Being a new mom can be isolating. We tend to hole ourselves up in our homes just trying to survive on a daily basis. After several weeks of this “survival” behavior, it becomes a bad habit, and the idea of going out to meet someone seems like a mountain of a hurdle to jump. We feel the pressure of balancing house chores with taking care of a newborn all while being attentive to our partners and trying to feel “normal” ourselves. It does not leave much for anyone or anything else. While some women thrive on being alone, I would argue that a majority of women need stimulus from other women. We need a mom village! While you may already have your tribe prior to having a baby, after baby arrives, sometimes those people change as you begin to identify with other women who have children or are soon to be mothers. This is normal. I would even venture to suggest that it is necessary. I encourage women to get out and meet other new moms to share stories, concerns and help provide support. There is strength and healing in sitting with another mother and hearing “I get what you are going through.” When I had my son I was lost on how to find my mom village. The last time I sought out friends who were not work related was probably in college. I had no idea how to begin. What I failed to realize is that the struggles experienced during the first few weeks of new motherhood can be a uniting factor for women. Here are some tips to consider when you are seeking your mom village.
- Get out of the house and socialize. Go to a park, walk around the mall, go to the gym or head to a coffee shop.
- Meet women in person. Research local mom groups on-line, but plan meet-ups in person. You are more authentic self when you are face to face. It is easier to project only successes on social media and avoid failures.
- Keep your mom village local. You will find that it is difficult to meet up with women who do not live in the same proximity as you. Keep the logistics simple to improve the chances of being able to spend time together.
- Be vulnerable. Be willing to share your experiences of motherhood (the good, the bad, the ugly) with other new moms.
- Listen. Most women aren’t looking for a fix, they are just looking for someone who will listen and commiserate.
- Ask for help when you need it. Offer help when you can.
- Include family in your village such as aunts, cousins, sisters, mothers and even grandmothers.
- Ask for support and share support.
- Spend your time building each other up and avoid talking about other women, which will only serve to bring you down.
- Be open to learning to mom together.
Sharing in the experience of new motherhood with other women, being authentic and vulnerable can lead to some of the tightest, longest lasting bonds you can forge. Your new mom village can lead to life long friendships that you will share the highs and lows of life with. You will find joy and comfort sharing in your struggles together. You will learn how to mom together. Your village will help you to thrive as a new mom. It takes a village to raise a mom!
You got this momma!