When I was a new mom, I’d watch other moms gather together with their kids running around, babies in their strollers, and their carefree attitude. They would be laughing, smiling, and effortlessly talking with each other. I wanted that. I wanted to have mom friends. I wanted to be included. I wanted a village.
Being the wallflower that I am, I revel in my own bubble. Meeting new people is daunting. Starting a conversation is intimidating. Being an outsider in a place where you think you should belong, but you don’t? It’s heartbreaking.
As a first-time mom, I was nervous about leaving the house with my baby by myself. I was scared she’d start screaming in the car, and I couldn’t tend to her. I was afraid she would be inconsolable at the grocery store. I was mostly terrified of prying eyes watching my every move. Or the hushed whispers and unsolicited advice.
I didn’t have a close friend to vent to. At least, a mom friend who knew what I was going through. My single best friends were supportive, but they didn’t fully understand. I’d scroll on social media and see pictures of old friends with their mom groups. I wondered what it would be like if I had something like that?
It took one mama to speak up and include me. Just a simple message to let me know she was thinking of me and that she’s “been there.” Now and then, we’d shoot messages to each other, sharing stories and trading tips. I thought I needed a group, but all I needed was one person to encourage me. I felt lighter and happier that I had a mom friend in my little village. I became more confident and started to share my real mom life on social media. When I realized I wasn’t the only one struggling through this chapter of motherhood, I was able to reach out to them. In return, more reached out to me. Slowly but surely, my village began to grow.
So here’s the thing, when we tell new moms that there will be a village for them, BE THEIR VILLAGE. Don’t ghost them. Show up for them when you suspect they’re struggling. Send them a thoughtful message or drop off a cup of coffee. Include them in group chats with other moms. Keep the invite open to a mom’s night out event. Tag them in a picture on social media, saying “this made me think of you.”
We know how hard it is to transition into motherhood, make it lighter for someone else. Be a best friend, be an includer, and be their village