When mothers give birth, we’re surrounded by people: a team of professionals, our partner, often our mother, and maybe a friend. No mother gives birth alone. Once we take our child home, we open up our doors to a steady flow of excited loved ones. We sit back and beam as a parade comes in to welcome our angels. “Can I hold him?” “Oh, she’s beautiful.”
Then suddenly, things go back to ‘normal’—for everyone but us, that is. A husband goes back to work. Friends keep living their lives. And we’re alone with our baby. In a quiet house. Pushing a stroller on an empty street. Pushing a swing in an empty park.
One of the things that makes 21st century motherhood so difficult is the loneliness. Having children can isolate the most social of women. Sure, we have “friends” on Facebook and Twitter. But we rarely get to look any of them in the eye, over a cup of coffee.
All moms want someone to tell them that a baby not sleeping through the night is normal. All moms want to hear that other moms are also feeling guilty for going back to work. All moms want to be reassured they’re not the only ones whose laundry is making them just a little bit crazy.
Community takes on a powerful role once we become mothers. We realize that yes, while we could do it alone, we don’t want to. We’ve all experienced the joy that is a playdate with a friend, laughing about life and children. Time flies and, before we know it, it’s time to go home.
We may sometimes disagree when it comes to parenting, but something all mothers have in common is a desire for sisterhood, for friendship.
Find your tribe
These days, if you want a tribe, you have to go out and make one. Search for mom groups in your city. Ask another VarageSale mom if she’d like to meet up to swap items and grab a coffee afterwards.
It’s not easy putting yourself out there. You’ll probably feel like a nervous high schooler as you awkwardly ask another mom for her number—but the payoff is well worth it.
Nobody will understand your day-to-day challenges like your mom friends. You can tell them about how you lost it and yelled at a stubborn child without feeling judged, about that time you left wet clothes in the washer for so long that you discovered mold when you finally retrieved them. When, on a rough day, you say you dream of the day the kids finally move out, they know how much you love them without you having to explain. They’ll just get it.
Moms, if you’re feeling like an island, it’s time to do something. Take those first steps and before you know it, you’ll have a village of your very own.