Parenting is a hard gig. Many of us find ourselves lost once we become parents. Searching. We are searching for someone that truly hears us, that understands the struggles we are facing and that can relate to the challenges we are facing.
In order to find friends, in person friends that is, it means we have to leave our house. We need to leave our house, pack up our baby (who may or may not be colicky) and head out to a playgroup or baby friendly activity. This can be extremely difficult for many moms (don't worry new moms you are not alone!).
Anxiety. Stress. Fear.
Parenting is really personal. Each parent has their own values, beliefs and ideas about raising their children. All of which are right! No doubt about that. However, it can be difficult to meet new moms especially if you are unsure if others will share your values. Will you disagree about sleep strategies? Will you share the same discipline philosophies? The pressures of society creep in. The judgement (typically from yourself) creeps in. All your stuff from childhood or high school comes up again.
Is my baby wearing the right clothes? Does he have the cool stroller? car seat? or gadget? Do I have my hair done? How are my clothes? Do I look clean? Put together? What if I forget to put on make up? What if my baby screams the entire time? What if I forget diapers?
Endless questions. Endless possibilities. Disappointment creeps us quickly.
While none of this matters theoretically, it can and does create lots of anxiety for many moms. Even with four kids under my belt and years of experience, I still get nervous and anxious walking into a room of moms and dads (which is why you don't see me in large groups very often!). We are under an especially large amount of pressure these days from media and social media. Nowhere is safe from the wrath of facebook and instagram. Everyone has a phone and is ready to take a video while you install your baby in their carseat. Wondering how you feed your baby? Do you breastfeed? Watching to see what type of diapers you use. Wondering how your baby sleeps. In a crib? In your bed? They are all - Watching. Waiting. For you to screw up.
Or at least this is what we tell ourselves and how we feel.
Or are they waiting to help us? To share their experiences with us. To connect with us. To support us.
So we search. We search for the right people. The people that will make us feel good about ourselves. The people that will allow us to have deep conversations and connections that matter to us (and of course have many conversations about the poop stains on our clothes). We search for those who will share similar stories and those who will build a community of trusted members with us. We search for our tribe. Our people. Our lifers.
It can be hard sometimes. Really hard. It takes time to build a community. It takes time to find the right people. The people we trust to let into our heart and our souls and those that trust us in the same way - they are hard to find. The ones we feel completely and comfortable opening up to and sharing our best and worst moments with - they take time.
We have ALL been there. We have all searched at some point. Some of us are still searching.
Some have found their tribe and work really hard at keeping others out. Some have found tribes that don't quite fit. Some are tribe travellers - going from one tribe to another seamlessly and openly. Others have found their forever tribe and are always accepting and welcoming new members (ps. this is the tribe you should be searching for). Yet still we all search. In the past. In the present. In the future. We are always searching.
One day you will find your tribe. You will! You will suddenly look around at your life and realize that you have built a community. Perhaps not all by yourself, but together you have a built a community of support, love and freedom. You will have found your tribe.
Peace. Confidence. Kindess. They will be there waiting for you.