My daughter got a terrible cough the night before her best friend’s birthday party. I was so bummed for her. She had made such a great group of friends. They turned what was a rough year with mean kids into a great year. I felt so bad that she had to miss the party. We promised to plan a playdate and conceded to dropping off the birthday gift she had selected for her friend.
When we dropped off the gift and said happy birthday and sorry we couldn’t stay, I realized that I was disappointed that we weren’t staying. This amazing group of friends that my daughter made also have amazing moms that have become my friends.
The Mythical “Mom Tribe”
Years ago, I resigned myself to not having a mom tribe. In my mind, it was mythical: a great dream, but not practical for real life. I have a few best friends from my “before kids days.” We text and send memes and reels. Mom life includes juggling illnesses and schedules. My kids are my main focus and all these women get it. They are flexible and when the stars align, we get together. I really was content with this. These women are amazing.
But they are individual friends from a different time—not really a cohesive group forged through the bonds of motherhood.
When my now-eight-year-old daughter was a baby, I spent years trying to find a group of moms that I fit in with. I tried MOPS. The moms there were great, but man is it tough juggling multiple families’ schedules. I tried meeting moms at the park. I tried making friends with preschool moms—and one of them did turn into a best friend.
Making mom friends is a lot like dating. There were promising prospects, and some short-term relationships, but none felt like ‘the one.’
Real-Life Mom Tribe
Then, without realizing it, I found the tribe I never thought existed.
Suddenly, I have these amazing women in my life who have amazing kids who are incredibly kind to my daughter. And just like that, I have a full heart. I have people checking in to see how my vacation was. I have so many, “How did the first day go?” check-ins.
For the first time, I am excited for the school year! I get to see my friends every day, too. I have people to cheer on my kids during the fun runs, field days, and pick-ups. Even better than celebrating with friends, I also have friends to share a hard day with.
I have people who lift me up when I’m down. I have support when I need it. It reminded me how important friendships are. I spend so much time cultivating my sweet kids’ souls and taking care of their every need that I somehow temporarily forgot that I need all the same things I provide for them.
I need to make sure that I have space for friendships, too. Finding my mom tribe wasn’t easy, but it was worth the wait.