You know that feeling when you meet another mom, with kids around the same age as yours, and you just click? She’s making you laugh and you both seem to be enjoying each other’s company. You’re almost ready to ask for her digits (who cares about being too forward, she “gets me”), but then she ruins it by saying something ridiculous, like she doesn’t drink wine. Ummmm, what? Well, see ya around playground. I hadn’t heard the words ‘Mom Tribe’ until this year. I didn’t even realize this was a thing. Yes, I’ve heard the word ‘tribe’ before, but most often as it pertains to Native American ethnicity and culture. Not as a description for a band of close-knit moms. Am I behind the curve? Maybe my mom tribe is simply all of the moms who don’t know about mom tribes?
My initial thoughts about my quest for finding my tribe, were ones of excitement and intrigue. Like this was somehow going to solve all of my problems. For a brief moment, I was already envisioning all of my new friends and getting slightly nervous over my potential juggling of social engagements. Thank goodness my tribe only wears sweat pants, so there’s not a lot of prep time before said engagements. Is this what it feels like to rush a sorority?
This all sounded good, until I started to brainstorm a list of the attributes I’d look for in someone from my tribe:
- Laughs…a lot
- Hard working
- Tries her best
- Isn’t afraid to cry
- Gets frustrated
- Feels crazy sometimes
- Enjoys alone time (but rarely gets it)
- Plays nice with others (most of the time)
Well, that’s just wonderful. I could have saved myself some typing time. My life, free of carpal tunnel, is five minutes shorter. I should have just written ‘see Woman’.
And then there’s that whole business of child loss. Do I only truly relate to moms who have gone through child loss? I try to stay away from words like ‘always’ and ‘only’, but I do feel that these are my peeps. I feel like that can get a little tricky though. Don’t get me wrong, when I hear from another mom who’s lost a child, I feel an instant connection. I’ve experienced grief, but I haven’t experienced their specific loss. My heart aches for parents who have lost a baby battling sickness in the NICU, but I don’t know what that battle feels like. I hurt for the mom who’s lost her twenty-something year old son in a tragic accident, but I don’t know what it feels like to lose your son after twenty years. In this regard, I do love that the child loss community isn’t a bunch of one-uppers. Welcome with open arms
So what’s the next logical step in the search for my tribe? Yup, join Twitter! No, that’s not what you were thinking? Well, I can’t take it back. Next step? You should also join Twitter and follow me (@JuggleRainbows). Also, not what you were thinking?
I feel like I’ve just joined the largest school dance or speed dating circle. An eclectic group, all reaching out to find their matches and explore their interests. And so far, it’s very non-committal, which is nice. You get your toes wet with quick comments and then feel free to retreat…or retweet (wink). This feeling of online diversity reminds me that the world of tribe searching is endless. Isn’t that why we have friends for different occasions?
There’s always going to be something that sets you apart from someone else…no matter how well you’re hitting it off initially. And you know what – you can STILL be friends!
To varying degrees, we’re social beings, looking to belong to something. Thank you social media for tapping into this hard-wired need. So I will continue to Tweet, share and follow. I will also continue to remind myself to not take it all so seriously.
If someone enters your life and taps into a quality on your list, even if only one, be open to them. You don’t have to join their knitting club, or follow them off the cliff during their next hang gliding adventure…unless of course that’s your thing. Don’t be so focused on narrowing the search, but rather, broadening the horizon.