I have a confession to make. I don’t have a “tribe.” I’m part of many groups – mom groups, professional groups, social media groups – but I wouldn’t say I have a tribe.
When I say tribe, I mean that solid group of good friends that you laugh with, cry with, share glasses of wine with. That tribe is supposed to be your support system and the people you lean on when life gets difficult. For years I’ve seen all the “I love my tribe” shirts, wine glasses, and journals, but I just don’t think I’ve found my tribe to love… at least right now.
Past vs. Present
Now, I’ve had times in my life when I definitely had a tribe. My twenties were filled with close groups of ladies that shared everything. We worked out together, spent weekends together, and traveled together. At the time, I needed their support. I was a newlywed, new military spouse, and well… twenty something. I wasn’t as independent, confident, or comfortable in my own skin as I am now. They filled that gap for me.
But now, I’m in a whole new phase of life. I’m a working mom of two, in my mid-forties. My weeknights consist of making dinner, helping with homework, getting kids to sports practice, and relaxing with my husband before heading to bed. My weekends are usually spent cheering on one of my kids at their sporting events and enjoying precious, silly moments with my family. After this past year, I’ve grown to absolutely love being home with my husband and kids! We crave that downtime after a busy week of work and school to reset, refresh, and prepare to take on the world every new week.
Friends vs. Tribe
This phase of life doesn’t give me much time to look for a new tribe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have friends. My husband and I connect with a few other couples often. We laugh and chat over cold beverages and catch up on whatever is new. I have a couple of good girlfriends that I chat with and find time to visit every so often. But a tribe in the modern sense of the word – not really.
When my life gets crazy, I turn to my family. When my life gets really hard or sad my husband is my support system. My family understands me, they support me, they are honest with me, and hey — they laugh at my jokes. They bring me joy! Those weekend walks with my kids, the quiet conversations I have with my husband after the kids go to bed, and the big belly laughs we all enjoy over silly jokes that only we would get fill my bucket and make my heart happy.
So, do we always need a tribe? Maybe not.
I know I don’t represent every woman when I say that. But right now, in this phase of my life, I think I’m doing okay without a close-knit tribe. Maybe my family is my tribe for now. I know that won’t always be the case. So, I’ll definitely keep searching (when I have time) for that tribe of women that we are told we all need. And until then, I think I’ll keep hanging with my current “tribe” and enjoying every precious moment this phase of life brings.