The Harsh Reality of “Mom Tribes”

There’s this new term out there for women.  It’s in all the latest blogs and everyone’s writing about it, talking about it and trying to find it.  

It’s the tribe!  

On the surface it sounds awesome. It’s a group of true-blue, life-long, gal-pals.  You share late night convos, laugh until you cry or cry until you laugh, you raise your kids together, your families hang out together, you never miss a baby shower or birthday and get to do life together!  It sounds amazing doesn’t it?  And it is!  

But, what happens when you don’t have a tribe?  You probably cringe a little when you hear the word “tribe.”  And, before you know it, you flashback to high school when you didn’t get invited to the party….you’re wearing braces and some other awkwardly trendy 90’s outfit in your bedroom on a Friday night.  Ugh!  Come back, come back!  You’re not a teenager!  You’re a grown woman!  Whew! That was scary!  

You may not be an awkward teen anymore, but you’re a mom…and motherhood can be a big friendship bummer.  You’re tied to your kids schedule, you try to make friends according to your kids ages – not your interest, you’re as busy as all get out and sometimes you’re just too tired to even try.  You feel guilty for doing anything for yourself.  Then comes along the idea of a tribe and although it sounds amazing.  How do you make it happen? Can you even make it happen?

Here are some ways to help yourself along in creating a tribe.

  • Create your own tribe!  We all want someone to invite us in…we want the cool moms to give us the password and teach us the secret handshake.  But, it’s probably not going to happen…I hate to say it, but I’ve seen it over and over – moms have a good thing going and they’re afraid to mess it up.  What if they invite someone new and she messes up the vibe?  What if the vulnerability leaves the group?  What if the kids don’t get along? Don’t let this discourage you! I 100% guarantee you that other moms are searching for their tribe too!
  • Give it time and make it a priority. Tribes are not created over one cup of coffee.  They are built over weeks, months, and even years of consistent contact.  Be patient.  I’ll also add to be faithful! Make a commitment and stick with it.  I’m pretty bad at this…  I rsvp yes and when the time comes, I’m too tired, I had a rough day with the kids, I just wanna watch Netflix…blah, blah, blah.  Then I see on Facebook the people that are out having fun and I think: “Why am I not doing that?”  Well duh, you’re flaky.  No one wants a flaky friend.
  • Recognize that tribes come and go.  When I had my first son, I didn’t even know what a tribe was…but looking back, I had it!  There were five of us moms in the same neighborhood.  We had weekly play dates, moms’ nights out, bible studies, we celebrated birthdays and new babies.  It was so good! I reminisce about it and it brings such joy.  The group slowly dissolved as kids got older, schedules got busier, and families moved.  It was great while it lasted.  So remember, tribes don’t have to last forever. It’s hard to let go…but thank God we had a wonderful season together. Let go if it’s time to let go.  It’s easy to become bitter when a season ends…which makes it hard to start a new season.  Don’t let hurts and hang ups from previous friendships keep you from making new meaningful connections.  
  • Lastly, pray about!  Really this should be first!  My husband and I moved to a new city when I was 8 months pregnant with our first child. We were so lonely!  We didn’t know what to do…so we prayed!  God moved us to the perfect neighborhood at just the right time!  It was awesome!  God knows our need for connection; he created us that way.  So, seriously, trust Him!

We all crave love, acceptance, and connection – but, in our minds, we think it should come to us…that we shouldn’t have to search for it.  That’s a huge lie! If you want a tribe, be someone else’s tribe.  Look around and reach out.  Be vulnerable!  If it doesn’t work, repeat!  It will be so worth it!

Who’s stepping out?  Who’s going to be vulnerable?  Who’s going to make friendship a priority?  Who’s going to be courageous and go first?  You!  You’re going to do all these things and you won’t regret it!  

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