPS, Side by Side-Indianapolis, and most recently a Mommy & Me class at my local Y. As much as I hate small talk, I kept reminding myself it’s where most friendships begin. Some of the conversations I’ve had have given me just what I needed on that day, and I’ve met many fellow moms because I kept putting myself out there on a regular basis.
As much as I crave forming deeper friendships and to be part of an official Mom Tribe, however that’s defined (I visualize on-going group texts/Voxer messages, kids of similar ages with rotating playdates, moms nights out, and, if it’s a real jackpot, family vacations). I also recognize I’m somewhat of a contradiction because I have a hard time being vulnerable first. My go-to excuse is that the medical journey and uncertainty about where we’ll be living after July 2019 makes it difficult to form deep friendships. But, it’s really just an excuse. I’ve made some amazing friends through this journey, and particularly in today’s world, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with friends even if you don’t live in the same city.
So, although I have met many quality women around Indianapolis, I don’t have a Mom Tribe to walk alongside the good, bad, and ugly days. The perfectionist side of me thinks it’s because I haven’t tried hard enough, and some days it feels like a giant case of FOMO when I see other mom’s social media pages. But the gentler side of me thinks maybe it’s unrealistic that every mom is part of a Mom Tribe. Maybe more moms are like me and making the most of various groups of friends, and not spending the majority of their time with one group of friends.
Would you self-identify as being part of a Mom Tribe or do you ever feel like you’re missing out on something because you don’t have a Mom Tribe?
I very much understand where you’re coming from! My group of resident’s spouses is over half comprised of moms, and our first year in town I felt a little left out of that group within the group. It’s sometimes difficult to relate to other women of a similar age who are not on the same side of that journey as I am. Now that I have children, I’m lucky to have my “mom tribe” through that source, but it’s not a forever group and this may not be a forever home. It’s so hard to get started in a new place and I give you a lot of credit for putting yourself out there! This will very likely be me in a year if we move so I may be coming to you for some advice ?
Thanks Hil! It’s always good to hear from you and your experience as a wife in the medical journey! Hopefully we will both find great local tribes once we’re settled post-training. Until then, I remain grateful for your long-distance friendship and can’t wait to hear more about your life as a twin & toddler mom!
I think that unless there was a group of moms that you were already tribed with (ie friends prepregnancy then pregnant same time), there is an awkward time in the mom journey when it is hard to make friends. This is when you have first child and he/she is under 12 even 18 mos. My reasoning is that moms tend to be very bound by sleep schedules so it is just hard to find someone whose sleep schedule matches yours tbat first year…even 3 months can be a huge difference in schedule as you migrate from 3 naps to 2 to 1. Moms with older single napping kids are home and stay home usually like 1-3 and may not get back out after 3 due to slow wake ups snacks and supper.
Once you get to one nap that solidly starts after lunch PLUS you have a kid who needs to run to make that nap happen, you run into so many more moms while you are…exercizing your kids…I made my best mom friends at the park or childrens museum or other active things…we were running into each other while our kids played.
Moms with sibling kiddos will somewhat forfeit the 2nd child’s long morning nap in the hopes of both kids getting a solid nap in afternoon simultaneously. The forfeit comes in the form of wearing/strollering kid 2 while kid 1 plays to get energy out for their nap. That second kid just usually doesn’t get as long of a nap. Anyways, the affect is that these moms are also out of the house before noon in spite of the morning nap and this run into more people before hunkering down to naps.
All that to say to anyone is hang in there, know that once you are at thr one nap stage, tribing is easier. Just keep getting out, and aim for morning activitues and keep your eyes open for other moms just as this article mentioned.
Hi! Thanks for your reply! I think your reasoning makes a lot of sense, and I am already looking forward to my daughter moving to 1 nap because it will make morning outings so much easier than they currently are!
As an introvert, I can so relate to this. I have lived in Indiana for 3.5 years and still don’t have mom friends. We moved here from SoCal and I did have mom friends and a social life and I felt very fulfilled in that aspect. However, since living here, I just haven’t found any commonality or connection with any of the moms in my area (we are 45 mins north of Indy in a very small town) and it is so hard. I also feel bad for my boys (ages 3.5 and 6) that we don’t have any social life or friends to hang out with. We go out and do things, but we just don’t have friends to meet up with or do things with.
That is so tough. Because you’ve experienced it, you know what you’re missing out on now, and it sounds like you’re really trying to get out and make opportunities happen rather than just sitting at home wondering where they are! I hope things change for you and your sons soon. Know you’re not alone, and if you’re ever in downtown Indy, feel free to contact me 🙂
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